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Force Forward and turn your life around
In a preview of a new full-length article to be published in the forthcoming edition of Quest, we present a snapshot of the work of Graeme Richardson, ex-RAF and founder of ‘coaching and community’ organisation Force Forward. Graeme is seeking willing volunteers to get into the best possible shape of their lives – mentally and physically – for a photo shoot in September. Are you ready to take on the challenge?
When he woke up in Glasgow Royal Infirmary on 3 July 2009, the victim of a violent attack, Graeme Richardson knew things had to change. That night, he’d been drinking – a lot – with friends in the city. While he had no recollection of the incident that had left him lying unconscious on the pavement in the city centre and later hospitalised, the experience was the catalyst he needed to turn his life around.
Recognising that his drinking that night was consistent with his relationship with alcohol since leaving the military in 2001 and the inner struggles he was dealing with despite appearances to the contrary, proved a wake-up call. Graeme stopped drinking and didn’t touch a drop for a year.
However, as the years passed he continued to struggle with his personal demons, until an epiphany in 2017 when his daughter went into hospital for major reconstructive surgery. She was, he says, an ‘absolute trooper’. Graeme was truly inspired and decided it was time to take action.
He left his job and, with a good friend, walked 200 miles through Portugal and Spain. The journey helped him ‘decompress’ and get to grips with what was really important in his life. Over the next year, he sought to raise awareness of mental health charities, got himself a personal trainer, joined the gym and started working with a coach on his mind-set. Slowly but surely, says Graeme, the bad days reduced …
Fast-forward to today and Graeme is now running Force Forward, using his own struggles, journey, transformation and the tools he used to get to where he is now to help other people experiencing the same thing.
The journey, he says, has been amazing, but Force Forward is just getting started! It has already signed the Armed Forces Covenant and started the process of achieving Bronze Employer Recognition.
Are you ready to take action?
All along, Graeme has set himself both mental and physical challenges, and he is now calling for 15 willing ex-Forces members to work with him to get into the best possible shape of their lives for a photo shoot this September. He stresses that this isn’t just another physical challenge: it’s open to anyone seeking to dramatically improve their physical or mental health – because that is what Force Forward is all about.
Graeme is keen to use the knowledge and skills he has acquired to help others whose story mirrors his own.So if you are ex-military and think you could benefit from re-evaluating some aspects of your life, if you want to take a step in the right direction, get in touch and Force Forward with Graeme!
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