Written by Mike Holmes,

Snap shots of images and sounds go on throughout the day. Images lead to thoughts, sounds lead to questions; others just flash and disappear until the next time. This is a daily occurrence for me, and there was a time that I used weightlifting to calm my thoughts. Sitting and talking to someone would not get the images and sounds out of my mind; while I was lifting, it would help calm the thoughts and push them to the back of my mind. For a few hours I was able to just be me and let out that stress, and in a weird way, I was able to relax.

When the doctor told me I could not continue lifting, I had no idea what I was going to do. As a former college football player, I could not remember a time when I was not in the gym throwing weight around. Lifting was a part of me – like my head is a part of me. It was my own fault of course, since I did not listen the first time – I was warned not to lift the amount of weight I did; now I was paying for it.


Shawn spent 10 years on Active duty and currently serves in the U.S. Army Reserves as a CW4 UH60 Instructor Pilot and a Department of the Army Civilian UH60 Instructor Pilot. Shawn is married, has two kids, three dogs, two donkeys (yep… donkeys: Fred and Lamont), 15 chickens, and one rabbit. This is the story of how Team RWB helped him.

Written by Shawn Holmes

It’s 6am on March 1st at the Longleaf Horse Trail in the De Soto National Forest, about thirty minutes south of Laurel, Mississippi. I am standing with almost 160 of my closest friends, getting ready for the start of the Mississippi 50 trail race. Okay, so I don’t really know any of the people here, and it’s actually a little after 6am because everyone is talking so loudly they can’t hear the race director trying to get their attention so he can start the race. But I am jumping ahead, so let’s start at the beginning.