British Army veteran Mike Burgess dedicated himself to becoming fit. The 42-year-old lives with post-traumatic stress disorder but says he doesn’t let it define who he is. Drawn to CrossFit by its connection to the military, Burgess was intrigued when he saw the results CrossFit produces. In this six-part series, follow the trials and triumphs that go along with “Building Burgess.”
In Part 6, Burgess goes to the snowy slopes of Kananaskis Country in Alberta, Canada. It’s here he feels most at peace.
“You can’t always see how bad the injuries are, but (veterans) are ripped in two inside,” Burgess says. “You get out to the mountain, sun’s gonna come out now, it’ll be a bluebird day, and it just makes your soul sing.”
At CrossFit Calgary, Burgess is up against a brutal workout, and coach Jason Burke is impressed with Burgess’ effort.
“When it’s 3-2-1 go! Mike has an on switch,” Burke says. “There’s no question that when he comes into the gym he’s gonna really go for it.”
At the affiliate’s holiday potluck, Burgess shows his understanding of CrossFit is growing.
“If you’ve not worked that hard,” he says, “then you’ve not done what you’re supposed to be doing. ... Someone pass me the Kool-Aid.”
Video by Jeremy Podlog
Additional reading: “Serving the Soldiers” by Brian Wilson, published April 16, 2012.