Thursday mornings are a special treasure for the women’s’ program at Oregon Trail Recovery. The ladies wake up with excitement and mild dread as they dress for the day in workout gear. They spend time making nutritious fruit smoothies and talking together about their goals for the morning while drinking their fruit concoctions. There is a quiet determination shared between them. They load into the vans and head to morning group at the office.
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When they arrive, they walk into a large open space and meet a young, vibrant workout teacher named Priscilla. Just seeing Priscilla brings excitement and anticipation for the challenges ahead. The women begin to discuss their personal health and develop fitness goals for the week. They learn and discuss what a healthy diet consists of and tell of their personal victories in overcoming old eating habits. They discuss the connection between their physical health and their mental and emotional health. They share openly with one another about the hopes they have to let go of harmful habits and choose healthy ones.

Active addiction is destructive and detrimental to physical health. Many women experience severe changes in their health due to their addiction. Choosing sobriety daily is the first step toward a lifetime of physical recovery from the consequences of addiction. The positive effects of exercise and healthy eating are absolutely fundamental in the recovery process.

After this short discussion and educational session, the ladies are up on their feet and the music is playing. Priscilla teaches High Intensity Interval Training, designed to incorporate bursts of high energy workouts with periods of rest. The women are running and jumping and lunging to the beats of the music. They are focusing on their breathing as they take times of rest. They are encouraging one another and pressing into the challenge as they experience fatigue. Each woman takes responsibility for herself and her personal workout while also acknowledging the needs of others. It is a fantastic group experience; each individual being strengthened by the unity of the group as a whole.

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The gratitude of the women upon completion of Thursday morning groups is palpable. They hug one another and promise to hold each other accountable for their new goals. They have smiles on their faces and laughter is in the air. They leave with renewed hope for their new lives in recovery. Here at Oregon Trail Recovery, physical health and wholeness is a reality coming to life!

~Ashley Newman