What’s your favorite cereal?
That’s the first question that Ian Acker, Corn Pops lover, founder and CEO of Fit to Recover, asked me as we sat in his office and chatted along with three beautiful, kind hearted, and VERY fit women who work for him. Acker believes it’s a way to break the ice and bring out the child at heart. Vulnerability, connection, and safe conversation are key aspects of the fitness and recovery center that has been open since January 2015. The concept started with friends in a park and organically grew to include a full service gym, art, community, and food.
Ian studied business and played soccer during his college years. Soon after graduation his addiction took over. His experience overcoming this addiction and his love for people and physical fitness have helped him relate to others with addiction and gave him a passion for helping them find their own individual path to recovery. His gift for connecting with people on a very personal level helps set the tone of the gym. The honesty and love felt there makes anyone feel comfortable and safe.
Physical fitness helps breaks down the mental and physical barriers that keep us from connecting and getting to the core of the problem. At Fit to Recover people are able to talk during and after a training session about recovery and where they are spiritually, physically, and mentally in the long and very personal process. The organization has no tolerance for judgment, egos, shaming, or guilt. When asked what is the most important message that he wants the public to know about Fit to Recover, Acker replied, “This is a SAFE place for people to recover and to develop connection through exercise, nutrition, service, and creative expression. No shame, guilt, judgment, or ego. Just encouragement.”
Fit to Recover offers a variety of classes such as bootcamp, strength training, kettle bells, and yoga. There are team sports like volleyball and softball to encourage fun, camaraderie, and team spirit. A variety of service projects are available, such as volunteering to feed the homeless which they do twice a month. Once a week for women in recovery can connect and relate to each other in a group setting. There are also creative expression classes such as creative writing, music with a full audio recording studio, and newly added visual art classes.
On top of all of these amazing opportunities, there are classes called Food to Recover with a garden on site. Acker’s sister, Tessa Acker, a registered dietitian currently traveling the world working in the field of nutrition, will join the team in October to help expand that part of the program.
Visit www.fit2recover.org to get more information about how to get involved, donate, or attend a class.