In April the Alternative Peer Group put on the first ever Spartan DEKA at Camp Rhino. This program was originally built for the students at Mission High School, but then expanded to include adolescents in the Las Vegas Youth Drug Court. The event was also opened to the public to help build the event for future years.
The goal of this event, as well as future fitness events with APG, is to continue to build the bridge between fitness and recovery. The mind-body connection continues to show up in addiction research and addiction treatment, and there is a good reason for that. When the mind is focused on healthy goals it can rewire the addiction-brain. Instead of the mind obsessing over substances, the mind learns to harness that focus and put it into more purposeful, healthy outlets. Fitness, particularly fitness that includes goal-setting (like you would do for a Spartan DEKA) replaces addiction with healthy, lifelong habits.
Ryan was one of the APG students who completed the DEKA. Ryan was kind enough to let us interview them and get their opinion on the event. If you’re curious about how exercise and goal-setting supports recovery, here is some insight from Ryan!
1. What did you think about the Deka event? Are there any moments that stand out in your memory?
“The deka strong event was awesome and fun. I enjoyed the sled workout. It was my favorite, and it stays in my memory.
2. Did you learn anything about yourself from experience?
“I learned that I’m stronger than I thought and I have a lot of upper body strength that I didn’t know I had.”
3. How do you think fitness and exercise can help a person in recovery?
“Fitness and exercise helps a lot with someone in recovery because it gives you that high on life feeling.”
4. Would you do another Deka event?
“I would gladly do a deka event again and I actually want to know when the next one is so I can see if I can sign up to do it.”
5. What is one fitness goal that you have in the future?
“My fitness goal is to lose 25 pounds or at least gain weight in muscles and not in fat.”
If you are still having trouble visualizing the event itself, below are some images of the kids during their waves. If you’re inspired by what you see we hope you’ll contribute to the event in upcoming years. We are always looking for donations, volunteers, or even participants!
*All images were taken by Tony Maher.