When worlds collide, beautifully
On the road to recovery, a drug addict accepts a challenge to run
I have worked as a criminal defense attorney since 1987. I did divorce work for a short time and quickly learned to appreciate the average murder defendant over the average contested divorce case client.
A man I represented in court had a lot of good things going for him. And he had almost lost it all to heroin. Then he spent 30 days drying out before entering an inpatient program at a premiere facility for more than 60 days. His efforts allowed him to save his job and his house and to avoid prison. He also earned a chance to avoid felony convictions and maintained custody of his young daughter. His work got him readmitted into a drug court program that was on the verge of kicking him out.
But he threw it all away with new drug charges just 12 hours after getting a second chance at drug court.
Kenny Austin was enrolled in the Kane County Drug Rehabilitation Court program, and I was handling his drug court term violations; one violation after the next.
Then I thought of it. I challenged him to a 5K race. This was December 2010. The race would be the Thanks Alot Turkey Trot at Lord's Park in Elgin, Illinois, to be held Thanksgiving morning. Kenny thought over my suggestion. He warned me that an addict can't be trusted to keep promises and addiction had turned him into a liar. Nevertheless, he agreed to the challenge. To keep this promise, he said, he had to recover from his drug addiction.
I told him I didn't care how fast his finishing time was, only that he show up and finish.
The full story appears in the July 2012 print edition of Silent Sports. Don't miss an issue! Subscribe online, here.