ROCovery Fitness was founded somewhat by accident in January, 2015 when two sober individuals struggling with sobriety, Yana Khashper and Sean Smith, posted to Facebook that they were going on a hike and invited other sober individuals to come along. About a dozen people showed up for that first hike and in no time, the hikes became weekly and the numbers of hikers began to grow. United in both their sobriety and shared interest in physical activity, the group added rock climbing and morning workouts to their calendars. (In fact, local businesses invited them to use their facilities during certain hours at no charge.)
By September, Yana and Sean incorporated ROCovery Fitness and in March, 2016, the organization received 501(c) 3 nonprofit status.
Flash forward to May 1st of this year and ROCovery Fitness (now with more than 500 members) has just celebrated the grand opening of its own facility; a clubhouse built in a space donated by an anonymous donor who lost her son to a fatal heroin overdose and wanted to build recovery support in the community. According to Yana, based on RSVPs for the opening, they were expecting 100 guests. Instead, nearly 300 (including representatives from the treatment and recovery communities, the District Attorney’s office, City Council members, the Office of Mental Health) showed up to voice support for this critically important community organization.
When asked about the impact ROCovery has had on individual members, Yana had countless stories to share. For example, one of the organization’s most active members (and volunteers) just celebrated his first year in sobriety. He first came to learn about ROCovery while in an intensive re-entry program. At the time, he was struggling to connect in a 12-step program and had difficulty socializing. One of his fellow residents brought him along on a ROCovery hike and he instantly connected with the other guys. Shortly after graduating to a halfway house he ran into one of the guys from ROCovery who encouraged him to come back and he did. Since that time he has come every day and participants in every event in any weather. He has credited ROCovery with saving his life and frequently brings family members to participate in activities as well. Yana and Sean recently received a note from his mom thanking them for saving her son’s life. Doesn’t get much better than that!
While ROCovery continues to offer a number of outdoor activities, the new clubhouse provides opportunities for workouts, meditation, yoga, social gatherings and more. As of this writing, clubhouse hours vary and will grow as more volunteers to help staff the facility become available. In addition to daily walk-in hours when members can stop in to work out or just enjoy a cup of coffee with peers in recovery, at least two activities (indoor and outdoor) are currently offered every day of the week. Attendance varies by activity. Members vary in age from early 20’s to 60’s with the majority in their mid to late 20’s and early 30’s. (Youth under 21 can participate as long as they’re accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.)
ROCovery’s activities and events calendar is posted on their website and social media channels. Contact information including links to this incredible organization’s website and social media channels can be found on our website here.