“The best part about the Invictus experience so far are the many friends I’ve made,” says retired Captain Ryan Carey. Today he would have competed in sitting volleyball. Instead he shares his advice for how to Soldier On in quarantine.
A veteran of both the Canadian Football League and the Canadian Armed Forces, retired Captain Ryan Carey served as flag bearer when Canada hosted the Invictus Games in 2017. “It was a great honour, but I’m even more honoured to be representing Team Canada as a competitor in the upcoming games,” he says.
Carey will be competing in archery, sitting volleyball, and swimming. When he is not busy training, he spends his time in quarantine homeschooling his three children, writing short stories, reading, and playing music. He is a Guitar for Vets mentor, volunteers with several charities and foundations, and encourages everyone to get in the habit of reaching out regularly to their peers.
“We all joined the forces to help. Reach out to a vet who is in a worse place than you. That helps me find purpose,” he says.
His best advice for people struggling to cope with social distancing is to come up with what he calls a 90 percent solution. “That is a routine you follow 90 percent of the time. If you have a bad day where you can’t get out of bed and just end up binge-watching movies, don’t beat yourself up about it. Remember that this is a marathon, not a sprint. Focus on today and stay socially engaged.”
For Carey, having a healthy routine involves getting up at a certain time, eating well, and training.
“It’s important to have a plan, but also to learn to accept uncertainty. As veterans, this is an area that should be our forte.”