Running and Recovery with The Salvation Army

From Addiction to Recovery

A prescription pill addict, I knew I needed help but had nowhere to turn to for help. Hopeless but desperate to turn my life around, I came to The Salvation Army. The Salvation Army welcomed me with open arms and provided me with a place to stay and a path to get better.

During my six-month stay at The Salvation Army’s Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC), I began a journey that would change my life forever. I figured out who I was and what kind of person I wanted to be. Through Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and church I found that I could be whoever I wanted to be, it just required focus and commitment.

On a New Path

After I finished the ARC program I began working as a Family Store donation pickup driver and then was promoted to store manager. During this time I was asked by The Salvation Army if I would like to participate in the 2016 Chevron Houston Marathon’s “Run for a Reason” half marathon, in order to help promote great work The Salvation Army does. I humbly accepted.

I trained with a co-worker from the ARC, who had also gone through the program, and I am proud to say that I completed the Run for a Reason half marathon. I had such a great time racing that I knew I had to continue. After that race, I was set on a new path. This path has shaped my life and given me more focus than ever before. I absolutely fell in love with the sport and haven’t looked back.

From Half-Marathoner to IRONMAN

One year after participating in the Run for Reason half marathon, I completed my first full marathon (and ran four more marathons since). Continuing to challenge myself, I decided to do a triathlon -swim, bike, run- which I completed three months later. Not wanting to stop there, I decided to tackle a full IRONMAN triathlon: 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, 26.2 mile… consecutively, with no break and under 17 hours. The task was daunting, and it didn’t come easy, but I did it. I can now call myself an IRONMAN, having completed it in 12 hours and 58 minutes.

Completing the IRONMAN has been my life’s greatest achievement, considering that three and a half years ago I couldn’t even get out of bed without taking a handful of pills. I give The Salvation Army credit for all of my achievements because without their help there’s no telling where I would be today.

Why I’m Running my Second Christmas in July 5K

On July 7, 2018 I will be running my second Christmas in July 5k. Why do I participate in a 5K when I am doing marathons and triathlons? I participate in this race, and will do so for as long as I can, to honor the organization that has given me a second chance in life.

During my addiction, I really didn’t do much of anything. But during my time at the ARC I started getting back in shape, I started lifting weights and I started running. I made a complete 180. I learned to let go and let God in. Ever since I put my faith and trust in Him, my life changed…and the blessings just keep coming.


If you’d like to learn more about our Christmas in July 5K, please click here.

About the Author

Bryan Kelley was born and raised in Santa Fe, Texas, a town 10 miles from Galveston. After graduating from high school, Kelley served for a year and a half with the U.S. Navy. In 2009, he graduated with an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science from College of the Mainland.

Kelley came to The Salvation Army’s Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) in 2014 due to a prescription pill addiction. After six months, he completed the program. While at The Salvation Army, Kelley worked as a donation truck driver and was promoted to Store Manager. Today, Kelley is an operator at Oiltanking Texas City.