One man’s experience with addiction has led to a surfing and addiction recovery program. Despite his many successes, champion class surfer Darryl Virostko became an alcoholic and methamphetamine addict. In 2008, he became sober and seven years later he is still clean and helping others achieve sobriety. When Darryl was newly sober, he discovered he felt really good and had a lot of time on his hands. He used this new energy to become completely focused on sports such as surfing, golf and tennis. Because he believes that surfing was key to his recovery, Darryl now teaches surfing and other sports in collaboration with an addiction recovery program. After making a remarkable change in his own life, he has dedicated himself to helping others integrate exercise with a healthy lifestyle.

A 2009 article in the New York Times describes this life change and its’ origin: the chilling accidents and deaths from drug use in Darryl’s home town of Santa Cruz, California. He started his FleaHab (Flea is Darryl’s nickname) program in collaboration with a local drug rehabilitation center. Darryl teaches surfing and other sports to patients who will be undergoing supervised professional alcohol and drug addiction recovery treatment.

“Addicts in the program will replace the high of drugs with the endorphin rush of strenuous physical activity,” he says in the article.

As part of 12 step recovery programs, it is suggested that addicts choose a higher power. Instead of choosing God as his higher power, “Mr. Virostko says he chose the ocean. ‘Every time I’ve surfed Mavericks, I’ve gone under a wave and I’ve said, please just let me come up. I’ve been talking to the ocean my whole life. It’s bigger and way more powerful than me.’”

This is an inspiring illustration of someone finding a new purpose in life. Mr. Virostko is sharing his experience, strength and hope to help others on their path to recovery.

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