Tom Shanahan is almost ten years sober. Exercise became his outlet in recovery. He's climbed Mount Kilamajaro, Mount Rainier and to the base camp of Everest.
This summer, he and others in recovery created Sober Active NYC, offering workouts once a week in Central Park, followed by a 12-step meeting.
"Since the pandemic, hit suicide rates, relapse rates and overdose deaths have gone through the roof, so we came together to offer people in recovery a healthy coping mechanism, utilizing the beauty of NYC parks, integrating exercise for physical health and then a 12-step meeting for the mental health,” Shanahan said.
Because of social distancing, no more than 20 people can take part in the 40 minute workouts.
For those worried about protecting their privacy, sober active workouts are also livestreamed on Facebook and thousands have joined in remotely.
Inspired by the song “Amazing Grace,” a musical brother and sister duo in Queens created a bilingual new version of the song and a music video.
It's called “For the Human Race and Earth.”
They see it as a message of hope to help families mourning loved ones or struggling to get by, and a thank you to essential workers.
Rosangel Conde, 17, is a Freshman at Queens College. Her 16-year-old brother Angel is a Senior at Forest Hills High School.
“At one point, two families close to us became ill with COVID-19, and those families were not able to go out and buy groceries. So my father volunteered and went out of his way to buy groceries, which really inspired us because from a young age we've always been taught to give back to the community and help those in need,” said Rosangel Conde.
You can find the song on youtube at angels2earthnyc.