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“It got to the point where I was waking up and drinking. I’d have to drink just to get on the subway. I’d have to drink in a movie theatre to go to the movies. I’d have to drink to do everything. And then I was medicating myself. It was pretty bad. I actually started seeing physical effects where my balance was really screwed up. I remember being at a detox center in Yonkers and it was like Thanksgiving. I saw a guy just banging his head on the wall and I guess he had wet brain. I got a glimpse of where I was headed and it really scared me. Yet, I continued to do what I was doing and it got even worse a few more years after that. I’ll never forget that…I come from a pretty large family. I’m the oldest of six and I just remember my mom and sister begging me to get help. Even that wasn’t enough. Eventually, I don’t know what happened in that last treatment center. I woke up and was like, ‘You’ve done everything that you can do. Now, it’s just time to listen to these people and get some help.’ Once I committed – I’m big about commitment now – everything just changed.”
Don Snellings is a runner for the Henwood Hounds and is one of the founders of FICS NYC. We sat down with Don to share his story of how he started running cross country as a high schooler and then went about a normal college experience without much athletics. He started drinking and partying, which led him down an abusive path with drugs and alcohol. He opens up about how bad those years got for him, which led him to seek professional help since his family saw him spiraling out of control. Don shares how he found the turning point and was able to channel his energy into a much healthier lifestyle.
Don also takes us through some of the struggles he’s had with injuries and the preventive measures he’s taking (and you can take) to get back to racing.
This is Runners of NYC. A biweekly podcast from CITIUS MAG. Hosts Leigh Anne Sharek and Chris Chavez look to bring you many of the untold stories behind luminaries and legends that make up New York City’s running culture. You can catch the latest episode of the podcast on iTunes so subscribe and leave a five-star review. We are also on Spotify!
Support for this episode comes from FICS NYC (206 West 23rd Street, 3rd Floor) a fitness recovery and wellness studio. They have curated the top fitness recovery and wellness machines and combined them with classic techniques to elevate each individual’s pursuit of natural performance and overall physical and mental wellbeing. FICS will concierge you through their modalities and provide you a space to relax, recover, and unwind at their modern-day athlete’s spa. Use code RUNNERSOFNYC to get 20% off all services, packages and memberships (only for the first month). First-time users also get their choice of one modality for free on their initial visit.
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