Todd Crandell, who is 50, is full of life and spirit. He is one of the athletes to cross the finish line of 28 Ironmans, 42 half Ironmans & 2 ultramans. With every mile he crosses by running, swimming or biking, he takes another step away from his life where once he thought to kill himself. Yes, life was never same and for Todd recalling the path is nothing but going through a traumatizing experience over and over again. It was the time when Todd wished he was dead.

"Every single day, the first thought in my mind was 'How much of this drug and alcohol abuse is it gonna take to kill me?'" Crandell recalled. "And then it was, 'I got to keep going again today to find more drugs to block myself out, mentally and emotionally.'"

Todd was just 31/2 year old when his mom committed suicide. This was exactly when the trouble started. His mother too was a drug and alcohol addict and when she became unable to handle the addiction, she ended her life. The shock of his mother’s death led Todd to a road to the destruction.

In an interview with CNN, Todd accepted that while growing up he felt he was abandoned. Even when with his family, he felt as if he was a stranger.

Talking further, Todd tells how he had his first sip of alcohol when he was just 13 years old. This was just the start as the next 13 years he was completely into alcohol, drugs, cocaine, crack, heroin and whatever. Todd says I would have anything I could get my hands on. "And I just figured I'd end up the way my mom did."

He realized this when he was just 19 and homeless in Florida, however, the reality hit him in the gut when he was 26.

"My turning point was literally getting a third drunk-driving charge at noon where I registered a .36 on a breathalyzer," he said. "And that's when I decided to turn my life around."

This was when he declared a “quit”. He started attending recovery meetings. He was into many rehabs but at last, it was an exercise that helped him the most. An intensive workout worked as an effective addiction treatment for Todd. It also helped him in dealing with depression and thus stoped him from using drugs.

He then started preparing for Ironmans. Todd says, “And that's what led me to start running and doing Ironmans."
He went into a great business where he traded his addiction for determination. As he gained more and more fitness, he became more determined. After 6 years of complete recovery, he completed his first Ironman which included 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, and 26.2-mile marathon.

Todd joined back to school after he became sober again and also pursued a certificate in counseling. Today he is a licensed professional clinical counselor.
"I'm helping other addicts to show them what can be done when you're not doing drugs," he said.

Author's Bio: 

Nicki Jenns is a healthy eating and world news expert, motivational speaker and author. She is passionate about the impact of health and family issues.