Warrior Games Helps Athlete Move Forward

RAAF

He is riddled with injuries physically and mentally, but former Army Royal Australian Infantry rifleman David Galla is only concerned with one thing: moving forward.

The dedicated father of four has had some low times but has now adopted this ethos, which has seen him move from “down and out” to donning the green and gold to represent Australia at the Warrior Games in the US.

The games highlight the exceptional physical skills and mental toughness of wounded, injured and ill service members from the US military, along with a team of 30 competitors from Australia, and will be held in Florida from June 21-30.

It’s a huge step forward for the Central Coast’s Mr Galla, who is keen to make his partner Leaha, son Dallas (7), twin daughters Eden and Estelle (4), and newborn son Jesse, proud.

“There were a few years there when I was down and out, big time,” Mr Galla said.

“And I’m going to show my kids how to do it properly now, and give back to my partner Leaha; give back to her for the hard times we had to go through when I was down and out and she never left my side.”

He’s in a good place now, despite dealing with “head to toe” pain and mental health issues from his four years of service, which included Mr Galla self-medicating as a coping mechanism.

Previously describing himself as sporty and loving training, Mr Galla withdrew from activity because of his injuries, resulting in a lot of weight gain. Taking a stand and deciding “enough was enough”, the family-man decided to take his life back.

Getting back to the gym and living a healthier lifestyle led to a chat with Invictus Australia, who flagged adaptive sporting games as being another potential step in his rehab journey.

He will compete in powerlifting, shot put, discus and indoor rowing at the games, citing shot put as his favourite, where he gets to “throw stuff without consequence”.

But it hasn’t just been about the sport. Mr Galla’s 29 Aussie teammates have proven to be a huge support for the 40-year-old as he puts his injured body through its paces at the Warrior Games.

“The instant we went to selection camp, we walked in and met all these individuals,” he said.

“Automatically you’re in a safe place, everyone is like family.

“They all speak the same language without saying a word.

“You can just be yourself and talk about your problems because they know 100 per cent, they’ve gone through the same thing.

“That comes before going to America on the world scale competing, all that stuff. That’s the main thing that I’m hanging for.”

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