AKRON — Likening restoration from drug and alcohol dependancy to hiking a mountain may well be regarded as cliché. For Akron resident and private instructor James Anderson, it was a fact Oct. 14.
That was once the date that Anderson marked the nine-year anniversary of his sobriety from medication and alcohol by means of touring to Africa and scaling the arena’s tallest freestanding mountain — Mount Kilimanjaro, which is nineteen,341 toes.
Anderson stated the accomplishment was once the newest in a sequence of bodily demanding situations he has undertaken to acknowledge annual milestones in his restoration.
“I tackle huge demanding situations each and every Oct. 14 for my ‘blank date’ to remind myself and others what’s imaginable. I’ve finished a 50-mile Extremely Run; 8 hours of burpees for my 8-year; hiked Trolltunga in Norway; [completed the] Spartan Race [a top obstacle course race]; and climbed Kilimanjaro two times,” stated Anderson. “I really like to bear in mind the battle of each and every degree [of addiction]; when I used to be the usage of, getting blank and staying blank.”
Anderson, 34, stated his lively dependancy lasted 10 years, starting when he was once 16 years outdated. He stated that whilst that decade was once a “day by day battle” that endured for various causes till he made the lifestyles converting determination to give up.
“There was once a brand new set of issues seeking to reside with out medication and alcohol,” he stated. “I’d relied in this as a serve as of my day-to-day lifestyles. While you get blank, it’s important to relearn the right way to establish emotions and socially engage with other folks.”
A Cleveland local, Anderson stated his restoration adventure led him to each transfer to Akron and start his skilled health occupation. The latter, he stated, started as a wholesome bodily outlet within the early days of his sobriety.
“However I noticed numerous other folks whose battle with health was once the similar as dependancy,” he stated. “Perhaps as a result of they have been too shy or felt like they didn’t know what they have been doing or felt silly. I sought after to know the psychological sides of that.”
Anderson was an authorized private instructor and for the previous 4 years has labored out of American Muscle and Health in Inexperienced. He stated he feels his private tale isn’t such a lot about dependancy as it’s about surroundings objectives and overcoming adversity, regardless of how insurmountable it will appear.
His determination so as to add Mount Kilimanjaro to his listing of annual bodily demanding situations first got here on his five-year anniversary in 2018, and it didn’t move in any respect as deliberate. Anderson stated his hopes have been dashed on that strive simply 3 hours from the summit, when he was hypoxic and the scientific team of workers needed to rush him off the mountain.
“The variable was once the altitude. The place we are living, our genetic make-up, all determines how other folks reply to that,” he stated, including that no longer conducting his function took him aback. “It was once stunning to place always and energy into it and no longer be capable to do it.”
Anderson stated the equipment he had realized to make use of thru his restoration helped him each off and on the mountain.
“I permitted that I didn’t [accomplish his goal] that point, however I couldn’t reside on it,” he stated. “I’d say I used to be in short bruised.”
Armed with extra revel in and correct hypoxia drugs, Anderson’s triumphant Kilimanjaro climb in 2022 was once “superb and humbling.”
“It was once the entirety I assumed it will be after which some, however I used to be lovely exhausted,” he stated. “And lets best keep there for approximately 10 or quarter-hour [due to high altitudes].”
Anderson stated he’s already having a look forward to his 10-year anniversary problem in 2023, which he stated generally is a 100-mile staying power run. He stated he hopes his accomplishments can also be an inspiration to any individual going through any problem.
“No longer everyone goes to climb Mount Kilimanjaro or run a 100 miler,” he stated. “However they’ll have their very own model of it — to return to school and end their level or get started their very own trade or discover ways to play guitar. One thing you all the time sought after to do or stalled out since you didn’t assume it was once imaginable.”

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