I’m happy to be speaking with Ben Tuff. Ben grew up splitting his time between Atlanta, GA and Jamestown, RI. He attended Colby College where he met his now wife, Gretchen and treasured his times working as a sailing instructor and boat captain in the British Virgin Islands. Ben developed a lifelong appreciation for the ocean and everything it has to offer.

Ben has been a lifelong educator and has worked with hundreds of boarding students from around the world. However, in 2012, Ben realized that he was struggling with alcohol addiction, and he needed to do something about it. Despite not knowing how to swim, Ben turned to triathlon and then to marathon swimming to help him break free from his addiction.

Esteemed producer Matt Corliss chronicled Ben’s journey to sobriety and the parallels of his recent swim in the film, Swim Tuff: How I Swam My Way Out Of The Bottle, which is set to be released in Spring 2023.

In today’s episode, we discuss Ben’s journey from his upbringing to his path to sobriety. We talk about how swimming has become such an important part of his life. Along with why he started sharing his story publicly, what he hopes to achieve by doing so, and what his biggest struggles were in early sobriety.

LISTEN or WATCH below:

Links mentioned in this episode:

Instagram: https://bit.ly/KickAssSoberLifeIG
Linkedin: https://bit.ly/TimLinkedin
Facebook Page: https://bit.ly/CamelbackFB
Youtube Channel: https://bit.ly/CamelbackYoutube
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3ISvBio
Apple Podcast: https://apple.co/3RLAU6X

For more links and resources check this out: https://linktr.ee/camelbackrecovery
Visit our website at https://www.camelbackrecovery.com/
or call us at 480-618-5430 for inquiries.


  • [03:03] Ben is super grateful for everything he’s been allowed to do.
  • [05:18] The choice to give up alcohol was a huge divergent path for Ben which has allowed him to find so much success.
  • [06:03] Quitting drinking was the most important decision Ben has ever made, but the second most important decision was learning to swim.
  • [08:29] Ben shares his struggles growing up. He had extreme anxiety. When he was 13 his mom gave him some vodka when he was having a panic attack. Alcohol became an escape and a solution.
  • [10:46] As a teenager, he partied every weekend.
  • [14:19] Ben’s identical twin brother was also an alcoholic and also stopped drinking.
  • [16:28] Ben shares when he realized that he was an alcoholic. He found himself in the depth of depression and the alcohol made it even worse.
  • [19:46] Making the decision to go to rehab was freeing. He gave up alcohol and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
  • [22:10] Three or four years ago, it became a goal for Ben to educate kids about addiction.
  • [23:02] He’s hoping that sharing his story will help others recognize the warning signs and get the help that they need.
  • [27:51] Ben will be sharing his story in a movie. It’s also helpful for Ben to share his story and learn from it.
  • [30:47] Right after rehab, he began swimming. Spending time in the water would help him be mindful and connect with a higher power.
  • [35:18] When he swims, he’s able to process the difficult questions in his life.
  • [40:21] Early struggles in sobriety included social struggles. Most of his friends were drinking buddies.
  • [41:57] Ben sees his life moving towards his passion of helping others get through addiction.
  • [42:48] Ben’s movie, Swim Tuff: How I Swam My Way Out Of The Bottle, is coming out in two weeks. He’ll be attending various movie festivals around the world and talking about the movie.
  • [43:43] Ben and his sister are also working on a book.

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