Episodes of The Sport Clips Haircuts Hall of Fame Podcast - Survive and Advance with Cortney Critser

Red Banner with HOF Episode

This podcast interview is with Cortney Critser, Assistant Manager at CA755. This episode is the next in our "Survive and Advance" series. Throughout the series, we have been holding conversations with survivors of addiction, illness and other life challenges. In this episode, Cortney details her unimaginable introduction to meth, which lead to homelessness, jail time and suicidal depression. She also describes how she found peace and stability while at Sport Clips. Are you or a loved one looking for help with your addiction? Please visit NA or AA for more details today.

Chad and Cortney Critser

Episode Air Date Guest Name Guest Title Topic(s)
May 17, 2019 Cortney Critser Assistant Manager Escaping generational addiction and discovering true purpose

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Chad Jordan: Hey, everybody this is Chad Jordan, Director of Marketing for Sport Clips Haircuts. This another edition of our Hall of Fame Podcast. I'm actually in lovely southern California today, and I was here originally to interview one person, Barbara Montes, the Area Manager of the Year, the reigning Area Manager of the Year. And when I got here I realized, I heard there's a story that we had to capture for the podcast. So we are going to do that today. This is a bonus edition, if you will. And it's going to be an episode that is part of our Survive and Advance series where we talk to, especially stylist, Assistant Managers and Managers that have recovered from addiction, or if they've been battling cancer, and they're survivors and all that kind of stuff.

Chad Jordan: So my guest today certainly fits the bill for the Survive and Advanced series, which is why I'm excited to get a chance to sit down with her, and find out a little bit about her story. So without further ado, can you please let me know, why don't you give me your full name and the store that you're currently the Assistant Manager, I believe, at?

Cortney Critser: Yes. My name is Cortney Critser, and I am the Assistant Manager at CA755 Thousand Oaks.

Chad Jordan: All right. So she's in Thousand Oaks. One of the best places to live in America, by the way. So she's won the lottery there.

Cortney Critser: Yes.

Chad Jordan: And team leader Chamberlains?

Cortney Critser: Yes.

Chad Jordan: Okay.

Cortney Critser: Of course.

Chad Jordan: So she's working for Ron and Robin and Spencer Chamberlain. And who's the manager at the store?

Cortney Critser: Jouslin Montezuma.

Chad Jordan: Okay. All right. So the reason this podcast got going today is because we're at this MTC, Manager Training Camp, or this little class they're having here, which turned into a opportunity for me to interview Barbara Montez, like I said earlier. And they were getting ready to take a break and she was the only one who was going to go take a smoke break, or whatever. And I tried to bribe her to quit. And I think I threw $5,000 out there as an option-

Cortney Critser: And a free trip to the Huddle.

Chad Jordan: ... and a free trip to Huddle, which I'm sure my Huddle ladies are going to love hearing that me do that. But anyways, I said, "Well, maybe we should have some contest." And she actually started telling me that she's actually scaling back from a pack a day or whatever it was.

Cortney Critser: Yes.

Chad Jordan: And now is vaping or has a Juul or something. And that's helping her kind of curb her nicotine. And that reminded me, "Oh, there's somebody else that we've interviewed on the Hall of Fame Podcast and she was a manager, a co-manager in New Jersey who's done the same thing and she's quit smoking. So anyways, I started telling that story and then all the other ladies at the MTC said, "Oh, you got to hear her story for the podcast because." So it turns that she is a survivor of addiction, Courtney is.

Cortney Critser: Yes.

Chad Jordan: And so whenever I hear that, and especially someone whose turned their lives around and is a flourishing at Sport Clips, I want to capture that story for all the world to hear. So that's what we're doing today. I want to get into it a little bit. So first of all, congratulations. You are how many years clean?

Cortney Critser: February 11th was my two year mark.

Chad Jordan: Okay, so two years clean. February 11th, right around Valentine's Day. Look at that.

Cortney Critser: Yeah.

Chad Jordan: So you get a double whammy there. You get to celebrate and eat all the candy that you want on Valentine's Day.

Cortney Critser: Yes.

Chad Jordan: So two years clean from what was it that you had struggled with?

Cortney Critser: Meth? I was using meth intravenously.

Chad Jordan: Okay. And you just woke up one day and said, "Hey, you know what would be good for me to do?" No. So how-

Cortney Critser: Absolutely not.

Chad Jordan: ... start me on the path of understanding how you found yourself addicted to meth and then we'll walk through how you got clean.

Cortney Critser: Okay. So high school, I was in a pretty abusive relationship physically, sexually, verbally. And that's when my addictive personality kicked in. It was more alcohol then.

Chad Jordan: Okay.

Cortney Critser: And then after I got out of that relationship-

Chad Jordan: Was the relationship you're in, was he drinking a lot and doing all that as well or?

Cortney Critser: No, I just needed it, as a crush to the-

Chad Jordan: Okay. As a release.

