Why Team RWB?

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Blog written by: Alycia Rossi

Mike Greenwood is not only the founder of Team RWB Colorado Springs, but he was also it’s first Chapter Captain. Mike and I worked together. I remember passing his desk and seeing Team RWB plastered everywhere. “What’s Team RWB?” I asked him one day. It was as if Mike was waiting for me to ask, to share.

After discussing Team RWB’s mission, he told me that I should come out to an event one time. Being that I have been running since I was 11 years old and also a United States Air Force veteran, you would think that I would have been all-in and ready to do anything with Team RWB. That was not the case though, and it took me almost 11 months to finally make it out to an event.

Why? Why did it take me so long to go out and do something that I love with service members? That’s a question that I always find myself asking when I stray away from social activities, I have anxiety. My first Team RWB event was a snowy hike at Red Rocks Open Space. At the time, my now ex-husband was deployed, so I went to the event with my daughter and I made one of my coworkers come with me as well. Needless to say, I was hooked. I did my best to attend as many events as I could. I didn’t feel connected to the team at all though.

Team RWB’s mission is the enrich the lives of America’s veterans and the team was doing a great job at it. There were weekly events and everybody seemed happy and connected. I just didn’t understand it or personally feel the connection. My ex came home from his deployment and I continued to go to events, but just to go. I still didn’t feel connected to anybody and especially not my ex. We were having an extremely tough time at home. I seemed to go to events to just get away. I would go to an event, participate in whatever activity was going on and then leave as soon as I could.

Eventually, I just stopped going to events and for about 1 and a half years. In the meantime, my problems at home continued to fester and my ex and I separated in July of 2016. I was happy that I took control of my life to focus on being happy, not just for me, but for my daughter as well. I was still extremely depressed though. If you have depression and then add a significant life event, like divorce to the mix, it’s a dangerous combo. I started drinking a lot, not to the point where it was uncontrollable, but I had to have a beer or a something every day. That is still not normal if you normally don’t feel that you “have to have a drink.” It wasn’t until October of 2016 that I randomly had contact with a member of Team RWB and decided that I needed to give it another try.

I went to a Wednesday night run and saw some familiar faces that I hadn’t seen in some time. It was nice to see familiar faces. One event turned to 2 and 3 and 4. I was hooked again, but this time I felt different. I had Team RWB members checking up on me and asking me how I was doing, and if I would be at tomorrow’s event. It took some time, but I slowly opened up to some members about going through a divorce and then being in a state without any family.

Essentially, I started to look at Team RWB as family away from immediate family. There were a lot of days that I was just going through the motions of life and was wondering what my purpose was. I would go to work and go to an event to go even if I wasn’t up for it. There were countless days that I didn’t want to leave my bed. I did, though, and I went to events because I committed to go. I slowly started to feel better and it was only because of Team RWB. I became a regular at the Wednesday night runs because I wanted to be there.

During such a difficult time, I looked forward to going to work on Wednesdays so that I could go to the Wednesday night runs. I started to feel like myself again and I cannot emphasize enough that it was all because of Team RWB and the members believing in the mission. My reason for being so committed to this fantastic organization is because our members live the mission. I want to thank all of you for being there for me. We all have different reasons as to why we joined Team RWB. I want to encourage you to think about why you joined and why you continue to go to events. I know that I truthfully wouldn’t have made it this past year without you.