Matthew Moyer, TSAC-F
Life in the military was easy, there was usually a clear objective; there was always a mission or a mission to prepare for. Then we transition out of the military and things get muddy, where is the mission? You need to create your own mission and find your new purpose. We were trained to do hard things. So what is the next hard thing you are going to do?
When we graduated boot camp, we thought we accomplished the hardest thing ever. Then a deployment comes, that was a harder thing. Then, we transition out; either our contract was up, or, like myself, we were injured and medically separated. Civilian life is the next hard thing. We didn’t train to do hard things so that hard things would be easier, we do hard things so we can perform hard things better. You were prepared for this hard thing, whatever it may be, and it may change on a daily basis. But this is the great thing about the veteran community, not only were we prepared to do hard things, we can encourage each other to do hard things.
We see this same concept in physical training. We don’t start off with a big bench, we have to progressively overload and adapt to get there. Getting back to the gym has amazing benefits for veterans. First, it was a mainstay of our job for so long. Physical preparedness was expected of us. Second, every small mountain we make it over is a movement in the positive direction. It doesn’t have to be huge, it just has to be consistent. Third, the mental health benefits are numerous. We have the endorphin rush of working out and of conquering that hurdle. We have the camaraderie of those we are working out with and new friendships forged. I have first-hand experienced all of these benefits, but there is a fourth one that I have only recently experienced.
The fourth benefit is helping others on their journey. If we collect wisdom and experience only for our own gain, what do we profit? Passing on what we know has numerous benefits. We can empower those who feel lost or hopeless. We can enable others to function on their own. And we can build real relationships that impact our community. We add value to ourselves and to others.
We did a great thing and made a sacrifice to serve our country. But, like every success, we cannot rest there. Remember, we don’t do hard things so they are easy, we do them to enable us to conquer the next hard thing. Every success, or experience, is a stepping stone to the next thing. We didn’t come this far to stagnate. We all have a story and we can use that story to connect and enable others.
The brother/sisterhood is real and we get to help strengthen it. Giving back is the greatest way to grow, individually and collectively. So what is your new mission? We can strengthen ourselves, others and the community at large, physically and emotionally.
Matthew Moyer is a former Marine with multiple combat deployments. He was medically separated after a spine injury in Afghanistan. Years of physical therapy, and a great physical therapist, drove him to see the mental benefits of training, not just the physical. This led him to work with other veterans who were separated. He became certified through the NSCA as a Tactical Strength and Conditioning Facilitator to further his goals. He currently runs Force Multiplication, LLC, focused on training those who wish to join Mil/LE/Fire, those who are in and those who are post service.