Once homeless addict now runs his life to help others
In this case, however, one mile was not enough. Instead, Hall ran all 13.1 miles of the Aramco Houston Half Marathon, held Jan. 13 as a way to raise money and awareness for SEARCH Homeless Services.
The half marathon was just one of many goals Hall has accomplished in his quest to help others on their road to sobriety, a path Hall is all too familiar with himself. A former drug addict who spent time living on the streets, Hall has firsthand experience with homelessness and the recovery process.
“I was working on getting sober myself, and everywhere I would be, even if I was supposed to be around people who were sober, I would be talking to people and find out they were substance users,” Hall said. “And I thought how am I supposed to stay sober if everybody uses drugs or alcohol?”
When he voiced his concerns to a friend, the friend told him about some classes that would allow Hall to become a chemical dependency counselor, and he jumped at the opportunity.
Hall heard that SEARCH was one of the charities that would benefit from participating in the half marathon. Having previously run in various other races, Hall was not completely new to long-distance running, so he added on to his current training regimen.
“I originally signed up for the marathon, and I trained for it for a while” Hall said. “But then I had a couple of bad run days, so I backed off to the half marathon.”
The race was a success, and now Hall has returned to his day-to-day duties as a dependency counselor, where he works with chronically homeless individuals -- people who tend to have some sort of physical or mental disability, or substance abuse problem. Although Hall’s main goal is to help others, he is also helping himself in the process.
“The thing that’s really helped me is that by walking in and working with people who have substance abuse disorders, I can’t lie to them” Hall said. “Over the years, my social circle has completely departed from anybody who uses drugs and alcohol, and consequently the only people that I know who are using are people who end up being clients.”
About Don Hall
Occupation: Chemical dependency counselor
Community Connection: Ran half marathon in Montrose
Fast Fact: Working on becoming a certified personal trainer
Chris Marshall is a freelance writer. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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