The Women of The Next Door
Mark Miller's been known to say that the best runners know how to recover well. That statement is true for East Nasties across the city training for half and full marathons, but it's also true for the newest additions to the East Nasty family — the women of The Next Door.
At The Next Door, the people, the program, and the place all contribute to helping women who are re-entering society from incarceration, rehabilitation, or homelessness. The transitional home, located on 8th Avenue in downtown Nashville, was founded in 2002 by a group of prayerful women who hoped to serve women ex-offenders. Now, the facility and its staff work to meet the physical, mental, and spiritual needs of women in crisis, by offering counseling, job training, and physical training, too.
Throughout the week, the women are invited to on-site yoga and circuit training classes, and this summer several East Nasty women offered to coach a couch-to-5k program for the women currently in treatment. Under the leadership of former ENOW Heidi Huerta, East Nasty coaches met with women from the Next Door Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday mornings at 6:30 A.M., to walk, jog, and run their way to recovery. Along the way, women from The Next Door shared their stories, described their life in the program, and expressed their hope for a future free from addiction and incarceration. In partnership with East Nasty, women were provided tennis shoes and sports bras, and a chance to feel the empowerment of a decent 3-mile run.
Still, as a non-profit organization, The Next Door looks to donors and supporters for funding, and often relies on Second Harvest Food Bank for food supplies. This means that on a regular basis, the women are only receiving canned goods and pre-packaged meals, which don't provide adequate nutrition for women of any state — let alone those in recovery from serious addiction. To continue the program of counseling, job training, and physical fitness, The Next Door needs the support of the community. And there's a way you can help. And it involves running.
This Saturday, September 15, the women of The Next Door and their coaches will complete the "Heroes in Recovery 6k," and you're invited! The 3.7 mile race costs $30 to register, and all proceeds will benefit The Next Door Inc. With your help, women in Nashville who are incarcerated or on parole can experience transformational change and can end the generational cycle of substance abuse once and for all.
Now that's what I call recovery.
ps. To register for the Heroes in Recovery 6k, click here! The race starts at 8 A.M. Saturday. Be there to cheer on these brave women and their coaches, then go grab some Puckett's in Leiper's Fork.