Cortney Critser: Yeah.

Chad Jordan: Okay. And you said addictive personality. At the time, did you know that you had this kind of personality? Is it something looking back now that you've had some years of recovery under your belt-

Cortney Critser: Yes.

Chad Jordan: ... that okay you recognize-

Cortney Critser: So, now that I have recovery-

Chad Jordan: ... okay.

Cortney Critser: ... I recognize that that was an addictive behavior.

Chad Jordan: Traditionally addictive behavior like that runs in the family, right?

Cortney Critser: Yes.

Chad Jordan: So was that true for you?

Cortney Critser: Absolutely.

Chad Jordan: All right.

Cortney Critser: So getting to that, my dad is the one that actually introduced me to meth.

Chad Jordan: Oh, okay.

Cortney Critser: Yes.

Chad Jordan: That's a lot to unpack there.

Cortney Critser: Yes.

Chad Jordan: We might need more than a half hour this podcast. So you're in high school, you're getting through-

Cortney Critser: This was actually when I was 20 .

Chad Jordan: Okay. So, because high school was alcohol right? That was the-

Cortney Critser: Alcohol, and just like heroine, drugs.

Chad Jordan: ... like lighter marijuana.

Cortney Critser: Yeah.

Chad Jordan: Okay. The other stuff. You survived high school. I assume, got out of that relationship at some point?

Cortney Critser: Yes.

Chad Jordan: Okay. And then how does a dad introduce a daughter to meth? Walk me through that?

Cortney Critser: Okay, so obviously he's sick too.

Chad Jordan: Yes. Yeah.

Cortney Critser: I do take responsibility that I did know what it was. So that's mean taking responsibility for that. But my parents divorced when I was six years old, and he just like came and went as he pleased. So as I was growing up, I always wanted that father/daughter relationship.

Chad Jordan: Oh sure. There's a big hole in your heart-

Cortney Critser: Yes.

Chad Jordan: ... for a daddy.

Cortney Critser: And I'm just trying to fill it with-

Chad Jordan: Right.

Cortney Critser: ... a bunch of different stuff.

Chad Jordan: Right.

Cortney Critser: So yeah, it was just like, he finally showed up one day and he was like, I forgot how exactly it happened. It was just, I think, oh, he was actually on my mom's balcony. He came to take me and my sister out to lunch. And my sister hadn't gotten there yet, and he actually opened a glasses case to get his glasses out. But it was the wrong glasses case.

Chad Jordan: Oh.

Cortney Critser: And he's like, "Oh this is wrong glasses case." And I was like, "What do you mean?" And then he's like, "Do you want to try it?" And I was like, "Sure."

Chad Jordan: Wow.

Cortney Critser: Which was the dumbest decision of my life.

Chad Jordan: On your mom's balcony, waiting?

Cortney Critser: Yes.

Chad Jordan: Is it your younger sister who that, whatever you're waiting for?

Cortney Critser: My sister six years older.

Chad Jordan: Okay, so you're waiting for your older,-

Cortney Critser: My older sister.

Chad Jordan: ... more responsible sister or?

Cortney Critser: She does not have addictive-

Chad Jordan: Okay. All right.

Cortney Critser: ... bone in her body. She's the fortunate one.

Chad Jordan: So is that something, when that happened, did you right then and there or did he mean it like later on when we're not at your mom's house, do you want to do this?

Cortney Critser: It was right then and there.

Chad Jordan: Wow.

Cortney Critser: My mom wasn't home.

Chad Jordan: Okay, okay, okay.

Cortney Critser: She was at work.

Chad Jordan: I see. So to pass the time-

Cortney Critser: Yes.

Chad Jordan: ... essentially is what's going on.

Cortney Critser: Exactly.

Chad Jordan: You guys. And you said a needle, so you shot it, or you smoked it. What?

Cortney Critser: So it started off as smoking, and then I would like drive down, he lived in Hawthorne. So like the bad area of LA, not-

Chad Jordan: Not where we are right now.

Cortney Critser: ... fit for me.

Chad Jordan: You're not Orange County and yeah.

Cortney Critser: So I would like take trips down there to go and get high, and then come back home, and then it just started like being more consistent. And then I finally ended up down in LA. And then my dad got kicked out of his apartment. And then we're living on the streets, and-

Chad Jordan: Wow. So you're with your dad through all of this.

Cortney Critser: Yes.

Chad Jordan: I mean, you guys are kind of in it.

Cortney Critser: So dad has esophageal cancer.

Chad Jordan: Okay.

Cortney Critser: And-

Chad Jordan: At the time? He already had it.

Cortney Critser: Yes. Wonder why, right?

Chad Jordan: Right. Exactly. One of the dangers of drugs, especially that kind of drug.

Cortney Critser: Exactly. Exactly.

Chad Jordan: Yeah.

