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Meet our members - Mike Kelly - My Story - Independence Day

Most people know the 4th of July as American independence day, but for me, it has a whole different meaning. On the 4th of july 2012 I started a long journey of abstinence from alcohol.

On the morning of the 4th at 9am there was a knock at my front door. It was two nurses from Ashley house in Widnes who had come to start me off on my 7 day home detox from alcohol. They would continue to visit me 3 times a day for 7 days to give me the medication I would need to help me kick my alcohol addiction.

Ill rewind a bit so you know how I got to this point in my life. From a young age I always liked a drink but as I got in to my late 20s, early 30s it started to become an issue. I was taking time off work due to hangovers and instead of just staying in bed, I’d get up have a hair of the dog, which would to lead to more drinks and more time off. I started getting fired from jobs through poor attendance which caused me to get a bit down so again, I used beer to cheer myself up.

I only ever drank normal strength beer but as with most substances your body becomes used to it so I started drinking stronger beer until which point I found myself drinking 7.5% cider & because I wasn’t working this was cheaper option aswell.

The problems which this brought to my home life were immense, constantly arguing with my Mrs which would get me down and id drink more.

I even spent nine days in hospital over the new year of 2011/12 after I had been out for about three days and nights partying. When I got home I started being sick, I couldn’t stop borking and this caused a small tear in my wind pipe which in turn had caused a massive infection in my body. I did manage to stop drinking for about a month but then one day I bought another can of cider, and I said to myself it’s got you again and I was back drinking.

After a couple of months of non-stop drinking I new I had to get myself together. I was some days drinking 6/8lts if cider a day. I went to my local GP and he started me on the path to recovery.

I had to attend clinics and sessions over in Ashley house and show them I was making an effort to cut down as I was told not to just stop or there could be further issues. So as hard as it was I cut down as much as possible, then I got my date to start my detox.

This brings me back to the 4th of July. When the nurses turned up that morning they had a prescription of my medication so one nurse asked me could I go the local pharmacy and get it made up. As I walked out the door I thought I’ll just have one last can while I’m waiting for it. Then I, heard a voice shout ‘wait there Mike, ill drive u to the pharmacy’. It was the nurse. Probably a blessing thinking back. After my 7 day detox I new I had to start to piece my life back together so the real hard work started. I was told by my doctor and counsellor it wasn’t best to look for work straight away as I needed to make sure other things in my life were right first, but after 6 months I got myself a job and needed a hobby. I joined the local gym. I was going through the motions for about 18 months and I was enjoying it but something just was just not right.

On my way home I seen a sign on one of the buildings saying ‘CrossFit Widnes’. Id never heard of CrossFit so I looked it up on the internet and saw that they had a strongman training class. I thought Ill give that a go as considered myself strong(ish). I turned up at the box early, seen the CrossFit session in full flow and thought what is this there doing?

So I cracked on with the strongman session, turned up every Sat morning but was still intrigued by CrossFit. I thought there is no way I can do this as it seemed like everyone was already really fit but I was wrong. It can be changed no matter what strength or fitness level a person has. I was still attending my local gym but always had CrossFit lurking in the back of my mind so at the beginning of January 2015 I cancelled my gym membership and joined CrossFit full time.

My time at CrossFit has been a real rollercoaster of emotions. A bit like my past life but I filled a gap in my life I must have been subconsciously looking for, the challenge and the fun! The friends I’ve met at the box, and I do consider them friends have been absolutely brilliant and supportive. The help I have received I truly believe I could never have had at a normal gym. CrossFit has improved my life in so many ways not just fitness etc but I have a new circle of friends.

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