Resilience

This Memorial Day, I won’t just be remembering the fallen and thanking the heroes, I will be in the company of some of the nations strongest. I am going to be taking part in the Capital of Texas triathlon, whats more is that it is this year’s wounded warrior sports project triathlon. There will be Wounded Warriors and active duty service members and I am assuming a ton of veterans. I am not trying to boast but I am trying to give perspective, my first triathlon handed me my A#$ on a platter. It kicked my butt so bad I wanted to yack from start to finish. I am not wounded physically and I found it incredibly difficult. Some of the veterans that will be taking part in this race will have lost their arms or legs. They will not expect special treatment and in fact that special treatment is the exact reason they are out there, to prove they neither need nor want it. They are a testament to internal fortitude and resilience. They are an example to all of us that regardless of the scars and wounds life goes on. So if you are in the Austin, Tx area drop by auditorium shores on memorial day @ 7, 9, or 10 am to catch the Wounded Warriors start their battle for the day. I believe that you will leave with a greater appreciation for the warrior spirit and the ability to heal even when parts of you are gone forever.

So what does this tell us about PTSD? That it too shall fall to the wayside when the human will and spirit come to full bear. That no matter the trauma you saw, if the will drives it the mind and body will follow. Not feeling all this metaphysical well-being stuff? How about hard evidence? Neuroplasticity, the way your brain creates neural pathways, its called a lot of thing like muscle memory or recall. I think of it as a road building. The more you consciously focus on something more direct the pathway becomes, going from a dirt path to a 4 lane highway. So by applying the will and focus to get over the things that go bump in the night, the more you will see results. Mind over matter. That is what you can learn from the Wounded Warriors, they have lost a limb or are disabled in some way and yet, they are taking on a challenge that even the most physically fit and capable find very difficult. So when facing PTSD you realize that it is not that you are strong enough or smart enough to beat it but that you refuse to fail. My motto for this TRI is “Death Before DNF” (DNF- is tri speak for did not finish). So this Memorial Day, remember the fallen, thank a hero, and find strength in the fact that your will can not be broken.

Check out the wounded warrior project at: http://woundedwarriorproject.org/

And this is the Triathlon’s website: http://www.captextri.com/index.php

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One response to “Resilience

  • myeke

    The above post is beautifully stated!!! ‘You refuse to fail’ this is the indomitable spirit I speak of. We can find it in ourselves and believe in it. We found indomitable spirit at war when as part of a team we fought to stay alive physically.
    Now we must have that same indomitable spirit to stay alive mentally and spiritually. It may be more difficult now
    because we , the warriors, must now find the discipline and courage of indomitable spirit without the customs
    and discilpline of the miltary. But we can do this thing called readjustment (Sorry, I am tired of this worn out, overused
    term PTSD. It tells me little) and through communication and education we can discovered and maintain this
    indomitable spirit in ourselves. Sometimes readjustment from war seems a huge, complicated, overwhelming
    and mentally voluminous experience but with time and assaulting and understanding this reaction we may come to
    learn that we are warriors for life. On Memorial Day I think of those who gave their lives at war and think that if they
    could speak they might tell us that they understand what we saw at war, as few others, and they don’t want us to survive
    war only to come home and suffer in our minds and souls. And I think to myself, if those who died could only come back,
    what would they do with their lives, how would they regard their loved ones, what would they make of life?
    We did come home and now with self imposed imdomitable spirit we can find the answers to our experiences at war and calm our souls. We can put together our ideals before war with those at war and find a new deeper meaning to life that is
    a greater understanding of the truth of human beings and be grateful we are among the few who have witnessed most of
    what humans are and have been throughout our history. Maybe this makes no sense.

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