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6 Gifts proves the best present is without drugs or alcohol

Six athletes share their inspirational stories as they gain sobriety and relish healthy, active lives.

There’s so much to celebrate where we live: the incredible feeling of soaring through powder, practicing yoga, gliding around a Nordic track or finding a rock climbing route. However, there is a definitely a party culture too. Maybe it’s the constant search for the adrenaline rush but outdoor adventures often seem to go hand in hand with party time. Sometimes partying gets in the way of living your best life.. It doesn’t have to be this way.

On December 9, Mountain Youth is teaming with the Riverwalk Theater to show 6 Gifts, a documentary that celebrates living life sober; finding gratitude while committing to life without drugs or alcohol. The film features six athletes who overcame addiction and are stoked to be sober, passionately following their dreams. This film ties in with Mountain Youth’s sober driving initiatives, one of which is to lower impaired driving.

“Our Safe Driving work focuses on a broad age range of 15 to 34. One of our strategies for lowering impaired driving is to offer sober events for that age range throughout the valley,” explains Hillary Higgins, Mountain Youth’s safe driving coordinator. Stoked and Sober is a way for everyone to celebrate life—sober.

The film follows athletes Ben Gravy, Monica Lebansky, Chris Vargo, Melody Schofield, Rebecca Selig and Scott French. All of whom, at one point in their lives couldn’t imagine facing life without either drugs or booze, until something clicked and they went one day, two days, three days, and well beyond, sober. It was then they were able to capture their dreams and strive to do more, to live the way they always wanted to.

Surfer Ben Gravy was a binge drinker who was able to quit drinking. He shares early on in the film, “Everyday was a surprise that I didn’t pick up a beer.” The first 30 days were a rollercoaster of emotions; he was six-months sober and he “knew he was sailing along.”

He sums it up that he went from feeling “like a loser” to being sober and realizing he could accomplish anything.

Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the documentary is that these athletes realized they have the power within themselves to soar, to grow, to change and to really live life sober because living addicted is a horrible place to be. The hope is that their stories inspire others to know sober life is always an option.

After the screening, the audience is invited to stay and participate in a question-and-answer period with Director Scott French, who is featured in the movie.

Beyond The Movie

For those already in recovery, Higgins has been instrumental in finding opportunities to create community. Through a partnership with NamaStay Sober, Mountain Youth offers free monthly community fitness classes called NamaStay Flowing events, free gym and yoga studio memberships to those in recovery. We’re so thankful to the partners who provide free memberships for those in recovery: Yoga Off Broadway, Mountain Recreation, Endorphin Eagle, Eagle Climbing + Fitness, Vail Athletic Club to name a few.

On Fridays, Mountain Youth partners with Mountain Rec at Gypsum Rec and Cross Training and Fitness of Vail to offer $5 evening classes during happy hour.

Through a partnership with Eagle Climbing & Fitness, Mountain Youth has $15 climbing, entry and rentals on Fridays when you mention NamaStay Sober. “If we can help change the party culture and offer sober programing in place of it, we can hopefully lower impaired driving. Our hope is that if we can get more people doing healthy activities not only will it have a positive impact on our young adult population but our youth culture as well,” Higgins says.

To learn more about NamaStay Sober, contact Higgins at


If You Go

6 Gifts by Sober and Stoked

December 9

6:30 p.m.


Riverwalk Theater

Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend

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