Newest fitness offering designed to support those in recovery
Scott Strode is an accomplished triathlete, mountain climber, ice climber and outdoorsman.
He’s also a recovering alcoholic.
It led him to found Phoenix Multisport, a Colorado-based nonprofit with a focus on building a sober, active community for those in recovery and those seeking a sober lifestyle.
“I was fortunate,” Strode says on the organization’s website. “I found hope on a mountaintop. And from that hope, I began to heal from my addiction.”
Since 2006, more than 77,000 people have been served through The Phoenix with its combination of free fitness classes and community support.
Now, Sioux Falls will be able to join those numbers. GreatLIFE Golf & Fitness has become the first program in the area to offer The Phoenix, with weekly classes that started in December.
“Tom Walsh Sr., our board chair, brought this to our attention after doing some research and got the conversation going, and we could tell right away it really fit with what we’re trying to do for the community,” vice president of fitness Randall Hill said. “It’s fitness, it’s bringing community together, and it’s making a difference in the lives of individuals and their families.”
The Phoenix provides training for instructors, including GreatLIFE’s Kristen Koeller, who is leading the class.
“I thought it was awesome. I was really excited to be part of something that could be so life-changing,” she said. “This takes the benefits of exercise and group fitness, and the communities that come with that, and partners it with recovery. The idea is by offering free fitness classes, you provide the exercise and endorphins and sense of accomplishment that comes with it, as well as helping people in recovery find another support group.”
Classes started right before Christmas and are held at 12:15 p.m. Tuesday at the GreatLIFE location at 39th Street and Phillips Avenue.
“It’s a quick lunch-break workout,” Koeller said. “I call it anything but burpees, which means pretty much anything goes, so there’s usually a little cardio to warm up, some strength-based work and a cooldown and flexibility work.”
And here’s what’s really important to know: The class is not just for those in recovery.
The only requirement is that you have been sober for 48 hours before attending.
“The hope is if you’re in recovery, you’ll have a friend come with you, or if you’re trying to live a more sober lifestyle, this becomes a place to get together with other like-minded people and just promote being healthy,” Hill said.
“We hope it becomes a good balance of GreatLIFE members and anyone from the community. The first few classes have been a good mix of those who are recovering from addictions and others who want to come work out together.”
You can register for The Phoenix by going to this website, thephoenix.org/find-a-class/in-person, search Sioux Falls and then scroll to the Tuesday class.
“There’s a lot of power in being physically well, but there can be just as much in the community that comes with it,” Koeller said. “We see it in other group fitness classes, and we absolutely expect to see that kind of magic happen here.”