Addict II Athlete Board Members
In 2011 I thought of a way to kick start my life as I undertook a new job as a therapist working with people struggling from addiction and searching for a purpose in their lives. Having a history of addiction myself and being clean for 16 years, at that time, I thought back on how I had done it. Through support and running I recalled the relationships built and spirituality found on the trails of the Wasatch Mountains that resulted in erasing addiction and replacing it with a more excellent way of life. I knew that if a non-runner like myself could become such, so could they.
I started a free community group called Addict II Athlete and it quickly gained momentum. As Head Coach of this remarkable team I began to witness the inner strength these Athletes developed as we put in miles on the trails together. After one challenging race, I asked one of our Athletes how hard the climb to Windy Pass was, toward the end of the Squaw Peak 50 Ultra. He replied, “It was hard, I wanted to quit, but then I thought about when I was sitting in the Utah State Prison for multiple DUI’s and how trapped I felt, and now, here I was on top of the world, free from prison and addiction. Yea, it was hard, but not impossible.”
Addict II Athlete’s vision is to assist these new Athletes in recovery from all addictions and get on the path of healing and achieving goals in what could be described as a new path in an Ultimate Direction. From our first 5k a few years ago to running the 2013 Badwater Ultra Marathon, these former addicts leave that life behind and become so much more.
For me the real accomplishment in ultra and trail running is experiencing the highest summits, longest stretches and the mental negotiating that proves we can do hard things. Even more inspiring is when you have a group of people others called drug addicts running alongside you because you know they can do hard things as well. Because nothing’s impossible…it just may take a bit longer.
Blu Robinson is a Clinical Mental Health Counselor (CMHC) and a Substance Use Disorder Counselor (SUDC) and the founder of Addict to Athlete. He has specialized in addiction treatment and is passionate about helping others. Blu has worked in the field of counseling and recovery since 2001 working with youth and adults as they turn the mess of addiction into the message if recovery. Blu possesses the ability to inspire people to reach great heights of performance and success in leadership and motivation. With passion, purpose, listening and meaning he helps erase addiction and replace that void left behind with the talents of an inspirational athlete. He has raced multiple marathons, ultra cycling events, triathlons and ultra-marathons. Throughout each of these experiences he has learned, the human spirit is much stronger than we think.
Blu's role in team Addict II Athlete is head coach. He is a mentor, teacher, counselor and instructor to the athletes and their families assisting them moving into recovery and a healthy lifestyle by providing an action oriented recovery-based program.
Marissa Robinson has been a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) since 1998. She has worked with individuals with disabilities, at-risk youth as well as adults. She has worked with individuals struggling with addiction since 2011. As the co-founder of Addict II Athlete she loves working along side her husband helping individuals and families realize they can heal from the painful grasp of addiction.
Marissa was a competitive swimmer growing up and was involved in various types of recreation such as soccer, hiking, water skiing and rappelling. She loves being outside and trying new things. She gets plenty of time utilizing her recreation degree with her 4 beautiful children as well as coaching swimming in her free time. She believes that through recreation we are able to find wellness in all aspects of life.
Marissa serves as Addict II Athlete’s athletic director and CEO. Marissa specializes in therapeutic recreation by assisting the athletes in developing appropriate leisure skills as they transition from addiction to athletics. She oversees all aspects of the AIIA program, including coaching, scheduling, budgets, promotion, management, athletic discipline and program management.
Jedediah Jensen has worked as a union ironworker since 2004. He has been the Race Director for the AIIA 5k-10k since 2012 and has put in countless hours organizing and directing athletes and volunteers. Jed has an artistic talent that Team AIIA has utilized in several community service opportunities including Rally For Recovery, community parades, and the county recovery coalition.
Jed has a knack for leading and helping others. He knows the importance of sobriety as he puts his recovery first and foremost as well as his team. He always looks for ways to serve or solve a problem and immediately works at remedying it. Jed has been a team captain for Addict II Athlete and moved up to Coach in 2017. He continues to amaze us with his willingness to go above and beyond to organize activities or help a struggling athlete by talking them through their thinking errors and ways they can address them. He is an accomplished ultramarathon runner completing several road and trail marathons. Jed was also AIIA’s MVP for 2013.
Jed will continue to lead and direct by example and by voice as the Team Coach and spokesperson for the athletes.
Tim serves on Addict II Athlete’s non profit board and as CFO. Tim is a genius when it comes to tax efficient investments, wealth transfer, estate and current income tax reduction strategies. His expertise in tax-related issues has led Tim to his passion in establishing and managing philanthropic foundations. Tim has been a Certified Financial Planner since 2001. He loves working with individuals and families to live a more abundant life and improve any and all aspects of their finances.
Tim has never backed down when challenged to play rugby, racketball or pickleball. Tim is happily married to his wife and has 5 boys. You could always start off an interesting conversation with Tim by simply asking what book he has read recently. Tim also serves on the boards of International Aid Serving Kids (IASK) and the Cougar Rugby Foundation.