SKIING AT KILLINGTON MOUNTAIN: Winter Recreation for Young Men in Sobriety

Dave Freedman, a member of Turnbridge’s support staff, organizes recreational activities for Phase I of the drug rehab program.  On Tuesday, December 11, Dave and five of Turnbridge’s Phase I extended care clients hopped in a van and headed to the slopes for a day of fun in the snow at Killington Mountain Resort & Ski Area. Mike M. was one of the clients who attended, and he said that the skiing trip was great.  “We all stuck together for the most part, and had a really good time.”  Mike believes that recreational activities are definitely beneficial to the recovery process.  “I haven’t been doing much physical activity over the past several years,” Mike said.  “I got really lazy, but Turnbridge’s support has encouraged and pushed me to go forward.  These activities help me realize how much I really enjoy things like this and how much I want to get back into them.” Max G. also attended the skiing trip, and has since moved on into Turnbridge’s Phase II.  “Out of all the activities so far at Turnbridge, I’ve got to say that the ski trip was my favorite,” Max said.  “The best part was going down an impossible hill with Gary and making it to the bottom alive.”  Before coming to Turnbridge, Max attended a wilderness drug treatment program out west.  The drug rehab program there consisted of a few activities, but they were all hosted on-site.  “Turnbridge’s rec activities are more organized, and get us much more involved,” Max said.  “These trips get us away from the Phase I house for a while, and get the adrenaline pumping.  Turnbridge gets us really involved, and that definitely get your mind off of stuff.” According to Dave, recreational activities and exercise are a large component in the recovery program at Turnbridge for young men in sobriety. “It helps build camaraderie,” Dave said.  “It gets the guys who stay sober together to depend on each other.  These guys spend a lot of time gathering in small groups, and when they do these activities together it helps take them out of the clinical side and into the real-world side.  It helps for the guys to build trust and to get to know one another on a deeper level.” Dave is currently planning out the next sober group activities.  “We’re doing in-door rock climbing,” Dave said.  “We’re also going to a Sound Tigers hockey game.  We may go snow-tubing on a closer mountain, and we’re going to have another two skiing trips, one to Bromley Mountain in Vermont.”  Hopefully clients can remember the rules of skiing and have fun, safely.  Like Mike says with a big smile on his face, “If you french fry when you’re supposed to pizza, you’re gonna have a bad time.”