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   My name is Jon Cross. I'm from Pembroke, Massachusetts born June 27, 1987. I come from a loving home with one of the best families anyone could ever ask for, having three older siblings who were wonderful role models.  At some point during my early teenage years, I started to act in a way that would eventually prove to be detrimental. Over the next decade or so I began using drugs at a rapid pace. I eventually ended up using heroin, like so many other youths in Massachusetts, and soon realized my inability to stop. Luckily, I was fortunate enough to have a supporting family and a life-long friend that never gave up on me.

    In May of 2014 I went to a place in New Hampshire called The Plymouth House, and everything changed. They taught me the importance of family and introduced me to yoga and meditation. I soon realized this was not a normal rehab, and that they were going to open doors I never knew were there. After my stay they shipped me off to Portland, Maine where I met two men that continued to help me on my journey. I was taught various forms of meditation, and began to reestablish a healthy relationship with my family and loved ones.  As I progressed, I was given opportunities to work in social work, youth rehabs, managing sober houses, and even as a counselor at the place where it all began; The Plymouth House. During this time I was also able to accomplish  my goal of  playing  soccer at the collegiate level at the University of Southern Maine. During my years of active drug use, while living in Boston, I was unable to ever complete a full soccer season.   I ultimately became the first student-athlete in history that the NCAA has ever reissued eligibility due to addiction. I will forever be grateful to the committee that voted in my favor and the practices that allowed me to compete as a college athlete.

   Over the past few years I began seeing the benefits that yoga and meditation on me in my everyday life, and soon realized how everyone, not just those suffering from addiction, could benefit from these practices. Meditative practices helped me not only in recovery from drug addiction, but helped me become a better athlete, son, friend, and brother. When it came to soccer, I realized that taking care of oneself mentally was just as important as taking care of your body, and that my actions off the field would directly correlate with my ability to concentrate while playing soccer. Having experiences on both sides of this spectrum, I saw a tremendous improvement in both performance and overall wellness. The goal of Cross Wellness is to introduce student athletes to meditation and yoga,  while incorporating my personal experience and stories to demonstrate the beneficial changes that are possible over time. The goal is to potentially prevent future drug addiction, create peer bonds, and increase there general well being of future student-athletes.