A Gym Founded By a Recovering Addict Is Helping Others Come Back to Life

Five years ago, doctors told Krissy Mae Cagney that if she didn't stop drinking, she would probably die. Krissy Mae was just 24 years old at the time. She had been fighting an addiction to alcohol and cocaine, among other drugs, for about 10 years. But this was a more serious wake-up call. Krissy Mae decided that this time quitting drugs was going to be different, and she turned to fitness to help her stick with sobriety.


Two years later, after throwing herself into CrossFit and powerlifting and successfully staying sober, Krissy Mae decided to turn her personal experience into a career—and a mission. The former addict opened a fitness center in Reno, Nevada called Black Iron Gym.

Black Iron is a place to build physical strength, yes, but also mental fitness and psychological health. Recovering addicts can find counseling programs at the gym, and Krissy Mae has also launched a fundraising initiative called Reps for Recovery that covers memberships to the gym for people who can't afford it.

It is no coincidence that many addicts have found solace in exercise, according to Krissy Mae.

"For me, you have to chase a high when you're using," she says, "and with powerlifting, it was the same thing."

The reliability of having a place to go, where other people in recovery can help encourage and support you, is a huge help to addicts, Krissy Mae says.

"If you're sober, whether it's one year or five years or 10 years, you're never going stop treating your illness... The biggest thing is just taking it one day at a time," says the former cocaine addict turned successful business owner. She knows better than most.

If you want to learn more about Black Iron Gym, check out their website. And to read and watch more stories about recovery and resilience, visit us on Facebook or sign up for our Only Good News Newsletter!

Photos via MSN.

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