We may love running now, but not every runner started off enjoying it. Chad Moye hated running for the first 40 years of his life, and as his addiction to drugs became worse and worse, the idea of running for pleasure seemed even less likely.

In between drug rehab programs, Chad would see runners in his “home” in Metropolitan Park, and would laugh at their short shorts and neon clothes, having no idea that one day he would be one of them.

Only when the judges grew tired of his antics and sentenced him to prison time, did Chad realize this was his last chance.

The first time Chad ran, he couldn’t even make a half mile, but he vowed he was going to make it all the way around the 800m track, and exercise began to change his path in life. Chad became determined to get fitter by the day, and focus on what he could do with his future.

He realized that it was not just about the motion of running itself, but everything that comes with it:  “It’s not just the act of running, it is everything that comes with it, the community, it’s the training, waking up and going to bed early, watching what you put in your body, looking at your nutrition, it is the lifestyle of being a runner, it is the blueprint of sobriety.”

And that is what today’s episode is about; the journey of Chad Moye, and how running changed his life, and how now he is using runners to help others change their lives too.

Today’s Guest

Chad Moye

A former homeless heroin addict, whose bad behavior finally landed him in prison.  Looking at a sentence of up to 20 years, Chad took the opportunity to turn his life around, and now he is helping others do the same.

What You Will Learn About

  • How easily a prescription for painkillers can turn into a serious drug habit (and yes, it can happen to all of us!)
  • How Chad ended up homeless and living his life around his drug addiction
  • The divine intervention that occurred and why he knew this was his last chance to change
  • How exercise and running changed his life and set him free
  • How it felt to cross the finish line of his first 5k
  • How it felt to win a race in the park he had previously lived in when he was homeless

Listen to the Running for Real Podcast

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Chad’s #R4RPowerPose

Inspirational Quotes

I didn’t understand how physically addicting they can be, mentally too. As time went on, when I would not have them or try to get off them, the withdrawal symptoms would be bad, really bad.

I didn’t have something at the time to channel my addictive behaviors into something else and it just got worse and worse over the years.

I am here to break down the stigma of addicts, the stigma that comes along with addiction, the way other people view us. I know really good people who suffer from addiction.

It became a full-time job. Every day of my life from waking up, I had to find my fix just to get through the day.

I found myself homeless and hopeless, and wondering, where do I go from here?

They [runners] were out there doing what they loved, free, and here I was, captive of addiction and drugs.

I knew this was my last chance. I knew I had to do this right and change. I knew I had to break this addiction and being put away for a little time could be my chance.

[The first time he ran] the track we had was about 1/2 mile around, I couldn’t even make it around one time, and I was running in Crocs…it was painful, I was nauseous, but I knew I wanted to do it again.

Not to sound cliché, but I woke up one morning, I was about to go out to the rec yard, I was watching the sun come up and I had my headphones In listening to music, and I said, this is it right here. I have no burden. I am in prison, but I am free, this is how I want to be, this is how I want to feel for the rest of my life.

I was so relieved to wake up and not have to worry about addiction, the full-time job and burden of how am I not going to be sick today?

It was freedom at it’s best in every aspect. It was great to get out and run free.

Once I got to the finish line [of his first 5k], that’s where it all happened, crossing that finish line for the first time, the people cheering, what time you ran was insignificant, it was about crossing that finish line and the effort you put in yourself.

I felt it, I went across, and I was like wow, I love that! That is a high that I like!

The finish line was right there in Metropolitan Park, the same park that I used to spend my homeless days in… I had to take a step back and look at it, realize how far I had come at that point.

It’s not just the act of running, it is everything that comes with it, the community, it’s the training, waking up and going to bed early, watching what you put in your body, looking at your nutrition, it is the lifestyle of being a runner, it is the blueprint of sobriety.

Resources Mentioned

Last week’s interview with Christie Aschwanden

Interview with Dick Beardsley


Gateway Rehab

Mike Martinez

Kim Pawelek Brantly

Thanks to VI for sponsoring this podcast, check out GetVi.com/Running4Real to enter to win a FREE VI

Thanks for Listening! I hope you enjoyed today’s episode.

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Thank you to Chad. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the show.

addiction, community

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