My life was on a constant downward spiral. I was an IV drug user and had no hope for a better future. Over the years, my choices took me on many trips to the county jail, rehabs, and hospitals. My blood turned septic on two separate occasions, and on one of those times, I developed endocarditis and an abscess that was millimeters from my spinal cord. It almost left me paralyzed. It’s only by the grace of god that I’m still alive. Today, my life is entirely different. I’m 100% sober, and fitness has become my new addiction. My message for anyone that may be struggling is this. If you’re still breathing, there’s still hope; you just have to want it bad enough. Now, more than ever, I am grateful for my life, my health, and my able body. I show my gratitude through my daily actions of exercise. Running (I ran my first half marathon in November and my first marathon in Hawaii on December 11th) and lifting weights, something I do almost daily. Every day I choose to challenge my body in some way.