I would like to post this as a followup to a post I made a year or so back entitled “Why I will never be successful” (or something like that..).

A lot has changed this past year.  Aside from the sad and dismal posts that have become a depressing presence in the past posts, I have been making great strides in my life. I have a lot of the up and downs that just comes with life, the things everyone deals with. Jealousy, sadness, as well as joy and excitement.  

Wounded Warrior Project has been the most effective with their programs at getting me up and going. It started with Project Odyssey in June 2013. Prior to that, I spent my days in bed doing pretty much nothing but wishing the physical pain I was in would go away. I didn’t know why I was in all that pain and I was really getting depressed at thinking that I would never again get to enjoy the things in life that I did in the past. I was invited to go to Project Odyssey, I hesitated and stressed out over the idea of being so active. I really had little faith I would gain much. Out of that week though, I decided, with the help of the WWP staff and Peer Mentors, to make a huge life altering goal. The goal is a personal one, but suffice it to say, my family dynamic was vastly improved after my goal was met. When I got back home I had a new confidence about me. I knew I would be able to get out and get the kids out and enjoy our days instead of me staying in my bed all day in pain. The tools that were given to me during my week are tools that I continue to use.

After that week in June, I was able to get in touch with an organization called The Lakeshore Foundation. They have a para-Olympic training center in Birmingham, Alabama. They offer retreats for Veterans and their families. It is a great way to help the veteran regain physical fitness in their life. They offer a wide variety of inclusive sports with their adaptive equipment. They offered wheelchair basketball, wheelchair tennis, scuba, water skiing (both in the adaptive seat or regular skis), kayaking, cycling, as well as a gun range and clay shooting. I wasn’t able to bring anyone with me that trip because of school for the kids, but I went and learned even more about what I COULD do, and nothing about what I COULDN’T do. I discovered there that I WOULD be able to cycle again. I rode their recumbent bike (the kind with one wheel in the front, two in the back) and I knew right then what one of my next goals was going to be. I would do whatever it took to get an adaptive recumbent bike, I would ride it, and sign up for Soldier Ride with WWP. You don’t have to have your own bike for the beginner Soldier Ride, but I really want to get into riding and work up to being able to do the Solider Ride and be able to enjoy it even more.

When I came back from Lakeshore, I received an email about the WWP Nashville office having their 1 year party. I decided to drop in and say hello, eat food, and meet other veterans. While I was there I discussed becoming a Peer Mentor myself. I am happy to say that in December, I attended the training in Nashville and I am now a volunteer Peer Mentor! 

I recently returned from the WWP Female Summit in Florida. I got so much new information! I couldn’t wait to come home and start even more ambitious endeavors! I have plans on meeting with the Student Veteran reps at the local colleges so I can pass along some of what I learned. There aren’t a lot of Alumni in my area, but I know there are veterans my age around here. I feel like they just don’t know what all is out there! 

Another thing I have done since returning from the Summit was join Team Red, White and Blue .

So yes, I do have physical limitations, or really more of speed bumps, but I just have to make that choice every morning and ask myself, am I going to stay in bed all day, or am I going to find something today that I can do to improve my situation. I also need to allow myself to realize when I have just done enough and need to take a break.

7 thoughts

  1. I know it isn’t easy, and not many people understand what it takes to deal with chronic pain. The key, I think, is finding that delicate balance between your limits and limitations. Limits being the after affect if we try and do something, only having to deal with more pain and suffering in the long run. Limitations are only what our mind trys to make us think we can no longer do, but with the right mindset and a little help there is nothing we cannot accomplish even with disabilities.

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  2. Dear One,
    I was drawn to read your post. First allow me to Thank You for your service & acknowledge your sacrifice.
    I teach folks the use of essential oils for many concerns. Allow me to invite you to visit the above listed website for information on Raindrop. At present I don’t know where you are located, but I would consider it a privilege to share Raindrop with you. Distance may be am issue, I could still likely steer you to someone who is skilled. I believe it would be beneficial to you. It affects every level
    Of our being.
    Your writing lifts my spirit this day. May yours be lifted too. Namaste. Jeannie Nichols SCCI

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  3. I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your story. I, as well as several family members are war vets. Some of which suffered from PTSD. Some worse than others. Today we see many foundations and organization being developed or rising to the occasion to help those true hero’s in my book, those we call our wounded warriors. Much like yourself!!! There are always going to be those speed bumps that we face when trying to adjust back into civilian life, but when we band together as brothers and sisters and fight as one, there is nothing that we cannot Conquer!!! Some wise words of my grandfather, also a war vet; “When we think life can’t get any worse, stop and look around the corner! The difference between you and that other person, is that they have you to help them up!” From the story you have told, you have adapted and overcame any speed bumps put in front of you! I want to thank you and let you know that you have inspired me to reach out and give a helping hand to our brothers and sisters who need that little nudge in their time of need!

    Sincerely,
    Former Staff Sgt. W Chapman
    USMC Semper Fi

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    1. Yes, you are so right! Thank you for those words of wisdom. It’s hard to make that choice some days, to get up and live my life. Some days I don’t. I just stay inside and hide away, but I’m working on it.

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      1. I know that sometimes life throws us a curve ball, and its much easier said than done! All it takes is that tiny spark to ignite that inferno inside of us to hit that curve ball outside of the park!……..If you can make it through the night there’s a brighter day ahead!………;-)

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