Way back in early December, Soldier On (the Canadian Military based organization to help those injured while in uniform heal through sport), sent out a call for applications for those interested in competing at the 2018 Invictus Games.
Invictus Games are the international sporting event for injured service member to continue to heal through adaptive sport.
After a LOT of soul searching, I sent in an application. I have, at least recently, been reasonably open about the fact that I have been a victim of several sexual assaults while in uniform, and as a result, have had to deal with PTSD. Thanks to an amazingly supportive chain of command, I have been able to not only remain in uniform, but after a meeting with the Chief of Defence Staff, will be switching jobs to help further develop a program I developed to improve support for victim-survivors.
Still, I was torn.
One, because going to the gym has been problematic. One of the assaults happened in a gym locker room. That year was the last that I was able to actually train and complete an athletic event (half marathon). Since then, attempts to train, especially in a military gym, has caused panic attacks and in one case, full breakdown.
Two, because I didn’t want to take a place of someone “more” injured. That may seem weird after reading the paragraph above, but I am doing pretty good, actually. I left an abusive marriage (mental, not physical) and have been rebuilding my life.
Actually, a week ago, I had talked myself out of it. It was a weird week. Two of my offenders are under investigation, and I ran into one in my office. I was, obviously, very shaken by the experience, but the incredible support that immediately surrounded and helped me was the absolute best case scenario. My office mates offered to start going to the gym with me, so I don’t feel alone and vulnerable. My boss is allowing us to go mid-morning, so it’s not busy.
I got word on Wednesday this week. They had over 700 applicants. They took 40. I was one selected. The sports I chose were Archery, Cycling, Swimming and relay (running, team). Soldier On deliberately took all new people, so we are all newbies.
The 2018 Games are in October, in Sydney, Australia.
Training starts Monday (tomorrow). I have 8 months to train, and think I will keep a blog/journal, it may share here too, if anyone wants to read it?
Let the games begin