Veterans receive gym memberships to better physical, mental health

Local News

A veteran who struggled with substance and alcohol abuse found his way to crossfit, which saved his life.

This inspired Troy Peterson to start Valor Fit, a nonprofit that helps veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder.

The organization pays for the initial membership with the goal one day to have veterans pay on their own.

Word of mouth is the main way veterans can find out about this.

Peterson said pairing a struggling veteran with someone that’s made it through tough times works.

“The struggling veteran will want to get to the point to where the other veteran is so they show up and when they show up consistently, they want to come back,” Peterson said. “They see the results. They’re around positive people, positive influences, and that feeling then creates a positive emotion, which then creates action and that action is where the reality comes in to play. “

Nathan Vaughn has been going to CrossFit OC3 since last year, but it was only three months ago that he started consistently going most days.

“The biggest barrier to me was just to get past myself and to engage with other people out in the community,” Vaughn said.

At first, he thought he couldn’t do it.

“The whole crossfit thing carries a stigma and sort of a culture that I wasn’t sure that I was ready for, but once I got passed all that I found that it was a good fit for me,” Vaughn said.

His physical and mental health has gotten better because of crossfit.

“Physically, I’ve got a ton more energy,” he said. “I sleep great. Mentally, I’m much more focused and I’m more confident when I walk out the door every morning.”

More information on ValorFit can be found on their website.

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