Cortney Critser: So I was kind of there to help him.

Chad Jordan: You were caretaker, yeah.

Cortney Critser: But also to get high.

Chad Jordan: Yeah.

Cortney Critser: What's in it for me too, right? Yeah. And then we ended up just like living out in the car. It was kind of crazy though to think about how it all happened so quick. Because I mean, I was in a full service salon.

Chad Jordan: Okay. Oh, so you were already cosmetologists?

Cortney Critser: Doing hair.

Chad Jordan: You're 20 years old.

Cortney Critser: Yes.

Chad Jordan: And you were pretty clean at that point, right? I mean-

Cortney Critser: Yes.

Chad Jordan: ... you had gotten out of the bad relationship, you weren't really drinking as much, or whatever.

Cortney Critser: Well I was like smoking weed, occasionally.

Chad Jordan: Right.

Cortney Critser: But not like all the time.

Chad Jordan: Yeah.

Cortney Critser: And yeah, I just dropped-

Chad Jordan: You were high functioning at that point, at least.

Cortney Critser: Yes. Still functioning. Yes.

Chad Jordan: Yeah.

Cortney Critser: So I just literally dropped everything and I just let that drug, just like totally wrap around my soul and just like completely rock me.

Chad Jordan: What about it made you think, "I need this. I can't get away from this?" Was it just because you felt like you were wired that way or was there something different about meth, and about the way you are abusing it that appealed at the time?

Cortney Critser: I think it was more of the fact that, okay, I'm here with my dad.

Chad Jordan: Yeah.

Cortney Critser: And it's finally here, this day is finally here. And the meth was just like always there.

Chad Jordan: Right.

Cortney Critser: So it was just like kind of numbing the pain while trying to fix, obviously we weren't fixing much.

Chad Jordan: Yeah.

Cortney Critser: But.

Chad Jordan: Yeah. It's the fact that, I mean, so I have two daughters and a son, and soccer is our addiction where-

Cortney Critser: Yes. That's a health addiction.

Chad Jordan: I coached their soccer teams, and spend a lot of time with them. But I can imagine if we didn't have something healthy like that, I can imagine my daughter's yearning for something, that relationship. And so that was the appeal for you, right?

Cortney Critser: Yes.

Chad Jordan: Was the fact that this is your chance to spend time with your dad. Of course, it wasn't high quality.

Cortney Critser: It was no quality at all pretty much.

Chad Jordan: Yeah.

Cortney Critser: Because, it's kind of like when you steal something from a store, like he'll find receipts on the store parking lot like outside, and then if it was paid with cash, he would have me go steal it and then he would go make the return.

Chad Jordan: Oh, okay.

Cortney Critser: So like if I didn't do that, because obviously I dropped everything and I didn't have any income.

Chad Jordan: Right.

Cortney Critser: Like he would bribe me and be like, "Oh well guess you're not eating tonight." Like kind of crazy.

Chad Jordan: Yeah. Twisted for sure.

Cortney Critser: So before my addiction, I was around like 120, 125. And within two weeks I dropped down to 82 pounds.

Chad Jordan: Oh, wow.

Cortney Critser: Yeah.

Chad Jordan: Walking skeleton.

Cortney Critser: And then my immune system just went into complete shock.

Chad Jordan: Yeah.

Cortney Critser: I ended up developing staph throughout my whole entire body, that went untreated and turned into Mersa, which is fatal. So that definitely put a dent in my self esteem, and just like walking around all strung out.

Chad Jordan: Yup.

Cortney Critser: All bad.

Chad Jordan: Yeah. This is going to sound crazy, do you have any pictures of you from that time?

Cortney Critser: I actually do. I have-

Chad Jordan: Okay.

Cortney Critser: ... pictures of my mugshots-

Chad Jordan: Oh, mugshots.

Cortney Critser: ... on my Instagram.

Chad Jordan: So there's more than one. There's multiple mugshots. So you're stealing, you got caught a couple times. Is that what's going on, or?

Cortney Critser: I never really got caught shoplifting.

Chad Jordan: Or possession.

Cortney Critser: But I did end up stealing cars.

Chad Jordan: Right.

Cortney Critser: I stole two of my dad rentals cars. That was like in the midst of my addiction, where I just like wanting to go home. So he actually does a bunch of identity theft. So any car that he rented wasn't actually under his name.

Chad Jordan: Yeah.

Cortney Critser: So I would just like take the car, and I try to book at home. But somehow, some way he would always find me. Even like not at my mom's house. And then-

Chad Jordan: And then what? He would turn you in? I mean.

Cortney Critser: No, he wouldn't turn me in. He would just get the car. Like I remember I was trying to get back from Hawthorne to my mom's house in Thousand Oaks and I stopped at Target in the Valley. Went into Target to go to the bathroom, came back out and the car was gone. But his boss's car was there.

