We all have our reasons that start us on our fitness journey, for some its the military. Many times I hear people say that they haven’t ran since they were in ______(insert branch of service). What is it that makes people stop exercising when they leave the service?
Often times the need to transition to civilian life overshadows any desire to include fitness. Eventually, not exercising becomes a way of life, a habit. Life just tends to get in the way and priorities change.
The problem is that when they get out of the service, the motivation and encouragement are gone. A camaraderie is lost. There is almost a feeling of isolation among those who have served when they enter the civilian world. Many times these individuals entered straight from high school or college, they never saw what it was like in the “real” world. The way of life is completely different from anything they have experienced.
Devotion is probably the one big thing that they miss. Devotion to the team, to the goal and to share success. Many times a veteran feels isolated, so to speak; those around him may not understand the level of devotion that a vet has experienced. To go on a run and know that you can depend on the person next to you is one thing but, to have gone out and proved it is another thing altogether. Some have trained for years together and fought in wars, side by side.
There is an organization that is trying to help the veteran fit in, it’s called, Team Red, White and Blue. Members, or eagles as they call themselves, are veterans and civilians who support the military. Their mission statement is “enriching the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity”.
Team RWB, has provided me, along with thousands of others, with many opportunities to grow through the national training camps they host and through more local and personalized events.
As for myself, I can honestly say that without Team RWB, I would not be where I am today. They have provided me the encouragement and knowledge to get to the point of running in ultra-marathons and I am not alone. Across the country and around the world via United States military bases they are changing lives.
Their reach does not stop at running, they offer support and encouragement in many fields: triathlon, cycling and yoga to name a few. Each chapter has individuals with unique skillsets that they are encouraged to share.
Whether you are a veteran or you just want to support our veterans, I would encourage you to join them. It’s free and vets get a Team RWB tech shirt for the cost of shipping.