100,000 steps (Part II) Print
Fonder Ponders
Thursday, Nov. 05, 2015 -- 12:00 AM

Fonder Ponders column by Jackson Fonder

(Part II of a two-part series.)

Thank you for your prayers last week during my Grand Canyon run.

My journey started with a group of four men and two women ages 25 to 58. At 3:10 a.m. on October 26, we knew we had a long trail ahead of us. While it was daunting and emotions were mixed with fear and anticipation, we all commented about the beauty and light of the moon.

Parallels to Hope Haven

As we descended into the abyss, I began to draw parallels to our clients at Hope Haven. The miles began to fly by, and before we knew it, we were about to cross the Colorado River.

At this point, one of our runners acknowledged that they weren't ready to complete the journey, but would come back at another time. This reminded me of a client testimonial, "I feel for the first time I am ready to maintain my sobriety. I have completed and failed many treatments in the past."

Later in the day, we started our steep climb to the North Rim. At this point I realized that although I completed this adventure before, this was my first time with a group. I was comforted knowing we were in this together, and it motivated me.

At Hope Haven, one of our clients remarked, "The sharing of experiences helps me. You feel like a band of brothers and you are not alone in your fight."

Recovery process

The day continued to unfold with heat, dehydration, and a range of emotions. Although my fellow runners were just ahead in the distance with only three miles to go, I felt alone and isolated.

This happens often in the recovery process. When introduced to a drug rehab program, it's normal to feel lonely. The people who enabled your substance abuse are suddenly gone.

This is why it's critical to find fellowship in recovery -- to replace one network with a healthier, more positive network.

As I made my way out of the canyon, the same moon was rising over my back and lighting my path. I felt like it represented the hope and light felt by our Hope Haven clients. And although my event is complete, people in recovery will always bravely continue their journey.


Jackson Fonder is president and CEO of Catholic Charities Madison. Contact Hope Haven at 608-251-8881 or visit www.HopeHavenHelps.org