Lift­ing vet­eran’s spir­its

Ex-ser­vice­man helps oth­ers power through chal­lenges with ex­er­cise:

Sunshine Coast Daily - Caloundra Weekly - - FRONT PAGE - An­nie Caughey An­[email protected]­news.com.au

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

PHOTO: PA­TRICK WOODS

GOTTA LIFT: Army vet­eran Daniel Ansett works out at Play Fit­ness Gym.

PHOTO: PA­TRICK WOODS

UP-LIFT­ING: Army vet­eran Daniel Ansett works out at Play Fit­ness Gym.

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