Fitness program aims to help those in recovery

Photo by Janelle Patterson Elyse Gorby, center, demonstrates sets of weight-lifting during a free Crossfit class she hosts at Piercing Crossfit in Marietta for people in recovery.

Dumbell squats, push presses and pull-ups might sound daunting when arriving at a gym to work out for the first time in a while.

“But you don’t have to be fit, you come as you are,” explained Elyse Gorby, 30, of Reno.

Gorby is a Crossfit coach at Piercing Crossfit in Marietta and she’s also sales lead at the Marietta Adventure Company.

But what many don’t know is she’s also six years sober.

“I was really early into my sobriety when I found Crossfit and it’s done so much for my health and to really help me learn how strong I am,” said Gorby. “It’s not steps or a lot of talking, but you feel like you’ve accomplished something.”

Now, she wants to cultivate that feeling of strength and confidence by giving back to those working on their own sobriety.

“You’re so much stronger than you think you are,” she kept repeating this week during the two free classes she offers through the sponsorship of local businesses.

The classes are called AMRAP at Piercing Crossfit, standing for “as much recovery as possible.”

The free classes are offered on Sundays at 4 p.m. and Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. operating as a drop-in program open for those experiencing all forms of recovery from substance abuse to disordered eating or gambling.

Rodney Romey, 42, of Marietta, has been a regular of the new classes since their inception at the beginning of February.

“It’s not the same as AA, we don’t have to talk about what brings us here,” he explained between sets. “But it feels good to be surrounded by other people in similar boats.”

Romey shared on Sunday that his life was in transition at work, so he was focusing on gratitude and drinking more water to stay on track.

“Then maybe after things settle down, I’ll quit smoking,” he added.

Nicole Hartleben, 37, of Marietta, brought five residents of Brandi’s Legacy to Sunday’s class, working out alongside those she counsels at the women’s rehabilitation center outside of Marietta.

“I’m a counselor… with one of my clients I tried to put it in her treatment plan to come,” laughed Hartleben. “I’m grateful to get to work in a facility I love helping women recover just like I did.”

Casandra Harris, 28, a Brandi’s Legacy resident, said feeling the endorphin rush this week helped to combat not only postpartum feelings one month after childbirth but also helps in her recovery from addiction.

“It’s an awful way to live, not sober. I’m sick of being in the bondage of addiction,” said Harris. “I’m supposed to graduate from the program soon… I have babies now and I have myself to be healthy for. This felt good.”

Gorby said she’s next working to set up a sustainable fund for the program in 2021, ironing out sponsorship commitments with local employers and potential partnerships with local nonprofits.

The program’s schedule and progress can be tracked on Facebook at AMRAP at Piercing Crossfit.

Janelle Patterson can be reached at jpatterson@mariettatimes.com.

If you go:

• What: Free Crossfit classes for individuals in recovery.

• When: Sundays at 4 p.m. and Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m.

• Where: Piercing Crossfit, 119 Pike St.

Source: Elyse Gorby.