Escaping Addiction Through Exercise

Escaping Addiction Through Exercise - Page 2

By Sam Lansky 02/03/12

How can exercise help you escape the substances that once kept you stagnant? The author of the hit book The Long Run has a few words of advice.

Running man Photo via

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I can say with utter certainty that I do not.

It’s a fucking drag. I like running—sometimes. But I don’t like training; I hate training; and I hate going to the gym. But I do it, because I know it’s good for me, and I know that it’s a way to embrace the life I want. I drank and drugged to escape the world; I run to adventure out into it, to experience it. Drinking and drugging was easy for me; I had to fight myself not to do it. Running and working out is incredibly hard for me; I have to fight myself to do it. In fact, I was cursing my editor the other day for getting me to write The Long Run. I was like, “Argh, now all these people are expecting me to go out and run and I don’t want to.” And then I realized it was perfect: I don’t have to work as hard to make myself run, because other people are doing it for me. I have successfully outsourced my motivation. It’s nice, particularly when you’re like me, and you have a devil sitting on one shoulder, and then you look at the other shoulder, and instead of an angel, it’s a bigger devil. And you’re like, “Fuck.” And then there’s some 13-year-old kid in West Virginia, who’s like, “I just read The Long Run and it was awesome and then I went out and ran 18 miles,” and then I smack myself in the forehead and say, “Fuck you, kid,” and go out and run 19. I’m just a dude—a dude who really, really screwed things up. And then slowly, meticulously, with great effort, unscrewed things up. I don’t have answers, only questions. Well, okay, I have a little insight and some snappy comebacks. I’m not a role model, or a cult leader. Just a dude who is grateful to be okay and who wants everyone else to be okay, too. 

What’s your next project?

My next Single is called Are You Lonesome Tonight? and it’s about love, among other things. It drops on Valentine’s Day on Amazon. I’m going to bug my editor about doing another Kindle Single for November of this year—the subject of that one is top-secret right now. One day, I hope that there will be a physical book of my writing so my mother can die happy. I’m talking to Amazon about making Spanish translations of my stuff available, which I’m super excited about. Oh—my band Freshkills has a new record out in March. I’m going to finish a solo record this year, of a lot of my old drinking songs that I recorded but was too fucked up to finish or put out. The working title is "Why I Can’t Drink."

Sam Lansky is a regular contributor to The Fix who also wrote about Britney Spears and dating in sobriety, among many other topics. Follow him on Twitter at