Whats Been Helping Me Heal?… PT

    Thats right PT, physical training, exercising in civi speak. The idea is simple, PT is your time, its when you think. Not only is it the time you think buts its the time you can think about hard issues and just pound the pavement or knock out a few more reps to keep everything on an even keel. Now if your like me, you have enough rage bottled up in you that if they could find a way to turn it into electricity it could power a small city for 3 weeks. So one or two more reps ain’t gonna cut the mustard. So I have turned to endurance sports and strength training.
   The idea might seem a bit rudimentary in it of itself but there are more benefits than meet the eye here. First if you are a runner or a biker ( the kind that uses their legs to power their 2 wheels, not the ones that carry chains and have “mom” tattooed to their arms), you will get a natural high, this is the endorphins (spelling) pumping through your veins, your natural happy juice. That will help with depression all by itself. It will also get you addicted to running or exercising. Wouldn’t that be nice if the way you self medicated was with exercise. Where the real pay dirt is found is in the time left for you to think.
  When I run or bike or lift, I will sometimes think about the things that bother me the most from combat. As they start to take grip over me I will accelerate or lift faster, this allows me to maintain control while thinking about something incredibly difficult. It takes me out of the passenger seat of my worst fears and puts me in the driver’s seat. I am in control of the thought process, the emotional response, the physical output I can do what those drugs they tried to give me can not. I will work through the memories and then begin to lessen their impact on me. What I mean by impact is, have you ever had a memory that makes you flinch just by thinking about it? I have alot of those kind of memories and they make me a land mine field of PTSD responses for anyone who talks or lives with me.
   What I am doing in the reworking, is trying to rethink what happened. I don’t want to lock up what happened in the big dark tough box in the back of my head to show its ugly self one day. I try to get the dirty laundry and air it out so that its not such a ticking time bomb anymore. By looking at what happened and saying, I did what I could in the moment helps alleviate some of the burden I feel. I can go back and look at the rocket strikes and the fear I had and teach my body not to have the normal response to it anymore.The PT allows me to keep myself in check either by burning legs or by killing my muscles. Now one little run ain’t gonna do it, how much can you really consider in 2 miles. I have turned to longer distances and harder workouts because of the healing through PT. There is yet another added bonus to the PT though.
    You remember that you are alive. You realize you are not stagnate, you can rationally say the funk that I am in and have been in will not last forever. The sun in your face or the rain on your head while you run just brings the fact home, you are still alive. As much as some part of you died over there, there is still something very much alive and you need to use it. I recently did my first half-marathon (I am not a runner), I did it just to say I did it and it felt great, not too mention being surrounded in a huge crowd not panicking as usual was awesome too. I am training for a triathlon now, I will suck, probably half drowned, but I will finish and it will be a notch in my belt, something to remind me I am still alive, and who knows what demons I may face down along the way. But being on the couch isn’t going to help you, get out there take your time and remember you’re still alive and stand ready to kick at least some of your demons to the curb.


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