This page is dedicated to the extraordinary individuals who with the help of CATCH A LIFT have committed to rebuilding and maintaining their physical/mental health and wellness, despite the many obstacles they have faced. They are heroes to America on and off the battlefields.
Over the next year we will be following Joshua, one of our CAL VET's and his journey through daily life using fitness.
Hello, My name is Joshua, I am an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran. I have been diagnosed with PTSD, TBI, loss of hearing, and injuries to both knees. I am also a father, a husband, an outdoorsman, a certified personal trainer, and a CAL member. I have been asked by CAL to share my story of accomplishment. This is not a war story, but rather a story of what has taken place in my life since coming home from war. My only wish is that my story will help other veterans to know that there is always hope regardless of what is going on at that very moment when it seems all hope is lost.
After being honorably discharged from the military I continued to eat as if I was still waking up at 4:30 a.m. to do PT, well I wasn't and after a few weeks it showed. For years I remained overweight, about 265 lbs and felt terrible.
Since being out of the military my father and my wife passed away. There were alot of things left unsaid in both of those relationships. Eventually I remembered that I felt really good when I was physically fit. My thinking was sharper, my decisions were more precise, and my mood was uplifted. So I began to go to the gym. I got a personal trainer, and started losing weight. I started feeling better, physically, mentally, and emotionally.
I went from 265 to 210 in a short period of time. I loved the feeling of being in good shape so much I became a personal trainer.
Now I live in a small town in Colorado on 80 acres. I hunt, I train horses, and I raise and train hunting dogs. I stay busy running my ranch but on a daily basis I go to my garage where my personal gym is and I workout because I sincerely believe that none of the other stuff would be possible if I had not made the change in my life to become more physically fit.
I look forward to sharing my experiences over the next year or so.
I have always been physically fit even before the military, but after I came back from Iraq it became harder to work out with all the injuries I sustained while on active duty. The pain from my knees and torn rotator cuffs in my shoulders cause excruciating pain and at times is so bad I have no motivation to workout. Over the past few months I started a new medication, which now allows me to reintegrate back into my workout routine. Exercising helps lower my high blood pressure especially after being in the military. With the help and support from Catch a Lift, I will be able to get back into my old routine of staying physically and mentally fit. I gratefully appreciate the efforts from everyone at Catch a Lift. This program has given me the opportunity to do what I truly love.
After being injured in Afghanistan, I lost my leg below the knee. With the help of my doctors, friends, family, and my prosthetist, I started competing in running and swimming a few months later. I have always been active and an amputation will not change that. However, as most people leaving the military will tell you, it is easy to become lazy after your enlistment has ended. Work, school, finances and everything else seems to want to come in between you your physical fitness. I applaud Catch A Lift for giving me the opportunity to go back to the gym. Thank you all for supporting us getting back on our feet (whether real or titanium) and hitting the gym again. I look forward to catching plenty of lifts in the future