Chattanooga IRONMAN 70.3 competitor shares his story of sobriety
HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. —
Before competing in IRONMAN's around the globe, Todd Crandell spent 13 years of his life addicted to drugs and alcohol.
Crandell says he had his first drink when he was just 13 years old.
At 19, he found himself homeless and suicidal.
Crandell says during those years, he used to watch IRONMAN competitions on TV.
After his third D-U-I in 1993, Crandell got sober.
"It was the best thing that ever happened to me because that was the wake up call that I needed," Crandell told NewsChannel 9.
Not long after, Crandell dedicated his life to bettering himself.
"The same tenacity that I put into ruining myself with drugs and alcohol, I've transferred into a daily journey of self-betterment, physically, socially, emotionally, socially intellectually. and life is good through the concept that we have at racing for recovery," he said.
Racing for Recovery is the treatment program Crandell helped create to assist others in their road to sobriety.
Years after being homeless in Florida, Crandell is a family man and licensed professional counselor who has competed in 41 half IRONMANs, 28 full IRONMANs, and 2 ultra IRONMANs.
Now, Crandell has a message for addicts in Chattanooga and around the globe.
"If I can do this anybody can do this. It’s not just about going from addict to IRONMAN, it’s about going from someone who didn’t have any self-worth and no self-esteem to actually liking themself and finding life’s purpose. That's what I want somebody to know," he said.