Running for Recovery: Help me celebrate life!

In 2009, I left prison as a 233-pound alcoholic and running was the furthest thing from my mind. I was at rock bottom in every possible way, dealing with mental health issues from my combat deployments to Afghanistan and attempting to cope with many other issues. I needed to make some radical changes that seemed impossible. Turning my life around seemed impossible. Running seemed impossible. I remember that my first 5k in 2010 was very painful. More than seven years later, and more than 80 pounds lighter, I will run for six hours on a treadmill on December 10 to raise money as part of The Herren Project Ultra marathon team. My ultimate goal is to continue to raise awareness and show that recovery is possible.

As a recovering alcoholic and now ultramarathoner, I can say that I am truly grateful for the support I received from my family, friends and the trail-running community along the way as I faced my demons, my fears and my self-doubts. Running gave me my life back and connected me back to the community. Ultrarunning helped me conquer my addiction, keeps my body and mind body strong, helped redefine my identity and change my behaviors and turned my weaknesses into strengths.

Personally, I can attest that recovery did not come easily for me. Sadly, many of those lost in addiction are not ready to do whatever it takes to reap the benefits of recovery. Many of those needing treatment don’t have insurance or they lack the funds to get the treatment they need. I am truly grateful for programs like The Herren Project because that is how I got into treatment.

Please support me and The Herren Project Ultra Team as we attempt to raise $250,000 to go directly to the treatment for those who want it but don’t have the resources. Founded in 2011 by former professional basketball player Chris Herren, The Herren Project is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to providing treatment navigation to families affected by addiction, prevention and education initiatives and mentoring programs. The Herren Project’s programs and initiatives are a direct response to the increasing number of young people across the United States that are experimenting, using and suffer from addiction to drugs and alcohol … or are at risk for such abuse.

I invite the community to come out on Dec. 10 between 8 a.m. and  2 p.m. and visit me as I take on a new challenge.

Thanks to Michelle McGinness and 24/7 Body Central LLC, I will be hopping on a treadmill for six hours of self-inflicted suffering for those still out there! For those of you that know me, know that anything over 10 minutes on a “dreadmill” is torture for me! The suffering on a treadmill is nothing compared to the suffering I experienced when I was out drinking! Help me end the year with an empowering vision of strength and perseverance in a time when many get lost in the oblivion of addiction. Let’s erase those past holiday memories of humility with a measure of redemption and action to help others. Help me celebrate life!

My fundraising goal is $2,500. Giving the gift of hope and recovery is the best gift you can give to those still suffering and their families. On Dec. 10, I will be filled with the love from all of you. To sweeten the pot a little, in the spirit of Christmas, I will run for an hour in my pink bunny suit … aka Ralphie from a Christmas Story. ‘

Come out and visit me. I am more than willing to share some of my story with you … share some smiles or share some miles.

Come share what inspires you!

Come sign my copy of David Clark’s book “Out there: A Story of Ultra Recovery” and Charlie Engle’s book, “Running Man.”

Always here to lend a helping hand to those still suffering or their families. Just reach out and say those words I struggled with for a long time – “I need help!”

Please share and help me get the word out!

Online donations can be made at: www.crowdrise.com/running-for-recovery1/fundraiser/seanmacmillen.

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