Christopher Reese knows what it takes to change.
His life currently revolves around training for obstacle course races. But just a few years ago, he was headed in a very different direction.
When he was just 12 years old, Chris ventured into the dangerous world of drugs and alcohol, which then led him to steal and lie to feed his addictions. Constantly in and out of trouble, he was eventually placed into a rehabilitation program designed to help him overcome his challenges.
“Days turned into weeks, and weeks into months before I began to prove to myself I could change,” he says.
Eventually, he earned opportunities to travel with his counselors all over the United States. He was given the chance to bike across great distances, rock climb, and go caving. All of these experiences helped him develop a love for fitness and the outdoors. He was able to focus his energy on positive outlets instead of negative ones.
After he was released from the rehabilitation facility, “I went back home and continued to use and practice the positive, motivating lessons I had learned.” One morning, his brother told him about an obstacle course race that would soon be taking place in his area. He signed up, and the course of his life changed forever.
“Months turned into years and obstacle course racing has become my utmost passion. Not a day goes by where I don’t think about my next race and the next way I can challenge myself. These races have made me who I am today by shaping me into a passionate person who has come to love health and fitness. Mentally and physically strong has now become my way of life. I learned that I am strong, brave and courageous; ready to tackle the next obstacle life has in store for me.”
Chris began competing in Savage Race in 2013 and has participated in both our Ohio and Pennsylvania events. This year, Chris’ goal is to place in the top 3. “Savage has some serious terrain in OH and PA, so that will always continue to be a challenge,” he says. “Savage Race is a challenging course. I always try to do the best that I can.”
He dedicates much of his time to training, doing two-a-days – mornings in the gym and evenings outdoors. He focuses a lot on his lower body, believing that “having very strong legs helps drastically in races.” Outdoor training includes running, sandbag carries, tire flips, hill sprints, and more. Each Sunday, Chris prepares his meals for the week. His primary fuel is chicken, rice, and vegetables.
In addition to a strong focus on his training, Chris also makes it a priority to reach out to troubled youth and share his story. His goal is to encourage them and inspire them, letting them know that there are other, better choices out there. As these young people complete their rehabilitation time and are able to go back home, he tries to keep in touch and provide support when they need it. His example of change is helping them to change, too.
Although Chris’s path to a life on track has been challenging, he has conquered many obstacles. Rather than conquering the obstacles that addiction placed in his life, he now conquers obstacles out on the race course. He believes, “You can do it. All you have to do is want it. Continually tell yourself all your hard work will pay off. You can come from rock bottom and be at the top, and all you have to do is want it bad enough.”
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