Temperance Training Aims to Raise $35,000 for Recovering Addicts
In 2017, Anthony Fazio, a former alcohol and drug addict now nine years sober, approached the owner of CrossFit Hype in Delray, FL with an idea: He wanted to offer CrossFit classes to anyone with 24 hours of sobriety.
- “Without batting an eyelash, Rob said, ‘Yeah, whatever we can do to help,’” said Fazio of how receptive owner Rob Thomas was to his idea of starting a free program for those recovering from substance abuse.
- “CrossFit was a huge part of my sobriety journey, not just to fix the health elements I damaged from being an alcoholic and drug addict, but also in finding a community and a group of people looking to better their lives,” explained Fazio, now nine years sober and the manager at CrossFit Hype.
One big thing: CrossFit has long served as a lifeline for athletes seeking a new lease on life, but the three-year-old program at CrossFit Hype is part of a growing trend of new gyms and programs built specifically to serve substance addicts in their recovery.
- Today, what started out as one small group class a week has become Temperance Training Foundation, a non profit that offers 12 classes a week —Weekday Warrior and Sober Sunday classes—at three different affiliates in southern Florida. More than 400 members participate regularly.
- “Last Sunday, there were 90 people in my sober Sunday class,” Fazio said. “We’re doing it mostly outside right now, and we’re having to be really creative. Usually we have three workouts going at once.”
Funding the program: Their biggest fundraiser—their annual Outwork Addiction Fundraiser and Competition—is coming up on November 21. Because of COVID-19, the three-workout competition will be a completely outdoor event, and will be designed in a way that keeps the 40 teams—80 to 100 participants—at a safe distance from one another.
- The ultimate goal is to raise $35,000. “That would pay for our costs to run the program for the entire year,” Fazio said.
- “We’re encouraging local businesses to sponsor teams. For example, they could sponsor a team of two ladies from a halfway house who want to do their first competition. The $300 will allow us to give the women the necessary lessons so they can confidently compete in the scaled division,” he added.
There are four ways to donate:
- Make a personal donation here.
- Sponsor a workout ($1000)
- Set up a vendor booth ($500)
- Sponsor a team ($300)
The big picture: In the last three-and-a-half years, Temperance Training has seen close to 10,000 recovering addicts come through their doors. The quick success is well beyond Fazio’s wildest dreams.
- “We have worked with recovering heroin addicts who are now permanent coaches for us, and others who have turned their lives around and are now in the Fire Academy,” he said. “It’s super cool to see how much it has grown. I can’t believe it sometimes when I am doing a warm-up on Sober Sunday and I have 80 or 90 people there staring at me. Never in a million years could have I imagined that.”
- He added: “I feel like it’s my time to give back. It’s kind of like me coming full circle. I remember people reaching their hands out to me when I first got sober, when I finally surrendered and started asking for help. So to be able to provide that and give an opportunity to people, I feel like I’m paying my debt to society and I feel better about all the free help I was given when I got sober. And I guess I just want people to know they can come down to south Florida and get involved with a great community and get recovered from this disease that affects us all.”
- “CrossFit Cask Strength Steps Up for Substance Abuse”
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- “Non-Profit Extends Reach During Pandemic, Provides Fitness to Thousands of Recovering Addicts Around the World”
- “Ken Walsh: Trading in Drug Highs for CrossFit Highs while Helping High School Students”
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