The story behind SobrietyWOD

Hello! I’m Josh Trahan. I am a Level 3 Certified CrossFit Trainer and I’ve been sober and in recovery for approximately 4 years. My interest in fitness and competition began in high school as a football player. My high school had an excellent strength and conditioning program, and I had an incredible relationship with my coach. After high school I drifted off into the bodybuilding model of fitness where I learned all I could about tearing down and building up muscle, but I was bored, unmotivated, and uninspired by it all. I was looking for that competitive spark.

I found a competitive, supportive group environment when I joined the United States Marine Corps. The training, the blood and sweat shared amongst brothers, and the will to win all returned for me; however, I was in the Reserves and so it was not full-time. I soon returned to the globo gym bodybuilding model of exercise and feeling uninspired.

In 2004, I was ordered to combat in Fallujah, Iraq to participate in Operation Phantom Fury. I quickly returned to a high level of fitness with my fellow Marines. While we looked fit and lean, we tired quickly carrying 75 pounds of gear. Frustrated with the reality that my version of strength and fitness was unusable, I stopped training altogether.

In 2005, I began to drink and use drugs heavily. Along with the drinking came 65 pounds of fat. Over the next few years, I was engaged in a life-threatening battle with addiction. In 2010, I met up with an old friend, a Marine returning from Iraq. My friend looked great. He told me about a new program sweeping the Marine Corps, called CrossFit.

While I was interested in doing CrossFit, at 5’8” and 270 pounds I was in no place to get started. Although I was still struggling with a severe alcohol problem, I started learning about CrossFit from the website and YouTube videos. I could feel the sense of community, passion, intensity, competition and functional fitness. I knew I was already in love with this form of exercise, but needed to get to a better place – I had to quit drinking and needed to lose a lot of weight.

Following a series of events, I moved to Georgia to get help with my drinking. While living in a halfway house, I embarked upon the long road to recovery. Everyone’s journey is different, but for me it was a spiritual and physical climb from the bottom. With CrossFit in my sights as a total philosophy, not simply a workout program, and AA as my spiritual program, my journey began. I saw many similarities between the two. I formulated a plan. I based my diet on the CrossFit nutrition articles, and went strictly Paleo. I structured an individual workout regimen based on the CrossFit model of high intensity, constantly varied functional movement. I recruited four roommates who I began to train and teach what I had learned from the CrossFit website. I subscribed to the journal and read every chance I got. My roommates and I scrounged for equipment, finding or building what we needed to get started. I proceeded to lose over 45 pounds in less than three months. My self-esteem was returning, I was sober, and my overall vitality and energy level steadily increased. After five months, I had lost another 15 pounds and was in the best shape of my life.

I often faced “disciplinary measures” while in recovery for devoting time to my physical recovery. My counselors thought I was focusing on my physical appearance INSTEAD of the inside, which needed to change. What they didn’t realize is that CrossFit places zero emphasis on looks. CrossFit is not a “look fit” program. The emphasis here is on performance. This is a “be fit” program. As a recovering addict, this is one of the most appealing aspects of CrossFit to me. I had “looked fit” when I returned from Iraq. I also pulled a hamstring the very first time I tried to run. What I needed was to actually “be fit” and to actually “be sober.” This is what I found: CrossFit is about fulfilling your potential. CrossFit is about being the Ultimate You. Nothing more. This is essentially the goal of addiction recovery as well.

In 2011, I returned to Louisiana. There was still much work to be done, but I found that all I had to do was continue what I had learned in both AA and CrossFit. I lived clean, ate clean, pushed myself to do difficult things as they came up, and stuck to my philosophies. My father noticed a pronounced change in my life and saw my passion for CrossFit as a positive thing in my life. With his help, in March 2012, we started CrossFit Breaux Bridge.

CrossFit Breaux Bridge has become a place where hundreds of people have been exposed to this way of fitness and countless lives have been positively affected. As we approached our third year, we branched out to bring the same level of quality and positivity to the Opelousas area in the form of CrossFit St. Landry.

In my years as a CrossFit Affiliate Owner I have always placed a strong emphasis on education. I hold nearly every additional certification offered through CrossFit’s training system including my Level 1 and Level 2. I am also the first trainer in Louisiana to hold the CrossFit Level 3 certification making me the first “Certified CrossFit Trainer” in the area.

In the process of bringing CrossFit to the local community at large, I have never lost my original vision of using it specifically to help my fellow addicts in recovery and those still suffering outside the walls. This dream has become a reality. I currently hold a weekly group at Townsend Recovery center where the vision for Sobriety WoD is being implemented with great effect.

Sobriety WoD is our effort to bring this new unconventional approach to total recovery right to you.


Sobriety WOD is a recovery based fitness program that incorporates the life principles and character development we have learned through our journey into sobriety with the principles and character developments we have realized through functional fitness.

For more information about this innovative program, please contact us via the form below.