Battling Together

St. Louis – For Ben Purk, 33, “DRP,” the Gloom is a reminder of mental well-being at the hands of brotherhood. DRP (on the right in the photo) lost his father to brain cancer three years ago. He buried his depression and anxiety in the bottle. After slipping deeper into a dark place, he voluntarily admitted himself into a psych ward on his birthday. “It was the worst day and the best day of my life. I just wanted to lay low and hide.”


After drinking for more than 18 years, he’s now been sober for 74 days. He’s been known as DRP for 72 of those days. His cousin TomTom cornered him after New Year’s dinner and convinced him to post the following Monday morning at 0530. “I told him I hadn’t worked out in a couple of years, and that was at a gym. This is completely more than a gym.”


On the first day, he told the PAX his story and the new direction he had set for his life. He wanted to be better each day, hence the name “Daily Red Pill” (DRP for short).


“The guys were so friendly at my first workout. The warmup started and I was out of breath after first exercise – motivators. I was worn out. I thought, ‘If this is just the first exercise, there’s no way I can do this.’” Next they called partner carries. But the guys didn’t leave him behind and they are still holding him up today.


The second F in F3 is fellowship. DRP prefers to call it ‘brotherhood.’ “These guys are the physical side of my brotherhood. Attending AA meetings is my mental brotherhood. I never thought 72 days would change so much. My attitude and awareness has changed. My mental and physical health has changed. I’m a happier person now. I’m better to be around for other people. I never thought life could be this good. I never thought living this life could be so much fun.”


Physically, DRP says his pants are a little looser. His endurance is up and he doesn’t have to modify as often. But it’s not necessarily the beatdowns that bring him back – it’s the guys around him. He was walking his dog a few weeks ago and a guy called out the window of a minivan, ‘Hey DRP.’ “It’s just cool like that.” In April, his work hours will keep him from posting. “The guys told me they were starting a night workout and they wanted to work with me to make sure I got my workouts in. I want to keep this stuff going. These guys are looking out after me.”


Asked what advice he would give to an FNG, he responded, “Someway, somehow you have to challenge each day. You have to sit down, look yourself in the mirror and come up with a plan and give 110%.” DRP is doing just that. He’s already Q’d four times with four more scheduled. It’s early and sometimes really cold (5 degrees is his coldest so far), but as he puts it, “It’s only 45 minutes.”


“Without F3, I’m not sure I would make it to 40. I’m on my way to recovery. F3 is important in my journey to sobriety. Just as important to me as AA is. It’s really helping me out and getting me through the tough moments. I’m not going to pick up that drink because there are so many guys who are counting on me to not do it.”


So if you see a guy accelerating in the Gloom, it may just be DRP getting better, faster, and stronger.


“Now it’s my time to shine! I’m getting there. One thing that really changed me to get better at life. It’s making a better presentation of myself to people.”

This is F3. #ComeAndSee


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