Friday, July 22, 2011

Community -- Updated

So, I launched this blog, and I promptly left for two weeks of business travel.  The days and the evenings were packed.  I can't complain.  Compared to the heat and humidity here in the DC area, Minneapolis and LA were fine destinations.

Of course, you may wonder why I would begin any endeavor and walk away, my answer is simple and two-fold.  My perfectionism and my procrastination are two of my biggest character flaws.  I wanted to just start writing, even if the writing's not my best or particularly timely.  These will take care of themselves.

In any event, between Minneapolis and LA, I was able to get to Denver for Phoenix Multisport's annual fundraising gala.  The gala was held at Phoenix's new facility in downtown Denver, close to Champa and Park Avenue.  Phoenix has made huge strides to get the facility together.  Ben showed me around the place last October.  "Potential" best described the place then.  Now, it's a building that houses weight training, boxing, and yoga.  There's a coffee bar for socials.  The facilities are superb.

Of course, by themselves, facilities don't help people stay sober.  The men and women of Phoenix have created an amazing community of people dedicated to supporting one and other in sobriety.  They stay busy with a host of activities.  You don't have to be an athlete to participate; you just have to be 48 hours sober.  Of course, if you are an athlete, they may sponsor your participation in serious sporting events.

Phoenix hosted 250 team members, volunteers, and friends last Saturday--completely sold out.  The room was full of wonderful people, from all walks of life.  You could find guys with neck tattoos; you could find men and women in uniform, decorated for their valor and service to country.  There was a lot of emotion on display: sadness for those who still suffer, maybe just a little pride for how far so many have come.  Most of all there was a lot of joy and warmth and love.  It was a privilege to attend.

When I was drinking, I had only a passing familiarity with joy that grew more distant with every day of drinking.  I had no idea how to react to the love that was offered to me.  Every drink simply put me farther away from the work that I needed to do.  Only by leaving behind the alienation that my addiction fed and getting the work underway could I begin to understand what I saw and felt last Saturday night.  I had to take that first giant step.

If you're in Denver, Boulder, or Colorado Springs, see what Phoenix Multisport has going on.  Check out their calendar.  Get to a social.

UPDATE: Saturday, I came across this passage from Ezekiel--Chapter 36, for those who want to follow along:

I will give you a new heart,
and place a new spirit within you,
taking from your bodies your stony hearts
and giving you natural hearts.

That's what I'm talking about.

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