Chad Jordan: Oh, so he'd driven his boss's car.

Cortney Critser: Yeah, I'm thinking-

Chad Jordan: And tracking you down.

Cortney Critser: Or yeah. It was weird. So I still get like anxiety, like what if he's like tracking me-

Chad Jordan: Yeah.

Cortney Critser: ... or like following me.

Chad Jordan: So is your dad still alive, even with the esophageal cancer?

Cortney Critser: I haven't heard from him.

Chad Jordan: Okay.

Cortney Critser: That's something I still struggle with is like, cool, I haven't heard from you in like three months, four months, five months. So it's definitely implanted in my mind, like is my dad still alive?

Chad Jordan: Right.

Cortney Critser: What's going on?

Chad Jordan: Right.

Cortney Critser: But it's all just a bunch of... I don't think he'll ever get it, you know?

Chad Jordan: Yeah. You are obviously, now you're in Hawthorne, you're, Oh, this is a picture of... Wow. You look like you're going to kill me as I'm looking at this picture. I'd be scared to see you on the street, that's for sure.

Cortney Critser: Yes.

Chad Jordan: But yeah, that doesn't even look like you.

Cortney Critser: I was actually able to sneak meth into county.

Chad Jordan: Wow. Where there's a will, there's a way.

Cortney Critser: There's a way. Yep. What else? And then, yeah. So I finally got back to my mom's house. And I made a Plenty of Fish account, which is a dating website. And I found this guy in Chino Hills, and he was like, "Yeah, I'll just Uber you out here." That's like a-

Chad Jordan: Right.

Cortney Critser: ... $300 Uber.

Chad Jordan: Yeah.

Cortney Critser: But okay. But I told him my story and he's like, "Okay, I'm going to help you get clean and blah, blah, blah." He ended up being decent at first. He would give me vitamin B12 shots that will help me not have as gnarly withdraws.

Chad Jordan: Had you tried to quit yet?

Cortney Critser: I hadn't. But I mean, it's very hard to quit off of a needle.

Chad Jordan: Yeah.

Cortney Critser: Yeah. So he kind of took care of me for a while. But I was still using, just not as heavily, obviously. Yeah. And then we ended up breaking up. And he told me he threw away my baby album, and my Bible.

Chad Jordan: Who told you all this?

Cortney Critser: This ex at the time.

Chad Jordan: Okay.

Cortney Critser: The one that took me out to Chino Hills. And then-

Chad Jordan: Had you moved in with him? Is that why he had stuff?

Cortney Critser: Yes.

Chad Jordan: Okay. Okay. I missed that part.

Cortney Critser: I moved in with him.

Chad Jordan: All right.

Cortney Critser: And then we broke up and then he threw all my stuff away. So I obviously went back to Hawthorne and was on the streets again. And then someday I looked at my keys and I was like, "Oh, I still have his Corvette key on my key chain."

Chad Jordan: Oh, wow.

Cortney Critser: So I had a friend take me all the way from Hawthorne to Chino Hills, and I stole his Corvette. Took the Corvette-

Chad Jordan: You were that crazy ex that they warn-

Cortney Critser: Yes.

Chad Jordan: ... all the boys about, right? Yeah. Okay.

Cortney Critser: So I stole his Corvette, and I was riding around Hawthorne and-

Chad Jordan: Just joy riding or did you have a plan? I mean, was there?

Cortney Critser: There was no plan.

Chad Jordan: Okay. Yeah.

Cortney Critser: The plan was to steal his car and go back to Hawthorne and get high again, obviously.

Chad Jordan: Okay.

Cortney Critser: So it was about two weeks after I had taken it and I was driving around, and I took a turn into a parking lot, and I just see all these cops behind me. I'm like, I'm over, this is so bad.

Chad Jordan: Yeah.

Cortney Critser: And like they were actually holding me at gunpoint.

Chad Jordan: Oh. Well, because you'd had this car, you said two weeks?

Cortney Critser: Yes.

Chad Jordan: So usually don't they get abandoned at some point and people realize somebody is going to come looking for this thing? But, yeah.

Cortney Critser: Honestly, at that point, I didn't really care because it's like, if I get arrested and go to jail, it's a place to eat, sleep, and shower. So-

Chad Jordan: Kind of the method to the madness.

Cortney Critser: Yes. Method to the meth.

Chad Jordan: Yeah. Oh, yeah. No pun intended, right?

Cortney Critser: Yes.

Chad Jordan: And that's what happened, right? So you get arrested?

Cortney Critser: I did get arrested.

Chad Jordan: Yeah.

Cortney Critser: And I did go to jail. And-

Chad Jordan: Do they give you, is it one of these where they offer, "All right, you can either get clean and we'll put you in a program, or you're going away for however many years?"

Cortney Critser: They actually did not offer that to me.

Chad Jordan: No drug court or anything like that?

