MUNCIE, Ind. – A gym in Muncie is becoming the latest avenue for recovering addicts to find their path to sobriety.
Big Time Barbell is a non-profit workout facility geared toward recovery. A battle with alcoholism put co-founder Mac Hines in a coma. When he woke, he vowed to change his life along with others. Hines and Nick Albertson teamed up to start the gym concept.
“One of the last steps in your recovery is to give away what was given to you," Hines said. "The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has spent a lot of money correlating physical fitness and recovery.”
Trainers and mentors begin with a group discussion before workouts begin. The gym is open 24 hours, and is open to people who aren't seeking recovery and just want to workout. Neither Hines nor Albertson make money from the gym. The facility survives through grants from the city and county, as well as workout memberships from both people seeking recovery and not. A portion of the memberships goes to keep the gym alive, while another portion goes to support other members struggling to afford sticking around.
“We put it in a general scholarship program for a veteran or someone who has struggled with addiction," Hines said.
Patrick Knight is a scholarship member and one of their success stories. Knight has struggled with addiction for many years, including heroin for the past five. He spent four and a half months in jail, and when he got out, he said it's time to change his life.
“Yesterday, I actually hit my 10-month sober mark. I've got two daughters, I knew this was the time," Knight said. "[They are] 19 and 11, they are glad to have me back. If my story can inspire somebody else to get clean and sober, and save their life, than that's what I'd like to do.”
Recovery workout sessions are every Monday and Wednesday starting at 6:30 pm. Those sessions are always free.