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    Sometimes, you have to get knocked down lower than you have ever been to stand back up taller than you ever were.

    The year was 2010, I started to fill up the bathtub with cold water then layed down inside. My head throbbing and the world spinning was just another indication that I had successfully reached my intoxication goal and I knew it was going to be a long night. As the water continued to rise, I felt my my eyelids heavy and my body shivering cold and getting weaker. It was time to say good night. My wife woke up around 4:00 a.m. and noticed I wasn’t in bed. She could faintly hear the sound of the water starting to overflow from the tub and onto the floor. She ran to see what the noise was, opened the door and saw me lying lifelessly in the tub. It was only a matter of a few seconds before my face would’ve been completely submerged underwater. She immediately shut off the water and was able to wake me up out of my “alcohol coma”. At this point I realized that I had let alcohol take over my life and had to do something about it if I wanted to change.

    A few months after this, I received a letter that changed my life forever and for that I'm truly grateful. It was a letter from my wife stating the fact that I had let alcohol take over my life and it was about to destroy my family. I was addicted to alcohol and smoking and I never wanted to admit it or thought I had a problem. She mentioned if things didn’t change that she could no longer be a part of it and her and our kids would have to move on without me. This was devastating to read and I felt hopeless. I had failed at my marriage and was close to losing it all. I went down on my knees and started to pray.

    For the next 4 years I started by making small changes, but there where still days where I would go overboard and end up in the same place. On August 31, 2014, I went out drinking to the bar with some friends. That night I got so intoxicated and that morning I woke up with one of the worst hangovers ever. I noticed my wife as she stood in silence and I knew I had hurt her again. I had let my family down and I felt my life crumbling right in front so I had to do something quickly. 

    The next morning on September 1, 2014 I decided this is it. I need to make a drastic move or risk losing it all. This time it was real and I had a lot to prove not only to myself but to my loved ones. I would always say I was going to change but not mean it. This time I did't say anything I just did it. I began waking up early every morning to go workout and started eating healthier. Then one day my brother and his wife invited us on a hike to Potato Chip Rock in Poway, CA and I felt so stress free and courageous. Although it was very challenging it felt very therapeutic and I immediately fell in love with the outdoors. This was the beginning of a new friendship! I knew that I had found a new, healthier addiction to climb mountains and one that I could enjoy together with my family. 

    When I look back at my past, I am not regretful, but instead thankful. Today I am completely sober and I feel so blessed to be alive. If it had not been for those bumps in the road, I would not be who I am today. I want to be able to share the life lessons I have learned and inspire others that are also trying to overcome their own adversity. It is not easy in the beginning but if you stick with it it is a very rewarding journey. In order to make a change you need to have a why in your life. Take a good look at your life right now and ask yourself what is your why? What is your reason for living and what are you doing to protect that? I found my why — and it was right in front of me the whole time, my beautiful family. My lovely wife and guardian angel, Rosa Maria. My two healthy and talented children Eddie and Carissa. Love you forever, ever, ever, ever. They have always been by my side and been my strongest support system. Thank you for not giving up on me! — I'll see you all at the top!