“Hi, I am Kurt and I am an addict” is the way Kurt Angle started off with his powerful speech Saturday evening at a talk arranged by Incite Speaker Series supported by ESPN West Palm and sponsored by Epiphany Resources.
Kurt Angle is an American Wrestler known to everyone who follow WWE! During his time at the Clarion University of Pennsylvania Kurt was a two time national heavyweight champion at the National Collegiate Athletic Association(NCAA) Division I.
But Saturday’s talk was not about his gold medal at the Olympics or his fruitful wrestling career, it was about a more important win in his life – The victory over addiction!
Kurt spoke about his childhood in Pennsylvania where all his siblings were already in the pit of drug addiction. He spoke about his labourer Dad who died in a construction accident because he was drunk. He touched on heart wrenching stories about his sister who killed herself under the influence of drugs and his brother who killed his wife – both of whom were high! These blatant real stories in his life set the tone of the speech stating the extreme that can happen when you are under drug influence.
Kurt mentioned that even though there were drugs around him all his childhood, he never tried it. The addiction started with his first neck injury when he was on a tablet to help him get rid of pain. But the pain was so much that one some days Kurt took 120 tablets A DAY! That was the beginning of his addiction which destroyed most of his accomplishments. He got 5 DUIs in a mere 5 years and he went to rehab only because he was ordered to do so by the court after his DUIs.
From that dark end of the pit, one day finally he decided to take charge and at least give it a try to come out clean. That was the beginning of a revolution in his life. His coach at the rehab centre once said to him,”Grow up Kurt, it is high time now.” Kurt was furious at this statement at that time, but today when he understands what his coach meant he smiles and says, “He asked me to take responsibility for all my actions, grow up and take charge”.
It has been 3 years now that Kurt is clean and he said he cannot think of any other life than his current state. He emphasized that his wife trusts him more, his 4 kids adore and respect him and life could not have been better after getting clean.
He urged each and everyone in the audience to go to rehab, make sincere effort and not to fall in the trap of addiction again.
After an elongated round of questions from the audience which mostly centred around his regime to get out of addiction, the family support, his life as a wrestler and the sponsor who helped him out of addiction, the talk ended with meet and greet with the audience!
For one of the questions from the audience about Vince McMahon, he commented that “Vince is a different person outside the ring. He has a big heart.” But we think Kurt is the person with the big heart, strong will and a fervor to inspire everyone to get out of the addiction trap!
The talk indeed touched a chord with many in the audience and we hope for all the strugglers out there, you also emerge victorious one day!