B.C. veteran who served in Afghanistan credits CrossFit for helping with PTSD
Bruno Guevremont loves CrossFit “because the minute you walk into the gym, on your first day you’re already starting to measure your progress.”
No doubt, Guevremont has come a long way. The former soldier credits the fitness regimen with helping him cope with post-traumatic stress disorder.
“We do CrossFit,” said Guevremont, who now runs CrossFit Stasis in Victoria. “That’s what helped me get back on track after being released from the military.”
Guevremont served in Afghanistan and on his second tour he was part of a counter-IED team that took more than 100 explosives out of action.
“We were doing two to three IEDs a day,” he said. “One day we did nine. We had a job to do.”
But there was one call and one man this former soldier couldn’t escape.
“The guy was mentally challenged…he had basically been coerced into doing this. I felt bad for the guy,” he said.
Guevremont had to disarm a live suicide bomber who was still wearing his vest. To this day, he is the only Canadian to have ever faced that task and completed it successfully.
“I just stepped into that and I just became focused on the device itself. When I relieved him of his vest, he let go a big sigh. He was relieved.”
Guevremont was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder once he returned to Canadian soil.
“I had a plan for suicide. I was down that rabbit hole. It was very, very dark. I was inches away from it.”
Part of Guevremont’s treatment involved time in the gym.
“When you work out, it releases endorphins, makes you feel better about yourself and it becomes your medication,” he said. “That’s what helped me get back healthy. That’s why I started this gym.”
He opened CrossFit Stasis with the help of True Patriot Love, a national fundraising organization aimed at serving those who have served their country.
Part of the gym’s goal is to help other soldiers find their footing through fitness and support.
“You’ve got to get up and reach out,” he said.
-With files from Kylie Stanton
© 2015 Shaw Media