Dick Bork, Valhalla Warriors Club and Life After War
Dick Bork, Valhalla Warriors Club and Life After War: An Important Conversation About Mental Health, Physical Health, and Community
If you have been through something traumatic (most people have) then you know that getting your mental health and mindset in a good place is often the most challenging aspect. If you have paired that with getting physically healthy and working out then you know that going about overall health starting with the physical aspect is a much easier approach.
They say that when the tide comes in all boats in the harbor rise, and finding a new normal with your mental and physical health is just that, many boats in the same harbor.
This week on the ‘Cultivate with Sarah Zastrow’ Podcast we talk with Dick Bork a Marine Veteran from Midland, Michigan who has a mission and vision that is coming together with Valhalla Warriors Club.
To listen to the entire episode, click HERE.
Dick says that Valhalla means warrior’s paradise and during his 4 tours in Afghanistan they would use the term Valhalla meaning, “until we meet again” in the warrior’s paradise. Dick was frustrated because you shouldn’t have to wait until you die to see your friends again and he wanted to create a place where people (anyone, not just veterans or active-duty military) could meet up, lift weights and be part of a community that supports, listens, and helps each other through the most difficult parts of life.
Valhalla warriors club is much more than a gym or weight lifting facility. The goal is to have a place to come together to workout, talk, laugh, cry and be a part of a community of people working to overcome any curveball life throws.
We talked about why the transition to “normal life” is so difficult. Whether you are leaving the military, graduating college or high school or really any other life transition, one reason it is so challenging is because there are no longer people around you doing the same thing. You no longer have a built-in community.
So, my challenge for you today is, look at your community, friends circle, family, etc and reach out to someone just to be a friend.
In going through major life changes having that community aspect or a friend that you can reach out to is so important. If you are struggling with depression it can be lifesaving. 22 veterans commit suicide every single day and whether you are in in the military, a veteran or not you probably know someone who has attempted to commit suicide. Having a place for people to go, join in brotherhood and talk about their frustrations and fears is so important.
If you are looking for more information about what to do or if someone you know, or you yourself are experiencing thoughts of suicide please visit https://srrn.net/ for what to do, what to say, and next steps.
“There is nothing more dangerous than you own mind. . . .your situation is not going to change but your outlook on it can and so if we can create an environment that helps you look at all these daunting and overwhelming things in your life. . . then you can get through anything” ~Dick Bork
In the healing process, physical activity is key. Not only in going to the gym, networking, making friends, talking it out, getting healthy, and overcoming challenges but also proving to yourself that you can climb any mountain and overcome anything life throws at you.
Dick’s hope for veterans everywhere is that they see that the military is not the highlight. It was one mountain to climb but finding the next step on the journey of life can be exciting and fulfilling and can lead to an awesome life.
As a person who is not in the military a super important thing that I learned from this interview is, when you are talking to someone who was in the military (or police, firefighter, ems or anyone who has experienced some sort of trauma) if you aren’t ready and prepared to listen to their story, do not ask a question about it. Dick says that there is nothing more painful than someone asks you to open up about your experience and share what it was like, only to realize they don’t actually care. They were just making small talk and now they feel uncomfortable and you are standing there with a gaping wound and terrible thoughts and memories fresh on your mind.
Dick Bork created Valhalla Warriors Club to be a place to work out, hangout and talk about life. It’s a place for everyone to talk about how to tackle any hurdle life throws at you, connect with likeminded people, and improve your mental and physical health.
Connect with Dick Bork and Valhalla Warriors Club
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Connect with Sarah Zastrow
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