Lifting veteran’s spirits
Ex-serviceman helps others power through challenges with exercise:
AFTER serving 15 years in the Royal Australian Army and marrying a fellow solider, Daniel Ansett lived and breathed all things military.
However, the work can come at a personal cost.
In 2014, Mr Ansett was medically discharged from the defence force after suffering significant injuries linked to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
A debilitating condition that both himself and wife Melissa Ansett developed.
The 36-year-old said he felt isolated and struggled emotionally after having multiple stints in and out of hospital and receiving various medical treatments.
However, the discovery of a new sport through the Young Veterans Association turned Mr Ansett’s life in a complete 180.
He explained the tremendous health benefits powerlifting had for his physical and mental well-being.
“The biggest thing for me was regaining my confidence,” he said.
He said re-learning to work towards goals, build-up strength and finding a regular training routine reinforced the structure he missed from his former career in the army.
Last month, Mr Ansett competed at a veterans adaptive sports tournament in Canberra, alongside his mate Scott McCellan.
Since returning the pair are now motivated to kick-start a similar program up here on the Coast for like-minded veterans.
“The tournament made you feel like a real athlete,” Mr McCellan said.
“The teamwork and positivity of it all is similar to the military.”
They have future goals to compete at the Invictus Games, an international
adaptive multi-sport event held for ex-servicemen and they are hopeful this new program can help them get there.
But most importantly Mr Ansett said they are trying to create a positive social environment where individuals can compete in friendly competition because it is this social interaction that becomes so beneficial in improving their health.
“For me the biggest thing was forcing myself to be more social, you get to meet a lot of people who have similar issues,” Mr Ansett said.
“We all speak the same language, we’ve a lot in common and it goes a long a way to improve your confidence.”
“It keeps the brain busy,” Mr McCellan said.
❝We all speak the same language, we’ve got a lot in common, goes a long a way to improve your confidence.
— Daniel Ansett
GOTTA LIFT: Army veteran Daniel Ansett works out at Play Fitness Gym.
UP-LIFTING: Army veteran Daniel Ansett works out at Play Fitness Gym.