WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Recovering from an unhealthy addiction can sometimes bring a person to healthy habits. Many sobriety seekers find solace in exercise.
The Phoenix Gym is dedicated to people in recovery and is helping thousands nationwide, and many at the location in Wichita.
Sobriety is like a muscle, it has to be conditioned and tested before being deemed successful. The Phoenix in Wichita has become a for Nick Starbird.
“I been coming here a little over a year,” Starbird said.
He’s an instructor at the location at 145 N. Wabash Ave. The life he leads now is a complete 180 from his previous situation.
“I was homeless a year ago, and I stumbled in here, and I was told I had to work out to get the shower. A much-needed shower too,” Starbird said.
He’s taking punches at turning his life around, much of which was spent in addiction.
“I went through every alcohol stage and drug stage; you can imagine the shrooms, the acid, the meth, I never discriminated. I did a little bit of everything,” Starbird said.
His road to recovery took people coming to him with ease.
“The love and the support and the distance because I didn’t trust people at first, so they gave me what I needed,” said Starbird.
Bri Shrader, engagement manager at the Phoenix, says everyone is like family.
“Everything we do is free with 48 hours, sobriety,” said Shrader. She has a different gym journey.
“In 2007, I lost my brother to an overdose, and I really wanted to do something with the community,” said Shrader.
She worked with the team bringing the Phoenix to Wichita and has a clean connection with the clients.
“I just celebrated April, three years so it’s not only huge in the aspect for my brother but for me too,” said Shrader.
Her sobriety consists of supporting others and watching their transformation, which helps the next.
“I tell them straight I was a heroin addict, I was on the street, I was lost, I was a cockroach at the bottom, I’m a 10-time felon, 40 misdemeanors, and a violent offender,” Starbird said. “Those are just labels, and now, I’m in recovery, and I want to be a better instructor, social worker, counselor, father, brother, and I can be now.”
Now, Starbird is in school to become a social worker and is paying what he’s learned forward. A life where he is stronger, wiser, and sober.
The Phoenix Wichita chapter is sponsoring an Overdose Awareness Memorial Walk. It is on Sunday, Oct. 2, from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Brightwater Bay at 4900 W. 31st St. South.
To see more Recovery Week stories by KSN’s Eddie Randle, click here.