In late July, 2017 we will launch our crowdfunding campaigns to raise money to make our first documentary film, a self-titled effort called: Sober and Stoked. The movie is going to be a feature length documentary about our journey to meet other action sports enthusiasts (both professionals and amateurs) and get a first hand look at their stories of addiction, recovery, triumph and failure.
We are looking to get a diverse group of athletes and stories in sports as diverse as:
- Endurance Athletes
The movie is meant to inspire people currently suffering from addiction and those who are unable to find that missing piece to the puzzle to help finally get them sober. It is also meant for people who are already sober and feel like they need something else to get them motivated and out enjoying life, so they don’t fall back into previous traps and pitfalls.
Filming will commence in the fall of 2017 and will continue through the winter. Editing and Post-Production will take place in the late winter/early spring, and our anticipated release date for the movie is in late spring/early summer 2018!
We have some awesome prizes lined up for our campaign donors and we believe this campaign and movie will be the springboard to many more initiatives we want to build out to help those in need!
Guys with the dream to live Sober and Stoked!
People we need to help to feel like a success
We are trying to build a movement around this movie. For us it was so important to get back to nature, to go surf, to go ride, to just go be active. We want people to embrace whatever it is that inspires them and keeps them Sober and Stoked! That is the message we are trying to bring to those who need it and we are going to use our movie as the springboard to those dreams!
The Non-Profit (one day soon we hope!)
Our vision is to ultimately create a non-profit organization that focuses on improving people’s chances for success in sobriety by exciting, educating, and building a community of others who want their second chance at life to be fun! We want people to discover new talents, or rediscover ones lost to addiction, whether that talent or hobby is action sports, music, or arts, and we then want them to then share that with others in need. We hope to accomplish our goal through events, movies, camps, lessons, and more!
Every step of this journey so far has seemed surreal.
Every little milestone we have cracked has given us a feeling of elation.
We have absolutely no idea what will happen next…and that feels great!
No one, I mean no one would have ever thought that the two of us would be attempting this project today. That is not some sort of bravado filled, we were the shit back in the day, type delusion. People simply didn’t think we were going to make it, and for that matter, neither did we.
Yet here we are over a decade later, and we stand ready to try to help and inspire others to reach a point like this in their future. To give a little back of what we have received. It has to come from within though. You have to find that deep seeded calling. You have to find the thing that will keep you from going back to wherever you were previously, and you have to grab on to it. It matters not, what the nature of it is (provided it isn’t illegal, illicit, or immoral of course!), but rather what it does to the very core of you.
Does it move you? Does it inspire you? Does it push you?
If it does those things, you have found something special. You have changed something fundamentally in your way of thinking, and if you don’t get too far ahead of yourself, you can/will make it through this particular day.
Scott French's Story
The Last Day
July 20, 2006 a day when most people would throw in the towel. I woke up, it was 7:30 am, walked into the kitchen grabbed a Bud Light, poured a double shot of Jagermeister. I started my day off just like I had every day, for the past couple of years. A couple of shots first thing in the morning always helped with the shakes. I jumped into the shower, cleaned myself up, and remembered praying and hoping that I would actually one day be able to be clean and sober. Feeling like death had gone on for too long. I toweled off, got dressed, and finished off the bag of cocaine I had. I snorted the last of it, three lines that I cut, and thought that possibly that was the last time.
How it got there
Over a decade of doing drugs and drinking everyday had taken a toll on me. I had acquired 4 DUI’s over 10 years, had many drunk in public offenses, and many violation of probations. Many people thought I was life of the party. I worked in bars and many thought it was just part of the lifestyle. After some failed long term relationships the drug use began to be more of a constant. Cocaine slowly turned into meth and crack, and then Oxycontin and heroin. I was in a constant black out, many days I would stay up for days, suffering from sleep deprivation and drug use. I couldn’t dream anymore, and my nightmares, and my life were all the same. I was sick and tired.
I walked out the door and headed to Fairfax County Courthouse in Va. Eluding Police, reckless driving, and another DUI, I faced. I pleaded guilty and got jail time. I remember smiling, this was my chance. I was given an opportunity to forcibly be away from drugs and alcohol. I could transform my life, incarceration is the only way I’ll get sober. I was put in Department of Corrections in Va.
Recovery 101 & 102
I attended AA meetings while inside. I read the Big Book, I held on to sayings like the Serenity Prayer, one day at a time, this too shall pass, and everything happens for a reason. I gained weight, I felt better. I realized that July 20, 2006 will be one of the greatest days of my life. The first day of living clean and sober. The detox was vicious and scary in a jail cell, but I survived.
After I was released back into the public, I went snowboarding in Jackson Hole, and I knew that this had to be part of my future. I had to get back into what I loved while growing up. Soon after that, I went surfing, with Eugene. It was some of the best waves I had surfed, at the time. I remember thinking this is exactly what I need to do to survive.
It’s been close to 11 years since I’ve done drugs or had a drink. I wish I could say once I quit that life got easier. It has definitely gotten better. Still living with an addict lifestyle, I’ve gone from doing triathlons to doing Ironmans. Moving to Colorado to do some snowboarding one winter, to getting over 150 days on the mountain for 3 seasons in a row.
Sober and Stoked!
Giving back and lending a sober hand has always been on my mind, as well as Eugene’s. We finally had some pieces of the puzzle that came together. As life goes on, many of my friends have lost the struggle to addiction. With prescription drug addiction on the rise, heroin, and alcohol always being a problem for so many in the world today, I think its time we share our Sober and Stoked mindset with everyone!
Eugene Stiltner's Story
The last time
October 13, 2005 was a normal night for me at the time. I had a job interview the next morning, so I decided that the correct way to celebrate that interview was to stay out until last call. I then preceded to drive home on the shoulder of the interstate at one point, and was pulled over and arrested by one of Virginia’s finest. This was the culmination of almost 8 years of reckless, out of control drinking, depression, trouble with the law, and a desire to no longer go on. When I got out the next morning my parents and a family friend who had been sober for many years, sat me down for an intervention.
Help is on the way
The man’s name was Joe Conway, and he missed a trip to see his mother who was dying from cancer at the time to come and help me. He helped me get into treatment at Father Martin’s Ashley in Havre De Grace, Maryland two days later and off I went to attempt to tackle my demons. He passed away a couple years ago; he is one of the people this movie is dedicated to. I am forever grateful to him for what he did for me that day.
Fast-forward 12 years, and life is very different. I am happily married to the love of my life and we have an amazing 6 year-old son. I owned a successful restaurant for the last 7 years, and have produced 3 other movies, all in the surf world. I have gone back to school and will be graduating with my M.B.A. in Marketing from the University of Maryland in June. Professionally though, I am most proud of what Scotty and I are doing here with Sober and Stoked. He and I have talked about doing this for years, and I am incredibly excited to produce this Movie, and share this Movement and Mindset with anyone that wants to be a part of it!