Become an IronGiant; Tackling Addiction using Endurance Sport

Vanisha Breault

April 12th 2022 1:30 pm Neilson Room 2

Session Description

Exercise: the most under-utilized modality of therapy, and in the case of treating addiction and mental health issues is one of the greatest and most highly effective tools that has the potential to transform lives. How do we know it works? Because we have seen it work multiple times over with some of the worst cases of addiction imaginable. Addict to ironman is not just a phrase or a cool slogan for us, it is a reality. There are tremendous challenges in the early stages of addiction recovery and some of the biggest hurdles to even getting through the day is the belief in oneself that staying sober could ever be a reality, especially if or when relapse seems to be the norm. This presentation will discuss these challenges and how triathlon training uses the three different disciplines of swimming, biking, and running to partner with existing modalities of treatment such as AA, NA, CBT etc to complete a more holistic approach to recovery with its unique psychosocial profile.

Learning Objective

Discuss how exercise and especially endurance sport can make addiction recovery and overall mental health wellness more effective, prolonged, and with greater success and freedom for individuals.
Identify challenges and barriers to implementing sport recovery and potential concerns for participants. Summarize outcomes of implementation and the many stories of success.

Vanisha Breault: Bio

It takes gusto to live your recovery out loud, but that is how Vanisha Breault has pledged to live her life—every day. Recognizing her community as a chance to impact change on a local and national level, she is a crusader for social justice. Vanisha is the Author of her upcoming book; ‘Ordinary Courage’ and is the host and producer of the Podcast, Ordinary Courage Podcast, which has been ranked Top Ten in Canada. Aimed to explore real stories surrounding issues of addiction, mental health, and abuse, it’s pushing the boundaries of vulnerability, introspection and everyday courage, and ultimately shifting the paradigm of judgment towards one of compassion.
Vanisha’s most recent awards include, WOI 2020 Difference Maker Award and has been recognized as CTV’s Inspired Albertan. Her most recent achievement is her appointment as Director on the board for RESET Society, an organization that supports sexually exploited & trafficked women and girls.

Vanisha’s personal story of addiction is the motivating force behind her dream of breaking down the stigma surrounding mental health issues—a goal that couldn’t be timelier.
Vanisha is Founder and Executive Director of the Terminator Foundation, a non-profit organization helping youth overcome addiction. Its motto The Truth is You Can Recover drives the mission to revolutionize lives through the sport of triathlon. Offering one-on-one coaching, support, mindfulness practices and a guaranteed non-judgmental atmosphere, the Foundation hosts an annual conference, awareness runs, and Family group support.

Her story is one of perseverance and humility, and in many ways, deeply relatable to anyone who has ever struggled with trauma, shame, or self-doubt. She is a Subject Matter Expert in addiction and mental health issues.

Vanisha, resides in Calgary Alberta, she has 4 adult kids, and is MaG to 7 grandbabies.