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Back in the Fight: Day 28 - The Final Word of Encouragement

Athletes in Motion
Athletes in Motion
January 27, 2017
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This is our final rest day post for Back in the Fight. We hope you have gotten just one step closer to your own goals just by using this program. Matthew reached out to us over social media to share his journey with us, and we thought it would make a great final thought to leave with you. Push through the last two days!I'm Matthew M. Sheeron, Combat Air Force Wounded Warrior (Still Active Duty/SSgt/E-5), Adaptive Athlete and recovering prescription drug/alcohol abuser. I have confirmed PTSD, TBI, and a broken back. I have served in the Air Force for 7 1/2 years now. I have had two back surgeries and suffer from partial paralysis. I have to use a cane to live my life and that's where I began the new chapter of my life.

After my second surgery in May 2016, I began to fall without warning. This began my relapse into abusing my pain medicines and alcohol. I fell into a dark hole that in turn into a suicide attempt in June 2016. After that dark day, I awoke and went to the one place I called home - the gym. At first, it was a struggle to work out with a cane, but I began to adapt and overcome. After my suicide attempt, I quit taking all pain medicine. This changed my mindset to beat anything that comes in my way. That day was also when my saying "FEAR THE CANE" along with "no excuses" started to build me into what I am today.

Starting in the gym, I did a lot of upper body workouts in fear of hurting my lower back. In late June of 2016, while using a smith machine, I started to squat with my cane after seeing a video from Mr. Johnathan Lopez (who currently kicks ass in the gym day and day out) who was squatting with one hand on the bar. After seeing the greatness that Mr. Lopez had, I started to get back into squatting with just the bar. Months later, I have gone over this goal and now squat 405 pounds.My biggest fear was getting back into deadlifting. I would fall due to my nerves being on a delay. I would use my walker for two hand deadlifts (see video). After months of trying, I finally decided to try one-handed deadlifts. To my surprise, it made a huge difference. The way I work out is taboo to most in the gym. The first step is to overcome any fear that may linger in your mind. My greatest fear was seeing people stare at me while working out. My self-esteem at the time was an all-time low, but I just turned that into white noise. I can only control what I do daily.

For anyone suffering I tell you this - I have never walked in your shoes nor do I know how much you hurt, but reading this, I want you to know you have a friend that has suffered. Call me or message me anytime of the day and I will do my best to help you. I also work with Military Muscle which is an organization that helps veterans create a support system through the military and fitness. My mentor Robert Principato, Co-Founder/CEO of Military Muscle and retired Air Force veteran, has seen me at my worst and still gave me hope to get through the toughest days. Getting a mentor or just one person in your support system makes a huge difference. Without the darkness, how can you see the stars?Overcoming and adapting is what I live by. You might be broken physically or mentally but know that you will and can overcome with the right mindset, people, and groups to help you.Matthew is also a member of Operation Enduring Warrior, he had this to say about the organization:I was brought to Operation Enduring Warrior through seeing the great work they do with wounded veterans as myself. They share the same goals that I try to live each day by helping others and overcoming injuries, depression, and suicide. They make an impact with me due to knowing that I know have a support system that goes through the same things I go through each and every day. Operation Enduring Warrior makes me feel that we as a team can overcome anything. It is not how you begin your journey, it's how you end it that makes the standing impression on all of us.

You can reach out to Matthew on Facebook and Instagram


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