It starts with a choice.

Running and beer had always been inseparable; the work and the reward. But, by late 2020, these threads of my fabric had become knotted. I was chronically dehydrated and stuck in a frustrating, painful cycle of inflammation and injury (among other painful cycles). The reward was killing me, and the universe laid out an ultimatum: “Running or drinking. Choose one.”

I’ve been alcohol-free for three years now. My health, relationships, and running have never been better. Now, I want to bring others along, help them find their own footing, and explore this path together… to see how good things can get.

About This Project

Last Chance Running explores the intersections of running and sobriety.* Themes like…

  • Toughness and resilience
  • Mindfulness and deep presence
  • Trust and self-reliance

It’s for anyone interested in enhanced quality of life through mind-body connection. People who…

  • Are currently, or have thought about going alcohol-free
  • Want to start running or become better runners
  • Are looking to optimize their health and relationships

No shoe reviews or tips for running a faster 5k here. We love that stuff, but a lot of folks already do it well. What you will find is thoughtful discourse around what running brings to sobriety and vice-versa; ideas for a clearer, calmer life. And who knows… You might end up with a faster 5k time in the process.

You might be thinking, “I could not possibly care less about running.” Or maybe sobriety’s not your thing. That’s okay! Our goal is to bring content that’s valuable to a broad spectrum of people. Hang out for a bit and maybe you’ll be surprised. Nothing to lose. right?

Last Chance: What’s in a Name?

In 1864, four disheartened prospectors were at a turning point. Passing through present-day Helena, Montana for the second time, they decided to give a small stream “one last chance” with their gold pans before returning east. It would be one of the richest strikes in state history.

A hundred other turning points could’ve erased this mining town from the map forever, but labor and luck have created an enduring gem. From whiskey-soaked mining camp, to shined-up mountain destination… Last Chance Gulch lives and thrives.

I coldly abandoned this place almost 30 years ago, as young people will do to small hometowns. But now I know, Helena is the only place I can commune with the ghosts who will help me write my next chapter. On long runs in these mountains and gulches, they whisper, “This is your last chance.”

Behind the Scenes

My name’s Mike and here are a few things to know about me.

I run a lot (up and down mountains whenever possible), and getting sober has made my experience of it immeasurably fuller. I’m beginning to see connections between addiction, recovery, and running that might be helpful to others. This is the genesis of Last Chance Running.

I’m a self-diagnosed highly sensitive person. This shows up externally as “quietness,” but Susan Cain says that’s okay, maybe even needed in the world. I’m curious, thoughtful, and empathetic. I have a complex inner life, and genuinely enjoy connecting things that seem to be very different (ahem, sobriety and running).

Lisa (see also: Pretty Munch) is my wife and partner in adventure. We’re basically a couple of grown-up kids, spinning through life, laughing at the absurdity and beauty of it all. We don’t have a five-year plan and what the heck is an annuity? Our journey has taken us lots of places. We’re home in Montana now.

* My personal experiences in addiction and recovery revolve around alcohol. That said, the themes we’ll explore here certainly apply to other domains of sobriety and wellness. Please see the Disclaimer for more about the information on this website.