Motivation Monday – Meet Mike Holmes

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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.

Sitting around waiting for something is not how I function – I have to get out and do things. When the gym was no longer an option, I was in need of a new release – a place to push myself and relax all at the same time. A way to calm the thoughts. That is when I found Team RWB.

I was never much of a runner, but I went to my first meet up anyway. I was welcomed with open arms and was never questioned why I had a huge “Robo Cop” brace on my knee. “We start together and finish together” was what struck me the most. It did not matter how fast or strong I was. In fact, it did not matter if I ran at all because there were walkers there as well. The whole point of the meet up was to be a team, to work together, and to encourage one another on our individual goals.

I was not initially convinced; soon though, I found what I was looking for. Running became my new release, it helped quiet my mind. It was during the Army Ten Miler that I realized what “Wearing the Eagle” truly means. Total strangers cheered me on just because of the RWB logo on my chest. There was a sense of motivation and camaraderie amongst everyone wearing the colors. No one needed to explain why we were “Wearing the Eagle” – they already knew.

That same sense of pride is carried over into our Fort Rucker chapter. My teammates motivate me, keep me accountable, and applaud my accomplishments whether they are big or small. Team RWB has helped me find the “stress release” I truly need, and helped me discover the runner within myself. Team RWB has given me a positive and healthy way to cope with my daily battles. I cannot explain how much it helps to know that I’m not alone. Many of my teammates understand and empathize with my struggles. We Army guys are not very good at showing vulnerability; many of us have a dark side. But, that is the thing about Team RWB, it brings out the best in us.

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