THE FIGHT magazine debuted five years ago this month with a focus on sobriety on the first cover. Several sober men have graced the cover since that first issue. We went back to ask some of our sober cover models what it was like to share their experience in recovery, and what their sober lives are like today.
BY PAULO MURILLO
I wrote extensively about being a bat shit crazy bitch on a nasty run when I was out there partying it up, puking and falling into k-holes, so it only made sense to me that I would write with the same gusto about what it’s like from the sober side of the party scene for those of us who are lucky to make it out of the afterhours alive. Being on the cover of THE FIGHT magazine and sharing my sober story helped me hold myself accountable. I’ve had some growing pains since that cover came out, but I managed to maintain continuous sobriety through it all with a recent 9-year sober celebration, which really blows my mind. It’s been fascinating watching this magazine flourish these past five years. And although I lacked gratitude when this publication first came out, today I’m honored and deeply grateful that I graced the very first cover of THE FIGHT as a clean and sober man.
—Paulo Murillo, Issue #01
It was pretty exciting being on the cover. There have definitely been other adventures and successes. I had a radio show. I started my own media company, which was hugely successful the first couple of years and a bit overwhelming. I took a little time off and now I’m back at it, bringing it all back to life. That cover was the first time I spoke about being sober publicly. It was a double-edged sword. There were people who were inspired by it, but then it got to a point where I realized there are some things that are better left personal. [Sobriety] became part of my identity publicly and then I realized I needed to keep that separate. I still work a good sober program. I still have my moments. I left L.A. I did a little rehab in Orange County. I moved up to the valley. I’m a teacher now and I’m still training. It’s been a struggle, but it’s been good.
—Jeremy Manning, Issue #09
Sense Of Purpose
Being on the cover of the magazine offered me a platform to sort of come out and come clean with my struggle. It was really cool to get real with myself and with the public. It was a great experience and helped me clarify my own feelings about being sober from the drugs that were causing me problems and rebooting my own professional life. I’m still sober from the things I should be sober from. I had one major problem and that was with crystal. Do I drink? Yes. That was never my issue. Today, I’m operating at my absolute best. I’m busier than I’ve ever been and I’ve managed to maintain clarity and a sense of purpose.
—Dan De Leon, Issue #20
To me, it was a great experience, because I was able to share my story with a large audience and I was able to explain a little bit about my Kill Meth organization, which was in its early stages. Kill Meth has grown and it is now a full 501c3. That took a long time to get with the help of my mom who is the president of the organization. The killmeth.org website is up and running, where we provide education, resource assistance and encouragement for those suffering from methamphetamine addiction. I just turned eight years clean and sober—thank God. Currently I’m also going through it with some friends who are struggling and can’t stay sober. That hurts me. Other than that, a lot of good things have happened. Today, I own my own studio and I’m looking to buy a house in Las Vegas while I live in Los Angeles. I’ve been happily married for two years. The promises of sobriety have happened for me. Sobriety is great.
—Trenton Ducati, Issue #32
Being on the cover of
THE FIGHT magazine was definitely life-changing. I really put it all out there for the first time in the media. The feedback that I got was that it helped a number of people, which was the goal of my being vulnerable like that. It was definitely a highlight of the year. I’m sober six years now. My sobriety has been a journey. I’m in a phase of my sobriety now where I’m growing up and becoming more of an adult. Professionally, my career has really taken off. I’m still coaching at the Phoenix Effect. My private training is bigger than ever. I’ve expanded online and coaching people around the world. I’m a regular contributor for magazines. I’m an ambassador for Reebok, which is one of the bigger highlights. I’m training celebrities and I finally got my own place, which is kind of nice. Like I said, it’s been about growing up and really going after my dreams and my goals. It was an honor to be on the cover of THE FIGHT.
—Seth Browning, Issue #44
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