Saturday Spotlight – Mike Greenwood

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Chapter: Northwest, Colorado Springs, CO

Member Since: May 18, 2013

Motto: “Get better every day!”

Why Did You Join Team RWB?

“I joined Team RWB after moving five times in a one-year period. I found myself in Colorado Springs, running alone on the section of the Santa Fe Trail that cuts through USAFA and feeling really lonely. While running, I thought, “there has a veteran running group around town, and I need to find them”. So I went home and googled the term, “Veteran Running Group”. To my surprise, Team Red, White & Blue was the first hit. I saw the Eagle and was instantly hooked. I joined because I needed a supporting community to be part of, and I needed a running buddy. The next month a young LT named Brian Meese and I started the chapter here in The Springs. The rest is history….”

What has Been Your Favorite Event or Experience with Team RWB?

“This is such a hard question to answer. I have been a member of Team RWB for over five years and have done tons of awesome things with the team. I am going to break the rules and tell you about two of them. The first comes from my first two miles on the Inaugural Old Glory Coast to Coast relay in 2014. I was tasked with starting the day for the team and took off like a bat out of hell down a long dark road. When I began running, I felt as if I was floating under that flag, I wasn’t carrying it, it was actually guiding me forward. When the trail vehicle began approaching me from behind, I noticed that I was running in a beautiful canyon with what looked like 100 foot walls on either side. As it closed the distance between us, I began to see my shadow climb up the walls and run along side me. The flag danced and snapped with each gust of wind that passed through the both of us that morning. It was one of the most beautiful sights I had seen in a long time, and was the point that I knew that Team RWB was more than just a running group. It was the community I was seeking, and it was my outlet to bring community to my fellow veterans. The next memory occurred at the mountain biking camp, I was helping to lead in Fruita, CO. The event was going fine, everyone was having fun and I was managing my portion of the agenda pretty well. Enter the challenge! I was challenged by one of the eagles at camp to climb a super steep section of trail while we hashed out some details of the day. I accepted and set off like a dart…or more like a broken dart, I instantly failed, in my excitement, I overlooked the shifting of my gears. I readjusted, absorbed a few laughs and friendly shots, and set out again. I got to the top, riding 95% of the climb and walking the rest. But that is not why it’s topping my list of favorite events. The whole time I was riding up and eventually down, I heard nothing but words of encouragement and cheers directed at me from all leaders huddled at the bottom of the trail. The team I was managing that weekend was leading me up and down that climb, in typical Team RWB fashion. That weekend, I wasn’t just the guy putting on the ELE, I was an eagle, and I was their teammate. They reminded me that leading people is about so much more than managing an agenda or hitting your marks in a presentation, they reminded me that leading people was about building relationships. Leading people involves sweating with them, overcoming challenges with them, and growing with them. That weekend, I was reminded why I wear the eagle nearly everyday, and I was reminded of that morning on the OGR course and what I set out to do five years earlier.”

How do you serve your community?

“I am currently one of the Program Managers for the Northwest Region of Team RWB. Within my role, I mentor half the leaders in the region through chapter development and growth. I also contribute 50% to the planning and execution of our Eagle Leader Experiences in the NW along side my partner, Cody Sohn. I am also an officer on my church parish council where I have served as the treasurer for the past four years. Serving our community is really important to my wife and I, and is something we value greatly. A couple times a year, you can find one or both of us burning both ends of the candle at our churches annual fundraising events. I’ve been known to slice a mean Gyro cone or two in my day! A cool thing is happening this year, my faith and my passion for veterans are aligning. Because of the impact the Team RWB Colorado Springs Chapter has had on the community and on my church over the past five years, we are donating a portion of our annual fundraiser to Team RWB so we can continue our mission of delivering an enriched life to America’s Veterans.”

What Inspires You?

“I am inspired by watching other people push themselves. Life is about learning, we should all seek new learning opportunities every single day! But, make sure you challenge yourself in the process, growth is key to living a rich life. As a leader with Team RWB, I have had the opportunity to put hundreds if not thousands of Eagle in a position to do this with their life. I continue to wear the Eagle for this opportunity and for the challenge this offers me.”

How has Team RWB impacted your life?

“Team RWB has impacted my life in many ways. I have grown tremendously in life since joining the team back in 2013. One thing that stands out the most is my daughter. Now, Team RWB didn’t give me my daughter, that was all me and my wife! But, before coming to Team RWB, I had a constant struggle with anger and had no purpose in life. Because of this and a few other things we don’t have time to go into here, I was afraid to have a child. I was afraid that I would not be able to control my anger and at some point put my child in a position they shouldn’t be in because of my weakness. You may be asking how this is related to Team RWB and thinking I am a bit crazy for saying that but, it has a ton to do with the organization and their ability to challenge me to lead. When I began my leadership journey with Team RWB, I believed that leadership was a line that you got to and once you got there, you were good to go. No need to challenge yourself to learn anymore, no need to study anymore, and no need to look beyond that line. You made it! Team RWB has shown me… that’s completely wrong! Leadership is a life lesson and needs to be something you pursue for the rest of your life, if you stop learning, you stop leading. Enter my daughter. Over the years I have learned that if you want to lead others, you need to start with yourself. You need to learn what inspires you, motivates you, and what impacts your life. Once you do this, you can do it with others. The impact Team RWB has had here, has come when they introduced me to the concept of self-awareness and self-reflection. Through this, I was able to learn how to control my self and redirect my anger in a positive way, thus leading to the birth of my daughter.”

What Would You Say to Someone Who is Thinking of Joining Team RWB?

“What are you waiting for!? If you like hanging out with good people, sweating, and challenging yourself, this is your team! Team RWB isn’t perfect, in fact we have many people on our team who are flawed, myself included. But we are a team and we are here for one another and we are in almost every community in America. Join the team, get your free shirt if you’re a veteran, put it on, and come to a couple events. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to come back, everything has been free up until this point. If you do like it, come back, and bring a few friends with you. This is how our team works, it’s volunteer led and member driven so sign up!”