Cortney Critser: I forgot how did I get out of jail? I think they just released me, because I did have a key to the car.

Chad Jordan: Oh, okay.

Cortney Critser: And since it's a non violent crime-

Chad Jordan: Got it.

Cortney Critser: ... they don't fully process you. You just get cited out and then you get released on OR.

Chad Jordan: California's like we got enough criminals. We just can't access them all.

Cortney Critser: I know. If you're not killing, stabbing, or shooting anybody, you're free to go. Just come back for your court date. But I ended up picking up all these charges and obviously I only made it to like possession court dates, like nothing major. And then after my ex's car, I took another one of my dad's rental cars.

Chad Jordan: You hadn't learned your lesson?

Cortney Critser: No, but it's funny because every time I look at it, like the dad's rental car thing, there was two of them.

Chad Jordan: Yeah.

Cortney Critser: Each time I was trying to get home to like get myself together. And this time is when it was really crazy, because I stole the last rental car, and it was pushed to start. So I was actually at a drug dealer's house picking up a sack, and it wouldn't start. I'm like, what is going on? Is it the battery? No, I can't be the battery. Like trying to weave through all the problems. And the next thing you know, I see like cops pull up at a drug dealer's house. I'm like, this is not the right time.

Chad Jordan: Double busted. Yeah, right.

Cortney Critser: But somehow he got off.

Chad Jordan: Nothing goes my way.

Cortney Critser: Yeah. He got off. Obviously, I didn't tell him he was drug dealer because that wouldn't be that great. But, and then, yeah, I was seeing this one guy at the time. And he actually had enough money to bail me out. So he bailed me out. And then, what exactly, I think I went back to my mom's house. And then I realized my dad was actually in jail at the time. And this was like at my wit's end. Like I've tried suicide. I tried like getting clean on my own, everything, like just narrowing it down to smoking it, nothing would work. I was just done completely over it-

Chad Jordan: Any Methadone, or anything-

Cortney Critser: ... depression.

Chad Jordan: ... at that point?

Cortney Critser: For stimulants, they don't give you Methadone.

Chad Jordan: Oh, okay.

Cortney Critser: Yeah. Methadone's for more opiates.

Chad Jordan: Okay.

Cortney Critser: So, I was just over it and then I, you know what, I made a plan to get into rehab before my dad got released out of jail.

Chad Jordan: So that you guys don't-

Cortney Critser: So-

Chad Jordan: ... cross paths or a risk crossing paths.

Cortney Critser: Yes. And then I just completely mess it up all over again. And this time, it wasn't court ordered or anything like that, which in the end saved my butt, because I finally got into the rehab. It took me a couple of days to be like, "Okay." They're like, "We'll take you whenever, just come whenever you're ready." It did take me a couple days. I was like, "Oh my God, I don't know if I'm ready." It was honestly the hardest change of my life. I can honestly say that. But it was the best change.

Chad Jordan: What was the hardest part?

Cortney Critser: Checking myself into rehab.

Chad Jordan: Okay.

Cortney Critser: And giving up that whole lifestyle. But it was the best change in my life. So I finally got into rehab and I was there for 29 days.

Chad Jordan: Where was it?

Cortney Critser: Action Family Counseling and Piru.

Chad Jordan: Okay.

Cortney Critser: Yeah.

Chad Jordan: Middle of nowhere, right?

Cortney Critser: Yes, kind of.

Chad Jordan: Yeah. Yeah.

Cortney Critser: It's on the way to Santa Clarita from Ventura.

Chad Jordan: Yeah.

Cortney Critser: But yeah, it was pretty crazy. I finished that program and I'm still struggling with the fact that like, I still can't have that father/daughter relationship. So I really, really have to stick to my boundaries when it comes to my dad.

Chad Jordan: Did they address that a lot in rehab? That part.

Cortney Critser: Yes. So when you go to rehab, they give you like a whole action plan. Like what if this situation happens? You have to stick to this plan. And what are your goals? And trying to stay clean. Like what limits are you willing to take to stay clean? So, so far so good. My Dad didn't want to see me, so I came up with a boundary with my mom, that if my dad ever wanted to see me, it would be with my mom, or my sister, or my boyfriend. And that's it. I cannot be alone with him.

Chad Jordan: And they would have to be in the actual room with you the entire time.

Cortney Critser: Yes. Yes. So we did go to dinner. And I'm still struggling with it because it makes me angry because he, like I told my mom what had happened because she was like, "Oh, he told me that his roommate introduced you to it, and he got you hooked on it."

Chad Jordan: He was lying.

Cortney Critser: In my addiction, this was in my addiction when me, and my mom had this conversation, and I was like, "No mom, it was dad," And she didn't believe me, whatsoever.

Chad Jordan: It's tough to believe an addict.

Cortney Critser: Yes.

Chad Jordan: Right?

Cortney Critser: Yes.

