30 Apr Get To Know a Member: RUE
On any given day you’ll see him running over every mile of pavement in Portsmouth. From 15 degrees to 105 degrees, he’s out there, the TC Express rolling along, smiling every step. At the gym he’s the first person to call you by your name and say hello. He’s Rue and everyone loves him.
Rue and I have talked several times over the past couple of years and I’ve been very fortunate to get to him. More people needed to learn more about him so I asked him to write a short bio, he was pretty hesitant but after some convincing he did.
Below you’ll find out the reason he is always smiling is because there was a period when he never smiled. A tale of depression, booze, and drugs that eventually turned into a love for people and fitness.
“Growing up I was bullied pretty regularly as a kid. I was always picked last in class or in sports. I always enjoyed sports, especially football but only played one year in the 8th grade because I felt I wasn’t good enough.
My lack of self esteem and confidence made me very shy and reserved, drew me inside myself. This led to me drinking at a very early age. I drank A LOT and then mixed my drinking with speed. My goal sometimes was to see just how I could get my blood pressure. Looking back at it and come to think of it, those were my very first “PRs”.
I had total disrespect for myself and others. I got in trouble with the law several times and found myself sometimes in and out of jail. Sad to say, but that’s basically how I spent a good 20+ years of my life, a blurred mess of alcohol, drugs, depression, mixed with lack of love and respect for myself and others.
After watching a friend overdose I then decided I had had enough. And for the past 8 years now I’ve been clean and sober…and I smile a helluva lot more.
In addition to my job assisting those with special needs, every week I visit inmates at the county jail and other juvenile detention facilities in the area. I go these places to talk to the inmates, give them some hope and encouragement because I know what it’s exactly like to be in there shoes.
Sometimes all it takes is for someone to reach out to make the change a person needs.
In addition to my substance abuse I was also pretty overweight. When I dropped drugs and booze I picked up running and I run a lot. At first I just ran to get away from the substance abuse, to give me much needed time to think, to keep my mind off of the drugs and alcohol. What started as a few steps turned into several miles. I’ve completed dozens of 5Ks, ½ marathons, and full marathons.
My new love for fitness led me to PSKC and CrossFit. I remember the first time I saw Dale swinging this weird looking iron ball and jumping up and down on the floor like a maniac. I had never met him before but I told him “man, you’re crazy…there’s no way I’d ever do that”. That was 3 years ago. I had never worked out before and now I love it! CrossFit is where it’s at. I’m doing things that I never thought I could do.
I know firsthand what it feels like to be the last one picked and go 20+ years without real laughter and joy. So now my pleasure is helping people and giving words of encouragement to my fellow PSKC’rs and anyone else that needs it. I love to laugh and make others laugh. Words of encouragement and laughter go a long way.
We have the best coaches and members at PSKC. The coaches and people there have helped make me who I am today. You all are the best and are like family to me. I’d do anything for them.”
You’re the man Rue…we’re all lucky to know you.