It’s been five years since my life changed forever. I spent a total of 28 months in three different hospitals. I went through two very specific programs just for traumatic brain injury (TBI). I’ve endured countless hours of therapy all over the country. At every turn I was never asked what my goal was in therapy, I was only told what the government standard was for therapy. I thought I had gotten as far as I was going to get with healing my body and my mind.

I was given an opportunity over the past three years with Boot Campaign to advocate for veterans suffering from TBIs and post traumatic stress (often referred to as PTSD). I found that speaking publicly about my struggles with depression and anxiety was the best therapy for me. It helped heal my mind in some ways, but it never addressed healing my body. This was the one piece of the puzzle I thought would always be missing. The No Fail mission at Virginia High-Performance helped me fill that gap. This is only one piece of a much greater program, Boot Campaign’s ReBoot, but it was the piece I needed.

Virginia High-Performance molded the entire program around finding ways to wake up my body and teach it how to move again. When I first arrived, they asked me about goals. This question was so foreign to me, I didn’t really know how to answer it. I knew I had to start healing my body or I was going to be in trouble. Now it’s four weeks later, and I no longer feel that worry. I have the energy and drive to tackle any challenge and breakthrough any barrier. I can’t thank these guys enough for waking up that warrior spirit within me and setting me back on the path of greatness.

With many other programs I’ve gone through, there was always an immediate sense of loss at the end because there was no plan for moving forward on my own – you’re basically left to fend for yourself all over again. The ReBoot program has addressed this by only bringing in partners that care about the well-being of the warriors, not the visibility of their program. You’re not just getting health coaching and guidance, you’re forming bonds with like-minded individuals who have shown a level of understanding and care that does not exist anywhere else. They’re taking extra time with you every day, ensuring you can and want to continue their methods at home on your own. 

As veterans, we’ve gone through some very tough and arduous events during our careers. We were subjected to intense levels of stress daily to strengthen our mental reserve and prepare us for the rigors of combat. The foundation we used to endure and push through all of this was our physical fitness. After suffering life-altering injuries and years of recovery time in and out of hospitals, our bodies are no longer the foundation they once were. We now focus on healing our minds, and assimilating into civilian life, but the foundation we are accustomed to leaning on is in serious need of repair.

ReBoot has taken the time to gather this information and put together a comprehensive and regimented cycle that not only addresses the critical issues behind brain trauma, but also addresses the physical needs of the warriors. This gives them a true sense of completion; not only are we able to think straight and address the complicated issues of our brain injuries, but it also gives us back our rock – that rock we lean on when things get tough, when the world just doesn’t seem to make sense anymore. We no longer have to hide away and try to control the runaway train that is our brain. We can reset it in a familiar place, we can take that frustration and put it to use in a way that is familiar to our bodies and our minds.

This is what I have been missing in my life, and I will never take the knowledge and power I have gained from my time in the ReBoot program for granted. I know this will work for others because it’s so simple, and adaptable to every warrior’s needs. This program is going to change the face of treatment in regards to veterans and traumatic brain injuries. 

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