SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) For some it has been a lifesaver. For others it provides a safe environment as they continue to recover from addiction. For many it is just fun, a place to connect with other people fighting the same battle.
Fit To Recover is celebrating its 2nd anniversary. It's billed as Salt Lake's only sober gym, but it is much more than that.
Several years ago it was the dream of founder Ian Acker who was hopelessly lost in the despair of alcohol and drug addiction. "It was gripping," says Acker. "First thing I thought about when I woke up and the last thing I did before I went to bed."
He was in and our of jail and had no real purpose in life except to get high. At the age of 26 he decided to start a new beginning or remain hopelessly addicted until he died.
He believed that heavy exercise would be one way to help someone stay sober, so he advertised on Facebook a "boot camp" style exercise class at a local park. 4 people showed up the first week. The number soon grew to 50 and Acker knew he had found a purpose in life.
He managed to raise the funds to lease a nondescript warehouse on the city's near west side at 789 West, 1390 South.
Clients from local rehab facilities began making it part of their weekly routines and FTR now serves about 350 people a week.
FTR has branched out from just maintaining one's body through exercise, to improving the odds of staying sober by eating the right foods, getting the creative juices flowing through art and music and also helping others through various service projects.
For Acker it is a dream come true because he now has both meaning and sobriety in his life, something he loves to share with others starting the same path he began several years ago.
He looks at Fit To Recover as "making the community better. Making Salt Lake City a better place even if it's just a 5500 square foot building. We're trying to make a difference."
FTR is holding a second anniversary party on Friday, February 10.
Here is the link for purchasing tickets: www.fit2recover.org/tickets.html
General donations to FTR can be made via the main website: fit2recover.org
Good 4 Utah's Randall Carlisle will emcee the evening. He, too, is a recovering alcoholic.
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