Former BMX pro shares story of recovery
PERRYVILLE — As a senior in high school, Tony Hoffman was one of the top BMX amateur racers in the country and was slated to appear on the cover of the nation’s leading BMX magazine.
Three years later, at age 21, Hoffman found himself in court facing 17 and a half years in prison after committing an armed robbery to support his addiction to prescription pills. Despite what seems like a dramatic fall from grace, Hoffman describes his journey as a se- ries of small decisions that ultimately set him on the wrong path: A bad attitude and struggles with anxiety in middle school. Starting to smoke weed and drink in high school. And eventually, the decision to start using prescription pills.
Without knowing it, Hoffman had walked through “the door.” Most people aren’t even aware the door exists, but once you walk through it there’s no going back, Hoffman told students at Perryville Middle School on Tuesday.
“When you walk through the door, you don’t get to choose whether you’ll be me or not. See there’s a lot of people that think addiction is a choice,” Hoffman told the students. “But let me tell you something: I didn’t choose to hold this microphone and my 11 friends that left in a casket, they didn’t choose to die from drug addiction. You find out after you walk through the door and it’s not a choice you get to make.”
Hoffman’s talk at Perryville Middle was one of several talks he will give
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Tony Hoffman calls on a student during a talk at Perryville Middle School on Tuesday.