Krissy Mae Cagney - Founder, Mentor, Addict, Alcoholic, 5 years in recovery
My name is Krissy Mae Cagney and I have been sober from drugs and alcohol for over 5 years. I took my first drink at 11 and did my first line of cocaine at 14; then went on to abuse substances for over a decade. I developed my first of many chemical dependencies to cocaine at 17, got my first DUI soon after, experienced my first drug overdose at 18, went to jail for my first prolonged period of time at 18, and spent a lot of college on house arrest and probation. My very short stints of sobriety were court ordered, only to use the day I got out of jail, got out of treatment/rehab, or temporarily got off of probation. I was routinely put in jail for violating my probation by failing drug tests. Once I got off probation for my 3rd DUI when I was 22, I was freed from the court system; that is when things got ugly, as I no longer had anyone watching me for first time since I was 17.
I started living a double life, using every drug in the book, every day of the week. It was from 22-23 that I attempted to take my own life twice via overdose; thankfully, I was unsuccessful. Once I lost every friend I had due to my severe drug and alcohol use, I started using alone. I thought leaving Reno would solve the problem, so I hightailed it to LA/OC, only to be alienated from my mom, that last person who cared about me. After a year of bad decisions and situations, I finally had a week of traumatizing experiences, and got sober on May 28, 2013. I firmly believe lifting saved me.
I started lifting when I was a senior in high school. Weightlifting class was at 7am and I would always go (because it made me feel good), only to ditch school for the rest of the day to do drugs. I became a personal trainer at 18 (following after my mom), only to get fired from every gym I worked at for showing up high or drunk… but I always showed up, as I loved it. I started my own personal training business at 21 so that no one could fire me for showing up intoxicated… again, I always showed up. My relocation opened up many doors of opportunity for my coaching career, and I was lucky to have my career semi established down there when I got sober.
I was half-in (and very disordered) with my own fitness for my entire adult life, and it was the day that I got sober that all that changed. I dedicated myself to lifting and it changed me. I had no one when I got sober. AA proved to not align with my beliefs, despite my efforts. I had to do it all by myself, and I believe that is why I had such a hard time during my first year of sobriety. Had I had a community to engulf myself in, I think I would have made my mental transformation far sooner than I did. And that is why I started Reps4Recovery. To give back what I gave myself at the age of 25, but in a nurturing community of incredible people who care for one another.
Brandon Collins - Board Member, Mentor, Alcoholic, 5 years in recovery
My name is Brandon Collins. I’m a tattoo artist and I was addicted to what I call the “Big 3”: Alcohol, Cocaine and Cigarettes for about a decade. It started in the Marines, continued into college, then tending bar at numerous establishments in Reno, NV only exacerbated my problem.
After waking up in a jail cell for the umpteen-millionth time, followed by my third (yes 3rd) DUI, I realized that I had wasted 10 years of my life and I decided it was time. It was time to make a change or I was going to be spending more time in a box or worse, dead. I quit EVERYTHING cold-turkey; drinking, drugs and cigarettes for almost two years. Court ordered AA/NA wasn’t helping either. I’m not wired that way. I needed to do this on my own. I decided to focus on some of my oldest passions; fitness, travel and the outdoors. That was about 5 years ago and I couldn’t be in a happier place.
I’m not 100% sober, I’m not perfect. I am however, an example of how you can change your life. You can beat addiction. It doesn’t control you, you can control it. That’s what I want to share with the world and why Reps4Recovery is so important to me. I want people take back the power and help them be better versions of themselves.
Colin Lamber - Strength Coach, Mentor, Addict, 3 years in recovery
My name is Colin Lambert, I’m 22 years old, and I have been sober since I was 19. I used on and off from the age of 16 until the point that I overdosed on a cocktail of opiates and other drugs. I was placed into a treatment program at 19 and really struggled coming to terms with the idea of getting sober “this early in my life.” Luckily, my treatment center required us to go to the gym three times per week to workout. Lifting was the first thing I can remember enjoying while sober, and it showed me that I could have “sober fun.” I firmly believe that developing this healthy hobby is what has allowed me to stay sober for these past 3+ years. When I moved to Reno in 2017, I was thrilled to get involved with a program that provides others the same opportunity I had: to lift and workout as a means of maintaining and enriching sobriety.
The fact that this gym has over 80 Reps 4 Recovery members is proof in and of itself that this program works. Our members are wonderful to be around, and we’ve been able to form very close connections due to shared experiences and similar past trauma. Beginning with this common ground provides a positive environment where people can escape from their own thoughts or troubles while at the same building healthy habits to hopefully last a lifetime.
I am now a strength coach helping mentor the R4R community towards a healthier and happier sobriety.
Claire Clarke - CrossFit Coach, Mentor, Addict, Alcoholic, 1 year in recovery
My name is Claire Clark, I’m 22, and I have been in and out of recovery since I was 17. After treatment at 17, I was active in 12-step programs which worked for me until my addictions showed up in other areas in my life: food, cigarettes, any many other unhealthy areas. I would put together a couple years and then relapse, until I was basically known as a chronic relapser. After a bad breakup I decided I was done with this life of extreme highs and lows and unstable sobriety.
After a suggestion from my sisters friend I found Krissy’s Instagram and the next day I found myself at the front office of Black Iron gym talking to a coach about on boarding for my first CrossFit class. My fitness has changed a lot, as I have gone from one class a day, to over training, and now I am following a specific training program that I get to do with some of my closest friends. The biggest difference is that not only am I sober, but I really care about my health. I have my nutrition dialed in, I pay attention to my recovery, I mobilize. These might seem small and unrelated to my sobriety, however it is what my sobriety depends on.
The members at this gym have been a huge part of my sobriety as they showed they truly cared about me until I could start caring about myself. I am not going to slip through the cracks at this gym. Yes, I have a huge passion for CrossFit and fitness in general, but it’s more than that for me. It’s about learning to love myself enough to not slowly kill myself.
Kyle Stoey - Weightlifting Coach, Mentor, Addict, 4 years in recovery.
Caleb Blackwell - CrossFit Coach, Mentor, Addict, Alcoholic, 8 years in recovery
Hi I’m Caleb Blackwell. I’m 28. I started using drugs and alcohol at 13. I quit it all cold turkey 12/23/2010 after realizing I didn’t have much of a future if I kept making the choices I was making regarding letting my addictions run my life. I just kept repeating bad mistakes.
Now, over 7 years sober, I found myself on the doorstep of Black Iron Gym, due to a recommendation from my sister, who knew of the Reps 4 Recovery program. Though I’ve been clean for awhile, my addictions manifested themselves in pretty extreme anxiety and depression that kept me looking back in the direction of drugs and alcohol. R4R helped me turn my focus towards bettering myself as a (new) athlete, and focusing inward instead of projecting negativity and anxiety outward. I am now a mentor and coach for incoming members of R4R who might need a little extra guidance or just need to talk to someone who’s been there.