LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Maintaining a sharp mind and a healthy body is important.
Branded One CrossFit in Las Vegas is giving back by helping disabled veterans with their mental focus and physical well-being.
“There’s a mental health aspect to working out,” said Edward Haines.
Haines dedicated 20 years of his life to the Marines and is currently devotes his time as a coach at the gym. He says CrossFit helped him physically but also mentally.
“You don’t have to be like a world-class athlete or be a UFC fighter, but just getting up in the morning and getting 30 minutes to an hour of exercise is going to help with your mental focus and your clarity throughout the day,” Edward said.
During his time in the military, he also deployed to Afghanistan and says what we’re seeing unfold hits close to home.
“Very apprehensive, heartbroken. There’s a lot of adjectives to apply here. And it’s going to be a long time before I can truly reconcile what’s going on right now,” said Edward.
It’s important for veterans to talk about what’s happening and how the situation may be triggering emotions or trauma and the gym is a good place to start building that support system.
“This gym is one of my helpful points,” Edward said. “Just finding a group you know working with a group just sitting down and literally talking about it and just admitting the fact that it hurts and hurts deep.”
Nick McCombs is the president and founder of Branded One CrossFit. Even though he isn’t a veteran he says he felt the military community in Southern Nevada needed a place to go.
“It was more than a place to work out. It's bringing people together that they know they can count on,” McCombs said.
And for some, the gym has been life-changing.
“I’ve had people come here instead of going and drinking beer. Instead of going home and feeling sorry for themselves, they come in here. So, they know they can depend on other members of the gym. They can depend on the community,” McCombs said.
Branded One CrossFit is a nonprofit that serves disabled veterans, law enforcement officers and first responders.
The membership for disabled servicemen and women is 100% free.
One of the organization's biggest fund-raising events is coming up in November. It’s a big CrossFit competition with more information available here.