We had the good fortune of connecting with Henry Ward and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Henry, how does your business help the community or world?
With the grace of God, I have been recovering from alcohol and drug addiction since November 17, 2008. In 2013 I found running and it has been a critical part of my recovery process and maintenance program. I started pushing myself past my perceived barriers and limits and ventured into the world of ultra running in 2016. As I started having some success in running, I felt like it was a great opportunity to give back and help others. I found that I could use running as a platform to share my story of recovery, to give people hope that there is life after recovery.
Since 2016, I have used several races and created my own fundraising events to raise awareness, create dialogue and raise funds to help those who cannot afford treatment get the help they need. Getting into treatment saved my life, and can save others. In September 2020 I started my own 5013c charity called :Running Without The Devil.” Through sponsorship, donations and partnerships we will raise money through various events and funds will go towards treatment, personal training and coaching, shoes, equipment and other miscellaneous fitness items to help people get started in their running and fitness journeys. I am on a mission to show the world that it is okay to be an alcoholic and addict. Most of us did not want to be the way we were. It is a disease with no cure, but with treatment and self help we can live a healthy and prosperous life. Running and exercise can help tremendously.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I own “Running Without The Devil,” which is a non-profit organization that helps people who are suffering from addiction get the treatment they need. I am almost finished writing a book with that same title as well. I will be performing speaking engagements in the near future. I am currently doing speaking engagements online. I would like to tie my culinary expertise, nutrition, running, exercise and sports psychology knowledge to help people. I can offer nutritional guidance, menu development, recipe development, and teach cooking techniques. I offer virtual and in person personal training and run coaching. I specialize in motivating people, and help them with gaining confidence to achieve results. I feel lucky to be alive and everyday is a gift. My health is a gift. Running is a gift. Success in running is a gift. This is my way to give back. I want to show people that we can recover, we have to be the work in mentally, physically and spiritually but we can excel in life. I feel like if we do not share our gifts or skills then we are wasting them. God gave us gifts for reasons.
I am a graduate The Cambridge School of Culinary Arts and a chef by trade, and my current role is a Food Service Director. I graduated from National Personal Training Institute, and also from the United Endurance Sports Coaching Academy.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Living in Arizona, it is pretty easy! I would most definitely head up to Sedona for some red rocks and dirt! Sedona is one of the most breathtaking and beautiful places on the planet. In general, Arizona has some amazing Mexican cuisine so I would take them to our favorite spots, such as Los Taquitos! That is our go to, is authentic cuisine from Mexico City which is where my wife is from. I spend a lot of time on the trails and mountain roads at South Mountain. I am 10 minutes away from it. It is the largest city park in the United States, with all sorts of trails intertwining each other.. It is a trail runner’s or hiker’s paradise. The mountain roads are great for road running. There are lots of other mountains in the general area from us, pick a direction and there is a mountain range 30 minutes away.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I am grateful for Valley Hope Tempe. Without going through the intensive treatment program, I would not have recovered. But first and foremost, my wife Alejandra saved my life. Leading up to entering the treatment program, we had many issues all stemming from my active alcohol abuse. She gave me lots of love, support, and chances leading up to the treatment, but the best thing she gave me was tough love and an ultimatum. I needed to get sober or we were over as a couple. I needed to get sober for me, but I knew if there were any chance our marriage would work, I needed help. She would have left and she meant it, so that helped nudge me towards getting help. Over the years, she has guided me in spirituality, offered sound advice, found me articles, podcasts, and other self help tools to turn me into the man I am today. She calls me out when I am wrong, she brings me up when I am down. Honestly, if it were not for her, I would possibly be dead, or dying a slow painful death while being completely miserable. She is my rock, the voice of reason, and my guardian angel.