43-year-old Dan Nevins endured many Army deployments, 36 surgeries, and two divorces to become the man he is today. But even after these tragedies occurred and it seemed like Nevins had been through all he could handle, even a disastrousroadblock could not derail him.
He never associated himself with the group of soldiers with PTSD. He kept himself busy biking, playing golf, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, and becoming an executive at the Wounded Warrior Project. With all of the distractions, he couldn'thave imagined what was coming.
After one of his final surgeries, Nevins noticed negative feelings starting to build up. Throughout the years he had never exprienced the PTSD symptoms that many other veterans suffered from.
He told People magazine, "I couldn't do anything. I couldn't keep up with my then 3-year-old daughter, couldn't play golf, and those thoughts that I used to be able to chase away with a golf club or my road bike just kept coming back."
"At home for eight weeks alone, I realized the reason I couldn't identify with PTSD was because I self-medicated. But I didn't self-medicate with drugs or alcohol, I self medicated with achievement."
Knowing that 22 veterans committed suicide each day due to PTSD, he knew that he needed to find help fast.
Nevins called up a friend hoping that she could find a resolution. "She said, 'You need some yoga in your life.. And I said, "Absolutely not." He shared with People magazine, laughing. He continues, "I'm not a Mother Earth guy. I eat meat, I own guns."
But in order to control his thoughts, he agreed to three private yoga classes to attempt to meditate and release his bottled up feelings.
Nevin has prosthetic legs that push into his knees and allow him to walk. Trying to practice yoga with the prosthetic legs was becoming increasingly painful.
With frustration, he chose to take off his prosthetics. Before that class, no one had seen him without his legs. It was one of the hardest things he's had to do.
Although it was tough, Nevins shares, "But I got on that mat and got in warrior pose. I started to lift my arms up for this pose and got this burst of energy like lightning. I had this moment with the universe. It was like the earth was saying, 'Dan, where have you been for the last 10 years?' It was incredible."
In the hopes of becoming a yoga teacher, Nevins went on a yoga retreat. He had to take off his legs in front of a large room of people.
When asked about his happiness, Nevin shares how he believes that he lost his legs for a reason and that he has been blessed for it. " ... I know that almost all of my students know a veteran, so I tell them to invite them to yoga. Because it might just save their life."
The journey was long and rough, but to be where Nevin is now was only possible through the trials he has endured.
Nevin closes, " ... When I said yes to my friend, it changed my entire life - it saved me."
Tana is a student with a passion for words. She believes that written words can touch people in ways unimaginable. In her spare time she enjoys singing, hiking, cuddling in a fuzzy blanket, and spending time with her friends and family.