Have you ever faced a task that seemed unmanageable or a point in your life where you just knew in your heart you couldn’t go on even one more step?
Business owner, Paul Miethe, is no stranger to feelings and situations that seemed insurmountable. At the age of 25, Paul had back surgery, which was almost the beginning of the end for him. He became horribly addicted to pain medications. Up until this point in his life he had never experimented with any type of drugs or marijuana. One could barely call him a casual or social drinker.
In no time at all, Paul fell deeper and deeper into addiction. He had worked at the URM for several years, had a solid work ethic and a great rapport with his employer. It wasn’t long before his employer became aware of his addiction and paid for him to enter into a treatment program after he was caught stealing pain killers out of a co-workers lunch box. He returned to work after completing the treatment program but his sobriety was short lived. Once again they sent him into a treatment center but Paul just couldn’t stay sober.
Pain medications were no longer giving him the feelings he was looking for. Pain medication turned into heroin, heroin to meth, and so on. He was now addicted to intravenous drugs. His addiction went on for approximately ten years.
Paul lost everything in his life that meant anything to him: his marriage and career of 13 years, his relationship with his children, every element of trust with every person in his life prior to his addiction and every moral and ethical belief he had. He lied, cheated and stole so much that even his closest family and friends were afraid to be around him. He became suicidal and hopeless.
Paul wasn’t able to keep a job because he was consistently fired for stealing. He slept in his 1996 Ford Explorer until he signed it over to his drug dealer for drugs. Then, a family member allowed him to sleep in their pop-up camper on the property of a close family friend, but that didn’t last long. He broke into their home and stole from them while they were out of town and was kicked out of the camper and off of their property. At this point, he was truly homeless and spent a few weeks on the streets sleeping in parking lots and under trees.
During this time, Paul made several attempts at recovery and had brief stints of sobriety. He continued to car prowl and steal in order to stay loaded. At this point, he was wallowing in self-pity and had given up on himself. He didn’t believe in his heart he’d ever change and he truly thought he’d die a drug addict. Each time he’d enter treatment his body would go through physical withdrawals. “I felt like my skin was crawling. I was puking. I had uncontrollable sweats and terrible body aches,” said Miethe. “Meth cured me from opiate withdrawals but now I had that monkey on my back.”
Paul’s family stopped enabling him early on, but they never gave up on him. After completing his 8th round of treatment, Paul moved into the Oxford House in Spokane, WA, a home for “clean and sober living, ” where he resided for 6 months. During this time he was able to stay off drugs but was still drinking and pretending to be fully sober for the people who ran the house. During this same time, he met his now wife, Krystal. He fell in love with her immediately. Within a few short months, the power of addiction had hijacked him again. Krystal begged him to go back into treatment. He doubted himself and the ability of the treatment center to help him, after all, he’d been in 8 times before. This time something different happened.
On March 28, 2013, Paul entered his 9th and final treatment center. Upon entering the center, he met a counselor who talked straight to him, “You are an addict and will die an addict. You want somebody else to fix you,” said the little older gentleman. Those words hit Paul deep inside. He went through their 30-day program and immediately went to an AA meeting the day he was released. He found a sponsor, became very active in the program, worked the 12 steps to the best of his ability and has continued ever since. To this day, he still attends weekly meetings.
Shortly afterward, Paul found a newfound strength in fitness. He lost over 130 pounds and has kept it off for over four years. He and Krystal were married, they adopted a child and had a child of their own. He sponsors several men and supports them on their journey of sobriety.
In 2017 Paul opened InteGRITTY Fitness in Liberty Lake. While waiting for his gym to open, Paul taught fitness lessons in the park free of charge for nearly 3 months. Since the doors opened in November 2017, enrollment has exceeded 300 members. “InteGRITTY Fitness is unlike any other gym out there. We have created a unique environment. It’s like one big family. We are the “Cheers” of gyms, where everybody knows your name…We have fun and truly enjoy our workouts but we also produce results unlike any other gym out there. It’s a special thing,” states Paul. “Whether you are a 19-year-old Rugby player getting ready for the season or a 74-year-old grandmother trying to lose 10 pounds, you will feel just as comfortable.”
InteGritty Fitness is quickly becoming known to many as “a place of healing.” They offer 45-minute classes every hour. Additionally, they have a staffed, beautifully decorated and well stocked Kids Zone. “We wanted to provide a gym where parents could bring their children and be able to get an awesome workout without having to worry about their kiddos!”
Paul states, “Hitting rock bottom forced me to a level of self-examination that I don’t believe most people have the privilege of seeing. I had to tear apart every old idea, every belief, every value and every single element of who I am. There was not one relationship that I didn’t do damage to. I’ve since gotten to make amends thanks to the miraculous teachings of the 12 steps of AA. But the fact of the matter is that I will be repairing broken relationships until I draw my last breath.” He wants every person struggling with any type of addiction to know, “You can’t do it alone…It’s a cunning, baffling and powerful disease and you have to find a higher power. Something or someone bigger than you. You have to work at it every day.”
The staff at InteGRITTY Fitness can’t say enough great things about Paul and what he’s brought to the community. One member of the coaching staff states, “You have to watch him coach. He is truly amazing!” Another states, “Where he’s been, what he’s accomplished and what he does for people is so inspiring.”
InteGRITTY Fitness offers a one week free trial to everybody. They are located at 22820 E Appleway Ave STE B in Liberty Lake. You can also follow them on Facebook.