Journey to the (Invictus) Games

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 :slight_smile:

I’m thrilled for your adventure ahead! Go get ‘em!!

Go for it! Thanks for starting the thread so we can all cheer you on!

I’ll certainly be following this thread.

You have my utmost respect.

Congratulations and go get em!


I saw a few Invictus events this summer and it is pretty inspirational to see people overcome their difficulties and compete. I’m not one for ceremony or royals, but this is a pretty worthwhile endeavour.

And Sydney is a great place to visit.

I am proud of you. Does your service dog get to go too?

I look forward to hearing about your adventures on the way, and to cheering you on when the day comes. :smiley:

Great that you started this thread. Looking forward to hearing about your training as the year progresses.

Like the others, I will be cheering you on when it’s time for the Games, and you are there competing!

First day back at the gym, and yes, it was pretty ugly. I am fortunate so far that I have a very supportive co-worker that has agreed to this madness, so we went for voluntary torture together (mantra of “It will be so worth it only eight weeks from now”). Right now, I am really just building a base of general fitness, so really some metabolic conditioning-type stuff. In a week, I will start pushing the cardio (running and spin) more, while maintaining the flexibility, plyo and weight stuff. I have an appointment next Tuesday to talk Recurve Bows with an archery expert. I do need to be a bit careful about dates - If I start too soon, I can knock myself out of the Novice category.

And I am DEFINITELY a Novice.

Also working on gaining access to a pool - memberships are not cheap, so maybe a punch card through the city? Medical appointment next week to get that signed off - no issues, my problem has always pretty much been in my head. That, and my driving need to over-train (which is another reason why it’s nice to have a buddy). I also, this month, just joined a roller derby league. I will definitely stay out of bouts - would hate to throw it all away because I broke something by trying to score at derby! :slight_smile:

Hey, at archery I’m both a novice and a senior :slight_smile: At other sports, don’t even ask.

I think that it’s important and good that your superiors are recognizing that mental wounds are no less real than those which bleed. Thank you for speaking up and for the work you’re doing.

Best wishes, do not break anything (specially no part of yourself).

Congratulations! Please keep us updated!

Woke up this morning feeling like I was run over by a bus while I slept - boy DOMs is super fun, isn’t it?


Says Piper, who hasn’t been near a gym in years …

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. It affects everyone, newbies and experienced folk who take two weeks off to go to Yellowstone and come back to the gym. It’s why you can’t get off the toilet when you go to the bathroom. It’s why your arms are jelly trying to butter bread.

Pain is just weakness leaving the body.

That’s what people who go to the gym tell me, anyway.

Yes indeed. DOMs, so now I am carefully planning every time I need to leave my cubicle - am I absolutely SURE I have sent everything to the printer? Do I need to use the washroom or get more water in my water bottle?

No trip can be wasted.

And then, once I am around the corner, I certainly can not hobble about, since I am a damn officer and have rank and authority and yes, pride, so I hide my whimper and walk straight and tall (maybe a little slower) to whatever task I need to do (…while my inside voice cries about stupid DOMs and stupid ME for not keeping up going to the gym). I can’t hardly wait until NEXt week when it doesn’t hurt as much, but the exhaustion sets in from all of the working out…

But in two weeks, I should feel awesome, or at least not sobby-ouchie-limpy…

Stretch, hot bath, repeat as needed. Funny enough, I find the next work out session helps enormously.

It sucks that even if you work out regularly for months, as little as two weeks off and it’s like you’re a newbie all over again. I must write a strongly worded letter to the manufacturer about that flaw. :wink:

Please do - can you add in that the fast metabolism and recovery are wasted on the young :slight_smile:

I will keep this up, and am trying to be careful - last thing I want to do is knock myself out by injury!

Congratulations! The very best of luck to you.

I hate burpees.

Seriously, hate them. I realize they are a fantastic full-body exercise and great for cardio (and explosive movement), but whoo-eee do I hate them. I had burpees and box jumps today, but thankfully the lift was deadlift and deadlift is my JAM! I love deadlift. I wish every day was deadlift day. Tomorrow is Strict Press and Push Press and my legs are very thankful. I am itching to start running/spinning but may wait until the end of NEXT week, because…

NEXT WEEK is when the ongoing soreness is replaced by a slight ache and exhaustion - that’s when your body says “Oh, wait, all of the exercise isn’t just a passing thing?!”

Gravity was SUPER strong around my bed this morning.

I’ll see your burpees aned raise you sideclimbers.

I told my Boot Camp instructor’s wife that I hated sideclimbers more than burpees. To my dismay, she shared my text to her with her hubby, probably for a good laugh since she takes the classes too, and the next class he made us do both. Now, instead of calling them sideclimbers, he calls them “ivylasses*”.

I’m getting better at them, but I’d rather do burpees.

*my real name, not my SDMB name, obviously. Poysyn knows what that is. :wink: