We are going to start recognizing you awesome athletes out there in JSCF. Our first Athlete of the Month is….
His story: ” I’m now 51 years old and yes, I have Multiple Sclerosis. I went into the U.S. Navy when I was 17, I turned 18 in Boot Camp, yes Boot Camp, not Basic training, but that is another topic all together. I was initially going to be a Nuclear Engineer on a submarine, but that didn’t work out. I ended up on a munitions transport ship out of the Bay area in California and then later out of Guam. I came back to CONUS only long enough to be trained how to do Mine-Countermeasures on the last of the WOODEN (non-magnetic) ships in the U.S. Navy. Then off to Manama, Bahrain to sweep for mines in the Persian Gulf for Operation Ernest Will. Being that this was 1988, there was no CNN embedded reporters to report all of the shooting that was going on, although there was quite a bit of it going on,especially after the USS Vincennes shot down Iranian Air flight 655, by mistake, killing all 290 people on board, on 03 July 1988. After just over 5-years of active duty I went into the U.S. Naval Reserves so that I could use my G.I. Bill, the Montgomery G.I. Bill, the worst G.I. Bill ever. After a year in a Coastal Mine Sweeper unit, a slot in the Coastal Warfare unit Mobile Inshore Undersea Warfare (MIUW) unit 201 finally opened up and I couldn’t wait to get there. Initially aligned with U.S. Navy Special Warfare and later given over to U.S. Marine Corps Expeditionary Units (MEU). The training was difficult sometimes but I loved it. I mean with the exception of Navy Corpsman; most squids don’t get a chance to play Marine. I got married in late ’96 and early ’97 I decided to switch to the U.S. Army National Guard, a year later I was sent to Basic Non-Commissioned Officer Course (BNCOC), before I completed BNCOC I was invited to attend OCS to get my commission as an officer in the U.S. Army National Guard. After I completed U.S. Army Infantry Officer Basic Course five months before 11 September 2001. I was assigned an Infantry platoon back in Indiana with the 151st Infantry regiment. The only maneuver unit from the Army National Guard that served in Vietnam, the Indiana Rangers. Within 2-years I was promoted to the position of Commanding Officer of Headquarters Company at only the rank of 1lt, O-2. Unfortunately, during my 2-week training in 2002 I started experiencing numbness in my left hand and it got so bad that I lost fine motor control making it nearly impossible to sign my own name, yes I write with my left hand. I went to Chiropractors thinking it was just a pinch nerve, but my wife, an RN, suggested that I go see a Neurologist. So on my 6th wedding Anniversary (happy anniversary) I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), the following month I got a root canal and while my mouth was still numb, my Battalion Commander called and told me I was going to Iraq. Once I was going through my pre-deployment training and medical screening, I decided not to lie about the fact that I had MS, so I was told I would be sent home. Some would be happy about not going to war, but when I assembled the troops I was to lead in Iraq and gave them the news that I was not going with them, some of them told me that they had told their friends, family and loved ones not to worry about them because their LT had fought in that region of the world before, and he’ll bring them home just fine. Although they all wished me the best and I sincerely appreciated their confidence in me, that was probably one of the saddest days of my career. The other would be speaking at my mortar platoon sergeant’s funeral months later. I was placed on medical hold and my promotion packet for Captain was never submitted. Later I was medically retired as a 1st Lieutenant with just less than 21-years of total service. My MS luckily didn’t really progress to the point where I was in a wheelchair, I worked in Africa and Kazakhstan training Peace-keepers for the better part of 7-years, I also went to Iraq as a contractor. I invested the money I made contracting into two fetal stem-cell treatments in Kiev Ukraine, trying to reverse or cure the MS, but I have not been cured. My depression from knowing that I had this disease got worst, and almost ruined my marriage. In late 2015 my balance was bad enough that I sometimes needed a cane. I figured that I had nothing to complain about because I had met others who were diagnosed with MS and within 3-years they were in a wheelchair, and I was diagnosed way back in I decided to accept a challenge from Crossfit 623 in February of this year, it was a 12-week challenge that included 3-Crossfit classes per week and a Paleo diet. By that time, I had become so sedentary and overweight that I was a little intimidated. I weighed 288 lbs. according to the scale and had problems walking up and down stairs. My wife, God love her, was very supportive and even got into the Paleo diet to make it easier for me. At the end of the 12-week challenge I had only lost 15 lbs. however I felt stronger and my clothes were getting lose. My plan all along was that if I enjoyed Crossfit, that I would transition from CrossFit 623 to Joint Strike CrossFit at Luke AFB, the price is the best and all of the equipment is there. I’ve since lost 30 lbs. and have noticed that as your conditioning improves, you get more from the workouts and you are able to do more of the workouts with less scaling of the exercises. I see Crossfit as a permanent part of my future.
Statements from coaches and other students
— Watching Scott thrive has been an awesome process- Coach
–He gives me drive and determination- student
–Scott is a success- Coach
— The word ” I can’t” doesn’t ever come out of his mouth– Love it , keep
improving , keep fighting the battle- Coach Sherri