Chad Jordan: So-

Cortney Critser: So she just didn't believe me. And then once I got into recovery and once I just laid everything on the table, and she's like, "Oh, you weren't lying."

Chad Jordan: Right.

Cortney Critser: And you know what? I feel for her because I know, she says she doesn't, because I asked her not to be angry towards him about it. But I can see why she would be.

Chad Jordan: Yeah, of course. You're her baby girl.

Cortney Critser: Yes, I honestly don't think she's that mad about it anymore, because now me and my mom are like best friends. I can call her in any situation. I can cry about dropping a chicken nugget on the floor if I'm just having one of those days, and she will listen to me.

Chad Jordan: Especially from Chic Fil A.

Cortney Critser: Yes.

Chad Jordan: I mean, let's be real.

Cortney Critser: But yeah.

Chad Jordan: So you, two years?

Cortney Critser: Yes.

Chad Jordan: Rehab was the lifesaver.

Cortney Critser: Rehab was a lifesaver.

Chad Jordan: And establishing boundaries.

Cortney Critser: Yes. And then I also did intensive outpatient for, they want to graduate you. I think it's after like five or six months. But I stayed longer because I didn't feel I was ready.

Chad Jordan: So you actually still live there, or you?

Cortney Critser: No, no, this intensive outpatient.

Chad Jordan: Okay.

Cortney Critser: So, it was Monday, Wednesday, Friday, three hours each session.

Chad Jordan: Okay. Are you working at that time?

Cortney Critser: I was not.

Chad Jordan: All right. So your calendar was free-

Cortney Critser: Yes.

Chad Jordan: ... for a little while, and you began to build a support team with your mom-

Cortney Critser: My sponsor.

Chad Jordan: ... your sister, boyfriend.

Cortney Critser: Yes.

Chad Jordan: When, when do you kind of get back on your feet professionally?

Cortney Critser: So that's the funny part. Yeah, it was around April, my mom's like, you need to get a job, blah blah, blah, blah blah. You know, obviously parents are like-

Chad Jordan: Were you living at home or?

Cortney Critser: I was living at my mom's after, yeah, because. And then I was like, oh my God, I really don't want to like. I was getting more depressed about it than anything, because she was like on my case. And I was like, I really don't want a job that isn't with hair, isn't what I went to school for it. And then it's funny because a couple of weeks later after I was having those depressing thoughts, Sport Clips called me. I didn't even apply online.

Chad Jordan: It's like twilight zone.

Cortney Critser: Yes. I'm like, that is a total God shot right there. So it was funny and when I started-

Chad Jordan: How did that happen? How do you reckon that happened where they just picked up the phone? Are they like just randomly dialing numbers. Had somebody recommend you, or?

Cortney Critser: I have no idea.

Chad Jordan: You still don't know.

Cortney Critser: I still do not know.

Chad Jordan: Okay. All right. So they call you-

Cortney Critser: Well, I was on Indeed. But I didn't, I do not-

Chad Jordan: You didn't apply.

Cortney Critser: I did not apply on SportClips.com.

Chad Jordan: Yeah.

Cortney Critser: So it was just like-

Chad Jordan: Are you sure you got the right number?

Cortney Critser: Yeah, like is this really happening? For real? But yeah, it was just weird. And when they hired me, I did not know anything about men's haircuts.

Chad Jordan: Okay, so the full service salon you're at, it was all women.

Cortney Critser: Yeah. I was mainly focusing on women.

Chad Jordan: Color.

Cortney Critser: Focusing on women.

Chad Jordan: Yeah.

Cortney Critser: So it was just like completely strange to me. So yeah.

Chad Jordan: Any desire to go into men's hair at that point, or were-

Cortney Critser: I wasn't thinking about it.

Chad Jordan: Okay.

Cortney Critser: But I was totally up for the challenge, because it's what I went to school for. And I was kind of doubting myself, like I don't know if I could do it. I don't know how to deal with zero fade, so.

Chad Jordan: Harder than it looks.

Cortney Critser: Very much so, yes. It took me a couple months to really master it.

Chad Jordan: And the location, is the one you're at now still, or?

Cortney Critser: Yeah.

Chad Jordan: What's the store number again?

Cortney Critser: 755.

Chad Jordan: Okay. CA755 in Thousand Oaks.

Cortney Critser: Yes.

Chad Jordan: And you now have been there how long?

Cortney Critser: Two years in May.

Chad Jordan: Okay, so it really did-

Cortney Critser: May 10th will be two years.

Chad Jordan: ... it really kind of coincided with your sobriety.

Cortney Critser: Yes.

Chad Jordan: So as long as you've been sober, it's like you've had Sport Clips in your life.

Cortney Critser: Yes.

Chad Jordan: So that's maybe another, I'm not putting words in your mouth, but it feels like another, how was your team around you? Do they know your full story?

Cortney Critser: Yes.

