The Impact of Fitness and Adventure on Sobriety and Recovery with Tom Conrad


“If you have the resources, treatment is like having a winning lottery ticket. You just have to scratch it, and you just have to turn it in.” -Tom Conrad Share on X

Today’s Episode:

Tom Conrad is the Chief Business Development Officer and co-owner of Rock Recovery Center. Rock is located in West Palm Beach, Florida where they offer a unique and effective approach to drug and alcohol treatment that is fitness and adventure based. What sets the programs at Rock apart is that in order to get and maintain sobriety, there needs to be a purpose. People need to enjoy being sober. The adventure based activities help highlight this approach. They also offer group therapy, and he works with addicts and alcoholics to help them break free from the chains of addiction. 

He has also managed to break free from his own addictions and now makes it a priority to share his experiences with others through Rock Recovery Center. He’s been a certified addiction counselor since 2013. He finds great enjoyment with helping others through adventure and outdoor activities. He has built a life beyond belief since getting sober himself. He’s married, has two beautiful children, and has rekindled his love for archery. He takes pride in his wins, and he loves showing others how they can do the same. 

Tom started the Real Recovery Talk podcast in 2017. He and his co-host Ben use the show to educate addicts and family members of addicts about recovery, addiction, and the process. He is impacting the world through his podcast and Rock in different ways. Tom shares his journey, how Rock began, and the impact of each one. He also shares his future plans for helping even more people who may not have all of the resources to attend a recovery program. Tom has the desire to help people in any capacity that he can and is helping to transform lives in a tangible way. I’m really excited to talk about his program and experience.

“I had been toying around with the idea of a recovery-based podcast, but I was intimidated by the logistics behind it.” -Tom Conrad Share on X

Show Notes:

  • [03:38] Tom is a week or two away from hitting episode 100 of his Real Recovery Talk podcast.
  • [04:27] Tom’s most personal episode was episode one. This was his most vulnerable episode. He just ended up recording something. It was very humbling and personal.
  • [07:12] When Tom was 26, he discovered that he was a full-blown alcoholic and drug addict. He was fired from his job. On September 15th of 2010, he had to go to treatment. 
  • [07:41] He went to a treatment center in Jacksonville. He spent 45 days, and then went to West Palm Beach for an outpatient treatment experience for the next 9 months. 
  • [08:21] After being sober for a year, he got his first job in the drug and alcohol treatment industry.
  • [09:28] He’s worked in almost every department including operations and clinical. He’s also a certified addictions counselor.
  • [09:40] After being sober for about 4 years, he had an opportunity to open up what is now Rock Recovery Center. It opened in 2013 and is still going strong today.
  • [11:26] Traditional treatment consists of a repetitive cookie cutter approach to group therapy. 
  • [12:06] They wanted Rock to be different, so they made it fitness and adventure based. They still have group rooms, but they also have activities a couple of times a week. 
  • [12:58] They want their clients to know that they are able to have fun without using drugs or alcohol. 
  • [14:19] Dealing with loved ones can be a challenge for treatment facilitators, but Tom is good at talking to them. The podcast also helps them understand how to get through it. 
  • [18:45] Family members can listen to the podcast and learn so much about what they are going through and what the addict experiences. It’s a great resource.
  • [21:47] Tom used to think podcast success was measured by downloads, but now he measures it by each download being a person who he reaches. 
  • [25:20] Podcast outreach is another challenge that he has. He doesn’t market all of the time. He also thinks video for YouTube is a bit of a chore.
  • [29:04] Ben is Tom’s co-host. They brainstorm and talk to parents and loved ones. They try to find their biggest pain points. Tom also repurposes blog posts on popular topics. 
  • [31:11] Tom and Ben record, and PPS handles everything else. 
  • [32:01] Tom wants to offer more than Rock and the podcast for people who don’t have the resources. He wants to create some free material and offer lower level sober coaching. 
  • [33:35] He wants to focus on what he is good at and become great at it. 
  • [34:28] Tom loves heavy metal and Slipknot. 
  • [35:35] If you are struggling with addiction, ask for help because you can’t do everything on your own. There’s nothing wrong with getting help, and there’s nothing to be ashamed of.
  • [37:33] Families need to show support and let their loved one know that they aren’t there to criticize. 
  • [43:10] Darrell’s Takeaways: Tom keeps tabs on the tasks and the media outlets that he uses. If it becomes too much, think about how much time you are putting in and how much reward you are getting. He gets content inspiration from personal experience and other people’s content as inspiration. Reach out to Tom if you or someone you love can benefit from what he is doing.
“90% of people who get sober say they want to work in treatment. I was one of the few who actually did that and stuck with it.” -Tom Conrad Share on X

Links and Resources: