By MaryTherese GriffinNovember 13, 2019
FORT BRAGG, N.C. - Representing Team Army and competing at the 2019 Department of Defense Warrior Games in Tampa, Florida in June was the highlight of all Sgt. 1st Class Ian Crawley's hard work. Now, the Soldier from the Warrior Transition Battalion, Fort Campbell, Kentucky wants another shot.
"Honestly I feel like I have unfinished business [at the DoD Warrior Games]. I'm trying to improve on what got me there before," said Crawley who is participating in the Adaptive Reconditioning Camp at Fort Bragg, North Carolina this week.
Crawley's journey to adaptive sports happened when he needed more time to recover after surgery from a sigmoid colon rupture he suffered in Afghanistan in 2016. He not only went through therapy at the Fort Campbell WTB, but he now works there in the Adaptive Reconditioning Program.
"I find it very rewarding [working in the Adaptive Reconditioning Program]. I get to help fit Soldiers with their adaptive sport equipment, like wheelchairs, hand cycles, recumbent bikes. I also do maintenance on the equipment," said the former ammunition specialist.
While trying to improve in his own events like field, shooting and cycling, Crawley has also found himself in a mentor position with the newer athletes from other WTBs. "I tell them last year this time I was just learning how to throw a discus and shotput, so hopefully as I share my experiences it will help them."
Crawley is on a mission to improve his overall health to return to his old normal and to be even better. Much of that is due to his focus on the road to Warrior Games again.
"I've got a better mind set and overall, I am in better physical shape, so I keep focusing on those things. It would be amazing to make Team Army again. It's certainly one of the stepping stones for me because I want to go [compete at the Invictus Games] and not only represent the Army, but our country," said Crawley.
Hard work, persistence and focus are what keeps the married father of two pushing forward, while recognizing there is always room for improvement, no matter how far you've come in your recovery.
"I still have room to grow and room to go."