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Garry Jackson – Veteran (30 years of service) and Weightlifting Coach

Posted by Brian Wood MC on
Garry Jackson – Veteran (30 years of service) and Weightlifting Coach - Garry's Keep Attacking Story.

We are very excited to introduce Garry Jackson to the Keep Attacking blog who I, Brian, served with. Here is his story.

Having served with Brian and been friends for a number of years, I understand why he has embarked on the Keep Attacking mission and why it holds such deep meaning and purpose to him and his family.

It is no surprise that the KA brand resonates well with the military. 

The mantra and the personal connections are clear, and it is only a natural

Garry Jackson – Veteran (30 years of service) and Weightlifting Coach - Garry's Keep Attacking Story. Click to read more on the sports and wellbeing blog from Keep Attacking.

course of action that the KA and the Army Weightlifting Team have decided to collaborate.

KA has a different meaning for many people. 

For the Army Weightlifting Team, I believe it means strength, courage and commitment - Have you ever tried to lift something heavy (85% or more of your body weight) dynamically above your head and hold it in an overhead squat position, AKA a ‘Snatch’ - if the answer is no, then you are probably not a weightlifter or don’t dabble in the devil’s exercise regime known as CrossFit!  To move a heavyweight at speed overhead and hold it whilst in a squat does not come easy. It takes time, patience, deliberate practice and committed action.  Although it is present, the athlete learns to control the fear and trust their ability to execute a courageous and purposeful act – they have belief.  And on days when training does not go according to plan and often when in the moment these events or actions cannot be explained, the athlete has to focus on themselves and understand what it is they have to do to be better.  Once they have this self-awareness, they do not dwell or procrastinate over the events – they accept that any failure is part of the process and is an opportunity to become be a better athlete.  They leave it behind them, move forward and KEEP ATTACKING.

On a personal level, KA is ever more relevant. 

In the pursuit of other life goals, I recently found myself in a position where I no longer have the security of the Army.  Pursuing my vision that has been in the pipeline for a couple of years is now even more of a challenge due to the global crisis.  As a soldier on operations, I experienced many forms of anxiety; as a newfound veteran, I am experiencing anxiety on a deeper level.  The Army is a way of life and not really considered by most soldiers as a job – more often than not, as a leader, your decisions and actions are in the interests of others.  Now I make decisions with me as the focus, which is a lot more difficult than first thought.  Many times, I have doubted that my decisions were the right choices.  To overcome this natural instinct, I am learning to stretch my natural abilities in order to meet the demands of life challenges. In the end, I know I have to doubt my doubts, apply the same standards that I applied to myself as a soldier and to the soldiers that looked to me for leadership.  I must keep searching for ways to change the situation for the better, knowing if I do that, I stand a better chance of finding them.  Above all else, if nothing else, I must remember; I have two young boys following me.  As their father, I am an exemplar, a coach and a leader.  They may not be very good at listening to me…they will imitate me - I must KEEP ATTACKING.

Soldier, civilian or weightlifter, each has its own positives, negatives and triggers in different situations. 

One thing they all have in common; they will face adversity.  Whether having to make a difficult life choice, a soldier closing in on the enemy, a weightlifter about to lift a heavy barbell.  Each has to find the courage to overcome the anxiety, free themselves from any negative judgment, install the will to succeed, and believe in their actions and the outcome. In doing so, they can and will inspire themselves and those around them – They must KEEP ATTACKING.

There is a common phrase that growth happens outside of your comfort zone. 

This is true only if you find the courage to rise to the challenge and accept it will not come easy. And even then, if you have done everything that you could have possibly done, you must accept the outcome and take it for what it is.  Maintain the effort and the attitude and finish strong. 

Having written this and reading it many times over, I realise now what was originally started for KA and Army Weightlifting; it has ended up being for me.  A public statement to myself of commitment and accountability to my vision, my purpose.


Want to share your Keep Attacking story? Simply click the link below and submit with your chance to feature.

Submit My Keep Attacking Story.

Garry Jackson – Veteran (30 years of service) and Weightlifting Coach - Garry's Keep Attacking Story. Click to read more on the sports and wellbeing blog from Keep Attacking.

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