July 16, 2015 Felicia Durling

Tie Your Shoes

DenI tend to gravitate toward people who want to improve. It gives me hope which I crave. I know it sounds simple, but at this stage in my life, I am not looking for complicated. For me, it’s desire that keeps me sober because I want to be an engaged husband for my wife. I want to be a father that is present, alive and full of joy.

Sunday school taught me that Jesus loves me. My father taught me to stay the course in marriage, even if that meant getting back up after the fall. Therapy taught me to love myself so that I could genuinely love my wife and children. Rich Roll, author and health advocate, now teaches me to keep my passion and fire going for health and fitness. Rich tells his story of the destructive path that alcohol had on his life and how he was able to overcome his demons by choosing to live instead of enduring a slow suicide.

The mind is powerful. I thought I would always be a drinker, as it was part of my identity. Yet, even more so, it was my disease of alcoholism that gave permission for the next drink. “I want to get loaded, escape…,” was a constant and chronic message being played through my head. Then, in 1993, on a memorable summer day, that same mind would make another powerful decision, and that was to stop drinking. This is when I entered a life of recovery and my life was set on a new trajectory.

Choosing to take the road less traveled is a decision of surrender. Truly, my family, my God, therapy, exercise, good food, and AA, have kept me on that road. Understand, there have been cliffs along the way that I have slid down. However, I have had the support and tools to get back to where I belong.

For example, Wellness Coach, Sid Garza Hillman, is a small step advocate and the author of Approaching the Natural. Sid suggests it’s in the small steps that will lead one to the positive direction for success. Unfortunately, so many people forfeit the idea of getting started because the task at hand appears too monumental. From the couch to the marathon finish line, in 3 weeks, is unrealistic. However, creating an 8-12 month, small step program can truly lead to a successful life changing journey.

In addition, during his interview with Men’s Health Magazine, Matthew McConaughey was asked the secret for his success as an actor and fitness enthusiast. McConaughey replied, “To get myself out the door for both work and workouts, I tell myself, Tie your shoes, man, you know you’re gonna do it.” In other words, the simple act of “tying your shoes” is the small step toward the bigger goal.


Small steps you can take today.

Go for a walk.

Call a friend for support.

Enjoy a green drink.

Go to an AA meeting.


Ask God for help.

What’s your small step today?


Dennis Durling is a Professional Life Coach, Fitness Consultant and holds a seat on the Advisory Board at The Center for Life Change. The Center is a non-profit Recovery Resource Center serving the Riverside County offering Drug and Alcohol Treatment Services. If you or someone you know needs help, contact The Center at 951-775-4000 or email info@thecenter4lifechange.com.


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