“Let the examples of service and resilience that you have seen inspire you to take action to improve something big or small, in your life, for your family or in your community,” the prince said. “It doesn’t matter how big or small your step is — just take it.” – Prince Harry
The 2017 Invictus Games was a life changer for me. I was assigned by Vitalize Magazine to photograph the games. When I arrived at the Sheraton Centre on the first day to obtain my media credentials, suddenly life had a whole new meaning.
Invictus means “unconquered”. The opposite of my life’s reel in the past few years. I have opened the doors of allowing others to treat me as a pawn. I have gained a copious amount of weight where a simple task is horrifying to think of, let alone do. I just don’t do the things I need to do to win the war within myself. I let life happen rather than making life happen. Alas, I digress.
On that Saturday, I saw those wounded warriors, both physically and mentally broken but they were in a celebratory state. Excited for the week ahead of them. I just sat and watched quietly in the lobby.
I realized that my life is a cake walk compared to what they have experienced. They have seen and done things under a strict order that I cannot fathom. The mental toll must be traumatic for each and every soldier around the World. We are simply not raised to go to war, to kill, or to witness death in such a gruesome way. We are not meant to lose limbs in the line of fire. We are not taught to be in the line of fire. But through Invictus, they rise. Rise through their wounds. Rise through their loss. Rise through their mental anguish to compete at the Invictus Games. An event with no political agenda. Just people from around the World who have experienced the same fate.
But through Invictus, they rise. Rise through their wounds. Rise through their loss. Rise through their mental anguish to compete at the Invictus Games. An event with no political agenda. Just people from around the World who have experienced the same fate.
This interview, by Brian Williams, gave me chills. Yes, Prince Harry created this platform for greater good, but it is the participants that are making Invictus a reality.
It made me realize that I too can be Invictus, be the person I’m meant to be while helping others to see the change and be the change. So, I challenge all of us, myself included, to make the step of being Invictus. Become the master of your fate. Get involved and help others be Invictus too. If they can rise above their injuries, we all can.
Unfortunately, I came down with the worst flu in over 20 years. Maybe it was the realization of the stress that I caused myself over the years that brought it on. Maybe I just had a bug. Either way, I was unable to make it down until the Thursday and that escalated my sickness even more. So I did the right thing and kept my illness to myself.
I hope that you are all prepared and knowledgeable about the Invictus Games as it is one of the most important movements that we as a World need to support. Get prepared for 2018 Invictus Games in Australia.
“You know, starting of in the beginning of all of this, right from the get -go, whenI lost my legs and both my arms were completely shattered and had to be re-built, you fall into a place of depression. You know, almost like despair. I’m sitting at home not really knowing where my life is actually going to be going. Then one day I get a phone call fromMr. Michael Burns, the President of the Invictus Games this year and he invited me to come and join soldier Ron and the competitors and Prince Harry himself too. So, I went to Toronto and I was just coming off of a recent surgery where they had to rebuild my right arm and save my right knee from having to be amputated further. So, when I got the challenge actually to be there, I was inspired to see a lot of my friends that were in Toronto at that time, they were getting ready for the Orlando Games and sure enough who comes walking around but Prince Harry himself. He comes up to me and he says,‘ you know tell me your story, nice to meet you’. So, I shared my story with you and I felt like I was one of the guys again. I felt like I belonged there. You made me feel very welcome and I think that’s what I liked most about the Invictus Games. And then, he issued me a challenge, to join the Invictus Games, to join the team and to compete at the oncoming Toronto Games, which is right now, and to do my best to succeed.” – Mike Trauner, Canadian Competitor 2017 Invictus Games