From: Chicago, Illinois
What do you do for a living? I am second generation at Fox Vending, Inc – a vending, micro market, and coffee service company my father (The Chairman) started in 1962.
How did you first connect with Herren Project?
Do you believe in serendipity? I do, or at least I do now, because I was introduced to HP through a serendipitous moment on Facebook. Glen Harrington had posted his story in Running Motivation, a Facebook group with over 100,000 members. The chance of me seeing this post is like finding a needle in a haystack. At the time I had not only committed to becoming a runner, something I had wanted to do for three decades, but I was also in the midst of a 2020 sobriety challenge and had my own accountability group on Facebook. So, I private messaged him, gave him the Fox readers digest version of my story, and asked if it was OK if I shared his post in my group. Not only did he respond right away, he immediately introduced me to Herren Project as he thought I’d be a good fit. I’d say he made the right call!
What is your interest in/connection to recovery?
My very first introduction into the AA community was my first ala-teen meeting at 10 years old when my mother went into her first 28-day treatment program. She would go to 4 total in her lifetime. Ultimately, my mom died of lung cancer in 2016, but addiction took her life long before. It was really the wedge between us my whole adult life. But really, it was the overdose death of my youngest brother to heroin that sent my life into a tailspin in 2019, one that I knew was not sustainable. After Justin passed, I threw a pretty epic pity party for myself. And once I called “last call” on that circus I knew I had to dedicate my life to helping those like him (and my mom) so that his life’s struggles, and hers, would never be in vain.
Who is someone who inspires you?
Aside from Pam and the rest of my teammates? Rich Roll has been a pretty influential force in my life over the last year. Ever since reading his book, and delving into his podcast, I’ve found endless inspiration in his words. His introspection, honesty, authenticity, and raw storytelling really communicates to people that you can be both imperfect and badass, all at the same time. I’m currently in a deep dive of his podcast episodes and listening to episode 96 is like listening to someone describe me, to a tee, except he’s describing himself – right down to being a libra, being a control freak, and always searching for balance, even though there really is no such thing. I went so far as to get a balance tattoo in my mid 30’s because I thought seeing it every day would inspire me. I wish I could blame that on being young and dumb, and maybe out late one night, but nope. I was mid-thirties, sober as a judge and it was about 4 in the afternoon (insert eye roll here).
Every day I write in a gratitude journal and along with that, I write down “ten things I made happen in ten years” as if they’ve already happened. For instance, I write down “I was a guest on the Rich Roll podcast”. I strive for this not so I can have my own personal degree of fame. But having listened to endless episodes of his now, I see a pattern with his guests and it’s something I strive to emulate. Rich Roll chooses guests that are making an impact, inspiring people to be the best version of themselves, and ultimately changing the world in doing so. I want to make that kind of an impact, for my mom and brother, because they never got their chance. So even if I’m never really a guest on his podcast, I’d like my life’s work to be making such an impact that I’d be worthy of the invitation. I recently had the chance to meet with him and it was the highlight of my 4th decade, that’s for sure.
What’s your favorite pastime or hobby?
If you asked me this a few years ago I would have said golf, but there are only so many hours in a day and golf is time-consuming! Nowadays I find myself committing my time to running and getting dragonolia off the ground, along with running my family business. I also love to travel and do so as often as possible. Luckily, I can often tie in running so it’s a win-win. But I still love golf and can’t wait to have more time to swing my clubs!
What are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of my authenticity. What you see is what you get with me. I’m an open book, willing to tell my story and share my truths, even the ugly ones if it would help one other person feel less alone in their struggles. I’m also specifically proud of what I’ve done with my life over the last 10 years. I have suffered through a lot of personal loss and pain and my life trajectory was on a slippery downward spiral to nowhere. But somehow, I dug down deep, recognized the changes I needed to make to live the life I’ve seen in my dreams since my 20’s, put a plan in place, and hit go. It’s been full speed ahead and I am never looking back.
What does serving as a Herren Project Ambassador mean to you?
It means that everything I’ve endured up until now has had a purpose. It means I’m on the right path and I could not be more grateful or more proud.