By Sameria Zavala
Womack Army Medical Center Public Affairs
WEST POINT, N.Y. (June 14, 2016) — U.S. Army Veteran Staff Sgt. Matthew Mihacsi, a retiree and native of Sterling, Virginia, is proud to represent the Army and the Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Warrior Transition Battalion during the 2016 Department of Defense Warrior Games. This year the games are being held at the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York, June 15-21.
“I’m really digging this sports thing,” said Mihacsi.
Mihacsi has had multiple encounters with improvised explosive devices while on deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“Rockets make a very distinct sound when they are flying over your head and blowing up right next to you Mihacsi, said.”
“I have had many traumatic brain injuries and a lot of memories that I am dealing with,” he added.
Mihacsi has learned how to persevere in his life through adaptive sports and by volunteering to help with Fort Bragg’s WTB cycling program that meets up three days per week.
“There is this term that you may have heard of ‘embrace the suck.’ Well, with cycling you are pushing yourself into pain; you’ve got to embrace that pain. If you don’t push into the pain and then push through the pain, you are not going to go anywhere,” said Mihacsi.
“You are not going to be competitive whatsoever. I’ve learned how to manage my pain better at high levels through cycling.”
The key to harnessing the pain for Mihacsi is to acknowledge that the pain is there, which enables him to perform successfully.
“I’ve learned how to harness the pain through archery and air rifle because if you don’t harness it, grab a hold of it and control it, you are going to be everywhere in your shot group (target). So you really have to pay attention to what is going on with you and then understand it,” said Mihacsi.
This is Mihacsi’s first time at the DoD Warrior Games. He will be participating in archery, cycling, field, shooting and track. But, he is no stranger to competitive adaptive sports taking the gold medal in cycling at the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Valor Games earlier this year.
When asked which sport is his top pick, Mihacsi replied, “I love them all.”
“Everybody has their issues, everybody here. He (pointing to an athlete nearby) is in a wheel chair; you can see some of his issues. She (pointing to a different athlete) is standing upright; you can’t really see her issues,” said Mihacsi.
“Now, you can exacerbate them and turn them into big issues or you can manage them and say ‘you know what, I am going to own these.’ These people out here (at the Warrior Games) are here to say, these are my little issues, and I am going to show you how big of a wave I can make.”
|Date Posted:||06.16.2016 13:29|
|Location:||WEST POINT, NY, US|
This work, Pushing past pain at DoD Warrior Games, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.