Chad Jordan: Is this going to be a shock to them or?

Cortney Critser: No.

Chad Jordan: Okay.

Cortney Critser: Absolutely. Everybody knows exactly what happened. And like whenever there's a new team member, I kind of touch base on them, or if they're like really like if they seem really into it, I'll go into like full detail.

Chad Jordan: Well, now-

Cortney Critser: They're like oh my God.

Chad Jordan: Now you can just say, hey go download this podcast.

Cortney Critser: Yes.

Chad Jordan: You can listen to it. Ask me any questions about it afterwards.

Cortney Critser: Yeah.

Chad Jordan: So what is the best part about being sober?

Cortney Critser: Honestly, everything. I mean I feel like a whole new soul. And I feel like I kind of conquered that problem with my dad. Like obviously, I learn things the harder way. I don't know how to just like take a situation and leave it. I kind of have to tip toe on it to kind of see what it's all about. But yeah, I would say the support, like Sport Clips gives me a lot of support. Like Barbara?

Chad Jordan: Yeah, area manager who would now, and this will be the third time we've said her name on this podcast alone. So she's a big influence on a number of stores and number of team members. And it sounds like you personally.

Cortney Critser: I'm going to start crying.

Chad Jordan: You told me you weren't going to, so you better grab your sleeve that you promised me.

Cortney Critser: I still got my sleeve, it's okay.

Chad Jordan: All right. So what about Barbara? What about the support that she gives you from Sport Clips?

Cortney Critser: Honestly, like set aside Sport Clips. Obviously I met her through Sport Clips, but she has shown me immense support.

Chad Jordan: Is she the one like you call if you're ever struggling, or you're having some issues?

Cortney Critser: With anything.

Chad Jordan: Yeah.

Cortney Critser: It doesn't even have to be Sport Clips.

Chad Jordan: Yeah.

Cortney Critser: She's like a second mom.

Chad Jordan: Yeah.

Cortney Critser: She's an amazing woman.

Chad Jordan: Well, she is. I mean, she's been on our podcast. She one Area Manager of the Year. She is funny, because when I asked her why'd you win, she said, "Oh, we have good numbers." I was like, yeah, I'm sure-

Cortney Critser: I think there's more to that.

Chad Jordan: ... the numbers have something to do with it. But really I'm looking for you to tell me like what are the intangibles.

Cortney Critser: On a personal level.

Chad Jordan: Yeah. And I know the relationships. I think that's probably why she gets good numbers because she builds such strong relationships.

Cortney Critser: Yes.

Chad Jordan: And every team member means something to her. And that's why I love doing these interviews, because we're part of a company, Sport Clips.

Cortney Critser: I feel like when it comes to your employees, you guys are more than just a company and a business.

Chad Jordan: It's personal.

Cortney Critser: Yes. It's very person.

Chad Jordan: It's so big family.

Cortney Critser: And I've never had that in a business before.

Chad Jordan: Yeah. And that's why I love sitting down and talking through it, because I like to put a name to a face, and now a story to a face and to a company.

Cortney Critser: Yes.

Chad Jordan: I tried to do the math early, I'm not good with numbers.

Cortney Critser: Neither am I.

Chad Jordan: So we've got 1800 stores. Let's say we have 10 team members per store, and somebody, I can't remember who it was, was like we have 14 or 15-

Cortney Critser: It was probably Erica.

Chad Jordan: Yeah, I think it was.

Cortney Critser: She's really good with numbers.

Chad Jordan: Or Ashley, I can't remember. But let's say that's 18,000 Sport Clippers in the US and Canada, and they each have their own story like you. And I mean we haven't even gotten into, you're an assistant manager?

Cortney Critser: Yes.

Chad Jordan: Right? Is that right?

Cortney Critser: I'm the Assistant Manager.

Chad Jordan: So when did that happen?

Cortney Critser: That happened, I want to say November.

Chad Jordan: Okay. So how are you liking it?

Cortney Critser: I love it.

Chad Jordan: Okay, cool. And you're on your way to one day managing a location, whether it's CA755.

Cortney Critser: Someday soon, I am hoping and praying.

Chad Jordan: Okay. All right. All right. Cool. You definitely got what it takes. And you've seen the other side, and now that you're here, I mean-

Cortney Critser: Oh, I've seen.

Chad Jordan: I mean, you've been to hell and now you're here in heaven.

Cortney Critser: Yes.

Chad Jordan: So that's amazing. That's why I love the Survive and Advanced series too, because every story's different. And the way the survivors and recovering addicts have gotten to this place of, you have a career now.

Cortney Critser: Yeah.

Chad Jordan: I mean, we have a career path that you're on.

Cortney Critser: Yeah.

Chad Jordan: You were homeless, living in a car, stealing cars, like you said, struggling with suicide, in and out of jail, in rehab. Now you're out. And I mean, look, this is a success story. I love it. All right, so can I end with, you know, I like to end with these 10 funky questions.

