Old Town- “I was blindsided by life, and i was swung into one of the worst depressions. I couldn’t even prepare for it,” said David Aston, founder of Warrior Athlete Fitness Training.
For Aston, going to war was hard, but coming home was even harder. After serving a tour in Iraq after high school and another in Afghanistan a few years later, Aston found coming back home was more challenging than expected.
“I ended up losing a lot of relationships, ruining my family life, ruining pretty much anything I could get my hands on, unintentionally, mostly because I didn’t want to ask for help,” said Aston.
Despite the opportunities available for war veterans returning home from deployment, Aston struggled to seek help.
“I think as service members we tend to keep all our feelings inside because when you’re out there being deployed, it can be seen as a sign of weakness, and that’s where that stigma comes from. So I didn’t dare ask for help and if I did it was kind of a half- hearted attempt,” said Aston.
But during his term in Afghanistan, Aston was able to spend a lot of his free time working out and learning about fitness, and that quickly became his outlet.
“As weird as it sounds, I think it was kind of a spiritual evolution,” said Aston.
He launched Team Warrior Athlete, a group fitness class that aims to ease the transition from deployment to civilian life. And even though the classes have a military style training to them, they are open to anyone who wants to improve themselves.
“If you ask anyone that goes to my class they know that it’s a little but more mental than physical. A lot of times they’re forced to work together as a team or they probably won’t make it through the workout. So it just kind of shows you that in life, not just in the gym, that you have to push a little bit harder when people’s lives depend on it,” said Aston.
The classes are held at the Old Town Y on Tuesday and Thursday from 5:30 to 6:30 PM, Wednesday and Friday at 5 am, and Saturday at 8:30 in the morning.