Disc golf to stay sober | New
CADILLAC — Sobriety is not a one-way street. There are a number of ways those recovering from drug and alcohol addiction can get sober, and Carrie Zeigler hopes to add disc golf to the list.
At two and a half years clean, Zeigler has been a consistent member of the Narcotics Anonymous community. After finding her own sobriety, she decided to help others on their path to recovery by becoming a peer-certified recovery coach.
Zeigler said the Cadillac Alano Club recently moved its meetings to North Mitchell Street. With no meetings on Tuesday nights, she wanted to find something that would still allow connection within the recovery community, and the sport of disc golf stood out the most. Soon Zeigler was putting the pieces together to form a Sober Disc Golf League.
It is a known guideline in the NA community that NA itself cannot be promoted, due to its emphasis on anonymity. Zeigler wanted to create a separate NA group that could be appropriately broadcast in the community and let people know that there are safe spaces outside of NA where they can connect with others and support their sobriety.
“I really strongly support multiple pathways, which is to say that all 12 steps don’t always work for everyone,” she said. “So it’s just about opening another outlet and getting people out and around, and giving them a safe recovery space to be able to have fun and bring their kids.”
Strictly sober events are already hard to come by, and Mindy McNamara didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to attend one with her kids. She and Zeigler have been friends for about 10 years and have gone through their recovery together, so joining the league was a way for McNamara to support herself and someone special to her.
Having the ability to include his kids in the league was a huge plus for McNamara.
As a single mom, it’s hard to find the time to participate in sober events, but the disc golf league gives her the chance to spend time with her kids and with the Cadillac recovery community.
“There aren’t a lot of events for sober people in this community that, you know, only sober people will be there,” she said. “So it’s a safe place to take my kids to learn the sport of disc golf.”
McNamara is new to disc golf, but by the end of the summer, she said she hopes to learn putting skills.
Although she doesn’t claim to be a disc golf expert, Zeigler said she considers herself an avid outdoorsman and said she’s confident the sport will be a blast for herself and others. .
Disc golf is also an inexpensive activity, which makes it accessible to all walks of life. Zeigler said a member of the Cadillac Area Disc Golf Association donated discs to help get the league off the ground.
Programs like NA, AA, and Alano are important to the recovery process, but so is building relationships with others during recovery. Zeigler said for her that the opposite of addiction is connection, and one of the intentions of the Sober Disc Golf league is to get people talking and learning from each other.
The final step in the 12-step program is to get his message out to other addicts. Sober Disc Golf is how Zeigler takes this step by inspiring others to stay strong in their sobriety.
“The most important thing as a peer recovery coach is to use people’s resources and not see them as anything other than another resource,” she said. “Because I know for me personally, I can only keep what I have by giving it away.”
For McNamara, becoming a member of the Sober Disc Golf league means getting to know like-minded people in his area. The common thread of recovery is what connects their lives, and she looks forward to seeing the league family grow.
“You might just be on a disc golf path, and you’re talking to someone and you hear a word of encouragement,” she said. “…If you’re really into sobriety, you really want to be around sober people.”
Spending time outdoors can also have a positive impact on the recovery process. Spirituality played a big role in Zeigler’s recovery, and nature allows him to be in the moment and newer.
“Being in touch with Mother Nature at all times is very healing, calming and grounding,” she said. “People, places and things have to change when you get sober, so being really outdoors in nature is very empowering.”
Another big part of recovery, Zeigler said, is rediscovering who you are as a person. She said many people trying to get sober once defined themselves solely by their drug addiction.
It can be hard for drug addicts to find something to add spark to their lives after getting sober, but exposing them to an activity like disc golf could set them on a new path.
The league had its first meeting on Tuesday July 5 and will continue to meet every Tuesday until August 31. Departure is at 6 p.m. from the wooded side of Kenwood Park. Zeigler said the only requirement for joining is that participants be recovering themselves or know someone who is recovering.
Through her participation in Sober Disc Golf, McNamara said she hopes to show people that sobriety can be fun. Being sober does not equate to a “boring or dull” existence, sober people can still have fun. His recovery motto has been “just for today,” that is, take it one day at a time. She said she would love to see other people in recovery join the league and find support in their community.
Zeigler said the league will likely continue beyond the summer months. She plans to start putting indoors during the winter. For now, she said she’s looking forward to helping people connect and playing disc golf with her kids.