Jan. 6, 2022 – Ewer kept showing up. Along the way she lost over 170 pounds. But according to Ewer, fitness isn’t the biggest thing she gained at FTR. Rather, it’s a community that loves and supports her. And the chance to serve others. “Most of the people at the gym are young. I’m 46 so at first I thought, there’s no way that I have a role here, but when I came I realized that I actually did have a role. I was 300 pounds but I had long term sobriety and a lot of these kids were still early in recovery. And I could show them that you can stay sober that long. So I didn’t have to be the thin person, but I did need to be that person that they could see could stay sober.” FTR founder Ian Acker never intended to be an entrepreneur. The idea to start a gym stemmed from his search for community on his own journey of addiction recovery—specifically the gap he experienced with the lack of structured support for people in recovery after formal treatment ended.

Acker had gone through treatment five times. “I’d complete the program, get out and be like, ‘now what?’ And I’d go get drunk and high again. And every time I went back out the relief got shorter and shorter. Pills, alcohol, all of it stopped working, it always stops working. That’s what I finally realized.”


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