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Former addict brings new recovery help to Huntington

Todd Crandell riding his bike in preparation for Iron Man. (Lila Eidi)

Todd Crandell has spent the last 24 years traveling the world and testing his limits in Iron Man Triathlons.

His racing isn't his passion though.

Addiction recovery is where his heart lies.

"At the age of 12 I made that choice to try alcohol for the first time,” Crandell said, “The next 13 years of my life was everything that addiction brings."

Alcohol turned to every substance imaginable like cocaine, pills, heroin, and meth which led to prison, homelessness, and total loss.

"You name it I did it. I smoked it. I drank it," he said, “I wanted to die, but wasn't really sure I wanted to do that either so I was kind of stuck in limbo."

That limbo ended in 1993 when he decided to get clean.

He now gives back through his recovery program Racing for Recovery that focuses on a well-rounded fitness recovery.

Some Huntington centers already have fitness components like Recovery Point.

"We encourage physical fitness for a new hobby for people coming into recovery," said Director Lara Lawson

She said the addicts at Recovery Point tend the garden, lift weights, and attend yoga classes, but their big duty is a four mile daily walk to class.

Crandell said fitness can help maintain sobriety by improving the addict's self-worth, much like it does for him.

"It's possible,” he said, “I want the person who's watching this, who is struggling with addiction, to look at me and go if that guy can do it I can do it too."

Crandell said anyone in the Huntington area who wants to take advantage of Racing for Recovery services can get in contact through the website, racingforrecovery.org, or by calling (419)824-8462.

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