I started using alcohol at age 15 and it felt like the perfect solution to my childhood trauma and dysfunctional home life. My values changed almost immediately, and I went from having LDS background to the other end of the spectrum. I got a DUI when I was 16 and many underage alcohol misdemeanors. I was kicked out of high school and was ashamed that I had a GED and not a high school diploma. I was pregnant at age 18 and was able to stop drinking but started again shortly after my daughter was born. I didn’t have any more legal consequences after that first DUI, mostly because of luck. My biggest consequence from drinking was that it stunted my growth as a human being.

My recovery from alcohol has really been about recovering from the reasons why I drank, which I can address now that I am not drinking. My threshold for being unhappy was fairly low, in comparison to others’ stories. This is not to undermine or deny what I went through. I had withdrawal symptoms from alcohol, shitty relationships, and no sense of self. When people in AA say, “If I drink, I will die,” I don’t entirely relate. If I drink, I may die eventually and my disease will continue to progress, but more likely, I will be miserable in my existence. I won’t achieve my purpose, be connected to a higher power, or have fulfilling relationships. I have learned that my addiction to alcohol is a symptom of trauma, and drinking was merely a coping skill.  Alcohol worked very well to numb my pain and it helped me disassociate. I didn’t even know I was disassociating until I started my recovery journey. It becomes more and more apparent that I didn’t know how to cope with my feelings or know how to be comfortable in my skin.

My personal work and successes have been on self-forgiveness and love, forgiving others, learning healthy boundaries, and being the best mother possible. I am in recovery from alcohol and co-dependency. I am learning how to feel my feelings, cope with life, and stand up for myself and my worth. I live in Idaho, and I am a single mom to 3 amazing, beautiful daughters. I am so proud of myself for breaking the intergenerational patterns in my family.

My curiosity about sobriety started about 3 years ago. I started listening to podcasts in the beginning of my recovery and found The SHAIR Podcast with Omar Pinto. I loved his voice and his energy. I have found his interviews to have a profound impact on my ability to see my addiction as an opportunity and not a dirty secret. I eventually became a member of his FB group and then joined the SRC where I have connected with so many amazing people in recovery. I feel the SRC group has kept me sober.

I can access meetings via Zoom which has been crucial to me since I am at home with my kids and haven’t found an AA group in my community where I feel connected. The connection with others in the group has saved me from loneliness and isolation. I have found a sponsor in one of these groups who was willing to complete the 12 steps with me which has been transformational!  I am almost 5 months in my recovery from alcohol and 95% of the time, I don’t even think about drinking. I am so grateful for the SRC, the SHAIR podcast, my sponsor, the step work, and online recovery.

Today we have David Clark back on the show for an exclusive Recovery Revolution author spotlight. He is the author of Out There: A Story of Ultra Recovery and is here to talk about his new book, Broken Open: Mountains, Demons, Treadmills And a Search for Nirvana.

Learn about the deep cathartic effects of writing and running and how they allow you to deconstruct who you were, helping you to eliminate false identities and self-limiting beliefs while also leaving a blank page to build a new ultra version of you!

David Clark

DAVID CLARK lives just outside of Boulder, CO. He is a father of three, an accomplished endurance athlete, a practicing Buddhist and die-hard New York Rangers Fan. He is the author of the bestselling book Out There: A Story of Ultra Recovery, and is the host of The WeAreSuperman Podcast. He is also the admissions director for Mountain Peak Recovery. David has been sober since 2005.
David has been featured on CBS, ABC, ESPN, Runners World, Men’s Health and many other national media outlets. Amongst his many athletic accomplishments he ran the Boston Marathon four times in one day, 48 hours non-stop on a treadmill and has completed some of the toughest endurance races on the planet.

Broken Open: Mountains, Demons, Treadmills And a Search for Nirvana

David Clark is a formerly obese alcoholic and fast food junkie who found a new life in running. Now, thirteen years after his transformation, he shares his inspiring story of taking running to the extreme edge of his physical and spiritual breaking points. Having run more than a hundred races, including the Leadville 100-Mile Trail Run and the Hardrock 100, David has achieved unimaginable success in the ultramarathon world, considering his humble start. From barely finishing his first 5k to running 100 miles in less than eighteen hours, David shatters the notion that the front of the pack is a birthright.

Among his many outlandish adventures, David talks about doing ten epic events in one year to celebrate his tenth year of sobriety. This mind-bending year of running included running the Boston Marathon four times in one day, running 343 laps around a high school track and running 48 hours on a treadmill. You will feel like you are running alongside him as he navigates his vision quest—all the while hallucinating and breaking from reality in one of the most epic Badwater 135 race experiences ever told.

David’s story is raw, honest and pure adrenaline-laden inspiration as he shares his unique brand of Americana and Heavy Metal Buddhism. This book has far more to offer and than just miles travelled and mountains climbed. It’s about trying to find a way station of balance somewhere in a world of extremes. It’s about running to create a legacy and develop your own inner strengths. After reading Broken Open, you’ll never doubt how strong you can be, how much you can endure, or whether or not you are capable of finding true happiness.


SHAIR 144: We Are Superman with David Clark