Our History


Fitness in Recovery is a non-profit fitness-based organization free to participants founded by John Breen, and further developed with the help of Dr. Sidra Ghafoor. 

John first had the idea for Fitness in Recovery in 2012.  At the time, John was part of a successful athletic club in Pottstown, PA, and he began leading several workouts per week specifically for athletes in recovery.  Word about these workouts spread, and more and more members of the sober community began participating.  The benefit of exercising regularly to recovering addicts and alcoholics became incredibly clear, so John decided to bring the program – which he coined Fitness in Recovery – to other areas.  

John started looking for a location along the Regional Rail, between Philadelphia and the western suburbs.  This location ended up being Narberth PA.  In December 2015, John led his first Fitness in Recovery workout in Narberth at 100 Forrest Avenue.

Over the last three years, we’ve gone from one workout a week in Narberth to 35+ workouts each month in three different locations around Philadelphia.  Approximately 85 women and men, ages 17 to 67, ranging from 1 day sober to over 10 years sober, regularly participate in our workouts.

We understand that walking into a workout by yourself for the first time can feel awkward and intimidating.  So it might be helpful to know that we have participants of all ages, shapes, and sizes, and that before joining Fitness in Recovery, many participants never did a single tire flip, box jump, or dead lift.  It may also be reassuring to know that all workouts are led by trained instructors who are connected to the recovery community and have a profound commitment to service in helping the addict who still suffers.

So all you need to do to get involved is take the first step and show up for a workout. To learn more about our workouts, visit our Workout Page.