we wanted to change the conversation
“By sharing our story publicly, we hoped we could end the stigma, bias, misinformation, blame, and shame that keep over 120 million Americans fighting something that even those afflicted may not fully understand. By establishing Pro Athletes in Recovery, we hoped we could save just one life, then 10, then 100, then…”
Strong advocates for recovery, Randy and Lydia Grimes originally launched “Pro Athletes in Recovery” to help other professional athletes find addiction treatment and recovery resources. The organization has since grown exponentially. Currently, this 501(c)(3) organization assists both athletes and others who reach out for help for their addiction.
Pro Athletes in Recovery also has a Mentorship Program which pairs up professional athletes who serve as mentors to assist people new in recovery, and they also work with family members during the recovery and aftercare process of their loved one.
We invite you to read the personal stories of Randy and Lydia below.
RANDY'S personal STORY
Standing at the Gate
about Randy Grimes
A Hall of Fame Football player with Baylor University and an NFL center whose successful career spanned 10 years with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Randy Grimes used prescription pills to treat his career-related injuries. Those pills fed an addiction that would last 20+ years.
Randy now dedicates his life to helping others through Pro Athletes in Recovery. He worked in the treatment industry for 9 years and is a regular keynote speaker at conferences and events, as well as being involved in interventions, training other professional athletes as Pro AIR mentors, and managing the day-to-day operations at Pro AIR.
RANDY HOSTS sports addiction summits,
bringing players together
Three 60-second sound bytes from Randy's personal story
about LYDIA GRIMES
“Drug addiction broke my husband physically, emotionally and spiritually. Since Randy went through treatment, his transformation has truly been a miracle. I have my husband back, my children have a father again—one who they are so incredibly proud of—and we share a faith in God that is greater than any obstacle before us.”
Lydia is the love of Randy’s life. They married while still in college, and she became Randy’s greatest cheerleader, supporter and life partner.
When Randy retired from the NFL, his addiction became worse. All of the injuries he had sustained throughout his career had created the perfect scenario for a catastrophic outcome.
After Randy accepted the help he so desperately needed, Lydia participated in her own personal recovery process. As an elementary teacher for 20 years, it is a natural fit for her to work with families and provide them with the education and support they need. She currently leads the Family Support Program at Pro Athletes in Recovery.
Randy, Lydia and their team members have helped hundreds of family members better understand addiction and begin their own recovery journey through self-care and loving detachment practices that can restore peace, joy and faith, regardless of the outcome of their loved one’s addiction.
families need help, too
When families first learn a loved one is struggling with an addiction, they of course want to do everything in their power to help their loved one get well. However, most families are unprepared for the challenges that lie ahead.
In this video below, Lydia Grimes speaks about her experience as the wife of someone who had a substance use disorder, more commonly known as an addict. Lydia shares that she didn’t know what to do when she first learned of Randy’s disease. She goes on to explain that the very things she was doing in an effort to help Randy could actually be enabling his addiction. As Lydia says, “Addiction is a family disease.”
Lydia’s story is one that countless families will find familiar, and she and Randy hope that by sharing their personal experiences, they may be able to help other families learn from the things they did right—and also the things they did wrong.
“Addiction is a family disease. I had to step aside so God could step back into my husband’s life.”
“Randy and Lydia’s strengths are changing — or often just starting — the conversation on these topics so that together, we can end the stigma, bias, misinformation, blame, and shame that keep over 120 million Americans fighting something that even those afflicted may not fully understand.”
Randy and Lydia have reached hundreds of thousands of people through Pro Athletes in Recovery, media interviews, keynote presentations, panel discussions, and workshops.
Randy has been a regular contributor on numerous national TV networks and media including The New York Times, NFL Network, ESPN, Anderson Cooper, Father Albert, CNN, Fox Sports, MSNBC, Fox News, SiriusXM Sports, and on the cover of Recovery Today Magazine, along with countless others.
Pro Athletes in Recovery has become Randy and Lydia’s passion, garnering support from some of the world’s greatest athletes. All are committed to making sure every single athlete or person suffering from addiction knows that there is help available. A few of the organizations Randy has partnered with in the past include the NFL Player Care Foundation, After the Impact Fund, Gridiron Greats, Motorsports Safety Group, Jockey Guild, and the Baseball Assistance Team to bring further awareness and treatment services to professional athletes, their families and others. As a result, hundreds of former professional athletes and others have since entered into treatment and are in recovery.
“Too many athletes and others have died from this disease already; a disease that is a healthcare crisis, not a moral one; a disease that should have no shame surrounding it, and a disease that is completely treatable.”
FOUNDER RANDY GRIMES