Sport has always been a big part of Julie’s life. After 11 surgeries in 15 years, she lost her identity, along with her social network and the mental anguish she experienced left her questioning her self worth and she became plagued with self-doubt. Suffering from anxiety and migraines, she said the UK Team trials in Sheffield gave her a renewed sense of hope and enabled her to become more independent.
An Army veteran from Hampshire, she became socially isolated after her injuries but says the Invictus Games is giving her a more fulfilled, enjoyable life with a greater sense of belonging. She said: “It is crucial that I develop a way to think about and understand my life experiences, challenges, and learn to accept my injuries for what they are, but not be defined by them. I have found the courage to contact two clubs, something I would never have done before. Having goals will keep me focused and aim for things I never thought possible.” She added: “The best part about being a competitor again is discovering what I am capable of and achieving more than I ever dreamed was possible.
Hearing the words of a coach say, ‘well done’ or ‘great effort’ lifts your spirit and reinforces positive self-esteem. I also need the safe environment of Invictus to learn basic life skills again, to be able to communicate, socialise and just to share stories and jokes. I believe that in unity, everyone can achieve more.”