PAOLI, INDIANA - On a clear February day an hour's drive north of Louisville, Hundreds flock to the only snow tube hill around. You would never suspect most of the happy people on this day are recovering from the darkest time in their lives.
"I had a serious issue with substance use disorder and I needed a huge change," said Jenni Kelley, the Louisville chapter lead for the non-profit Young People in Recovery, or YPR. Jenni has now been sober 11 years and helps organize the hundreds of adults in long-term recovery, whon often take trips and play sports together. All the fun bonds the group together as they share life lessons with each other. It also keeps them far from temptation.
"We do a lot of things to draw people in, to have fun," said member erica Garr. "But then we have a lot of resources to get you back into life to teach you how to better your life, not just coming out of substance abuse, just bettering your life in general."
165 YPR members made the trip north Saturday. Up on the mountain the men and women, once strangers, find out more about themselves and one another.
"[You] express how you feel, whether that be happy about your recovery, whether it just be out here to just show your face and have a good time with other people who have a common goal as you do," said member Nick Hyde.
At the end of the day it’s not about hurling yourself down a mountain. It’s about finding those who will help bring you back to the top.