Cortney Critser: Of course.

Chad Jordan: All right. There's no wrong answer. You just tell me whatever first thing that pops in your head. Okay?

Cortney Critser: Okay.

Chad Jordan: Number one, and by the way, we're spending some time with Cortney today. She's Assistant Manager at CA755, and she's told us her brave story about surviving meth addiction, and now she gets to answer these 10 funky questions. Number one, which super power would you most like to have?

Cortney Critser: You really weren't lying when you said funky. I would say to fly.

Chad Jordan: All right to fly. Well, you have driven a corvette for two weeks. So I think that kind of, all right. What is your personal motto?

Cortney Critser: One day at a time.

Chad Jordan: Oh, I like it. And a great shirt too.

Cortney Critser: One second. Some days it can be one second at a time.

Chad Jordan: Good. That's good.

Cortney Critser: Most days is one day at a time.

Chad Jordan: That's really good. Other than where you live now, where else in the world would you most like to live?

Cortney Critser: Most like to live?

Chad Jordan: In the world, you got the whole world.

Cortney Critser: Is money a factor?

Chad Jordan: No, oh no. Uh-huh (negative).

Cortney Critser: I really don't want to be basic about it.

Chad Jordan: Go for it.

Cortney Critser: Probably Ireland.

Chad Jordan: Okay. Oh, I'm going there this summer with my wife.

Cortney Critser: Lucky.

Chad Jordan: I'll tag in one of the pictures, so you can at least see it. But no, you'll get there one day. Who is a celebrity you'd most like to meet one day?

Cortney Critser: Am I allowed to talk about religion?

Chad Jordan: Of course. You should have heard Barbara., I couldn't shut her, no I'm kidding. I'm kidding.

Cortney Critser: Probably Joyce Meyer.

Chad Jordan: Joyce Meyer. Oh, what a great speaker she is too.

Cortney Critser: She is awesome.

Chad Jordan: Have you ever been to one of her events, or?

Cortney Critser: I have not, but me and my mom are planning.

Chad Jordan: Awesome. Cool.

Cortney Critser: Something.

Chad Jordan: Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

Cortney Critser: I use could be better, could be worse. A lot.

Chad Jordan: Okay. I was going to say obviously, because I think you said it like 30 times on this podcast.

Cortney Critser: Did I? I didn't realize that. Oh, my god.

Chad Jordan: I'd be asking you something, and you'd be like, well obviously. So anyways.

Cortney Critser: Oops.

Chad Jordan: Just kidding. What sound or noise do you love?

Cortney Critser: Music.

Chad Jordan: Okay. Any type? Rock?

Cortney Critser: Country.

Chad Jordan: Country?

Cortney Critser: Yes.

Chad Jordan: Okay. All right. What sound or noise do you hate?

Cortney Critser: Crinkling bags.

Chad Jordan: Oh.

Cortney Critser: My boyfriend has a tendency to-

Chad Jordan: Like as in nervous thing that he does or?

Cortney Critser: No, he'll make popcorn.

Chad Jordan: Uh, huh.

Cortney Critser: Like right when I'm dozing off.

Chad Jordan: Oh, okay. And it's just-

Cortney Critser: So, he's just like reaching in the bag, like all loud. I'm just like, yeah, it's like nails on a chalkboard for me.

Chad Jordan: Yeah. Of what profession other than your own would you have been good at? Or at least have wanted to try.

Cortney Critser: I would say recovery.

Chad Jordan: Okay. Like helping counsel somebody through it-

Cortney Critser: Yes.

Chad Jordan: ... and everything?

Cortney Critser: I've been debating whether to work in treatment, but, yes.

Chad Jordan: That's awesome. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Cortney Critser: Getting clean.

Chad Jordan: Okay. Literally this is the same 10 questions for everybody.

Cortney Critser: Obviously.

Chad Jordan: Obviously, yeah, exactly. Obviously getting clean, duh Chad. All right, number 10 if heaven indeed exist, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?

Cortney Critser: I don't even know.

Chad Jordan: I can edit this. You can take as long as you need to think about it. You're standing there, you made it.

Cortney Critser: Finally, you've come to your father.

Chad Jordan: Oh Wow. Oh, right in the heart. Oh that's awesome. And that's true. What a great response. And that will make all the difference. So, hey, you are amazing and your story is incredible. And we even hit the time right when we said we would.

Cortney Critser: Really, I feel like I've been talking for an hour.

Chad Jordan: No, you're good. You're perfect. Literally. And so proud of you and geesh, I mean you are literally one of the stories that we had to capture on the podcast, because it's so amazing. So thank you everybody for listening. Thank you Cortney for being on it.

Cortney Critser: Thank you for having me.

Chad Jordan: Our pleasure, and we'll have another episode next week. Thanks everybody.

Chad Jordan: Thank you.