Beating PTSD with a Bicycle
by Robert Hess
PTSD affects more than 1.7 million veterans and the resulting emotional depression contributes to the 22 daily military veteran suicides. That’s right; 22 veterans take their own lives every day. That’s over 8,000 lives lost every year.
Helping veterans beat PTSD is one of our key missions. Do a quick search or look at the bottom of the page and you’ll find links on how to get help for your self or maybe a battle buddy who’s dealing with the issue and doesn’t know it.
Below, I talk about how I personally manage my PTSD. It has worked for me since I was diagnosed. We’re all different and bicycling may not be something you have experience with. Please take a minute and read this post and feel free to contact me directly with any questions through the popup contact box on the website.
How I Manage my PTSD
If you’ve been in combat, the sounds, smells, and emotions never leave you. Some people are better at dealing with those emotions than others and we all have a tool or two that helps up cope.
Finding a useful way to deal with your PTSD can be challenging. My coping mechanism is bicycling. I’ve ridden over 30,000 miles since my PTSD was diagnosed.* Here’s how it helps me:
- It gets me outside, which is always calming
- The physical exercise releases my stress
- Tracking my data gives me goals to hit
- I make new friends
Let’s Beat our PTSD Together
If you live in Los Angeles we can ride together. If you live anywhere else and you belong to Strava.com or Zwift.com, we can ride virtually. Here’s how:
- Strava.com. Join the Vets Riding For Vets Strava.com club at https://www.strava.com/clubs/VetsRidingForVets
- Join Zwift.
- Then download the Zwift Companion App for iOS or Android [https://bit.ly/ZwiftApp]
- Search for Robert Hess-CJF/DVEN and click the + sign to the right of my name. That’s all there is to it.
Connect with us on either (or both) platforms and you’ll be part of the Vets Riding For Vets community helping our Battle Buddies beat PTSD.
You can find other PTSD resources here on the website on the PTSD page.
Hope to see you in the community!
US Army (R)
14th and 11th ACR
7/17th Air Cav
Connect with me on LinkedIn
* My diagnosis came after I approached the Veterans Administration and they connected me with an evaluator. Part of the process required me to write descriptions of the stressful combat situations I experienced during my two years. Putting everything on writing, along with pictures of my former battle buddy names on the wall brought everything to the surface and let me come to grips with it. I can’t tell you how much it helped me. If you are having challenges, call the VA hotline as soon as you can.]
Have you heard about our Veterans Rally for Disabled Veterans? We’re on a mission to provide companion dogs and empowering events for our disabled brethren with PTSD. Learn more about our 2021 VetsRally4Vets autocross rally here, and submit the form below to receive updates and priority registration.