Archer’s Challenge Athlete Testimonial – Chris Jachimiec
August 13, 2020
Meet Chris “Jach” Jachimiec! Jach is the newest member of the COSF team, and has shown his commitment by joining Archer’s 100 Mile Challenge!
I’m Chris “Jach” Jachimiec, the newest member of the Code of Support family where I’m a Veteran Peer Navigator. Prior to joining the team, I served in the Air Force in various capacities among the military police, communications and special operations fields. I retired on the 1st of February 2020 after 20 years and six months of service. My athletic background comes from track and field, martial arts and most recently, cycling.
As an Air Force Wounded Warrior, cycling has been critical to my recovery from the invisible wounds of war. It was a fellow veteran who I met on a rock climbing retreat that encouraged me to start competitive cycling. The mindfulness that takes place in this high octane sport is simply amazing. Ironically, at the beginning of 2020, I set a goal to ride 2,000 miles on an indoor trainer. I was then selected to participate in the Air Force Wounded Warrior Trials and I will subsequently compete as an Airman at the next Department of Defense Warrior Games.
I personally believe that mental health and physical health share a symbiotic relationship. That brain and body connection that many neuroscientists talk about. When combined with performance breath-work, individual counseling and sobriety, I’ve been able to take my training to another level. In fact, I credit my time on the bike with keeping me free of alcohol for over two years and elevating my mental health to a level of purposeful gratitude.
The military functions much like a professional sports team. Each of us have a role to play in achieving mission or team success. I’ve therefore been playing a team sport my entire life. In fact, there is a strong correlation between combat veterans, professional athletes and Olympians that creates beautiful harmony in transition through shared experiences of setbacks, failures, shame, stigma and losing ones purpose in life after “retiring”
For any athlete out there, the competitions may be paused or in a different format or delayed. It’s just given me time to get better for that next competition, Also, never stop establishing goals in all domains of health. Connect with your teammates socially. In fact, I despise the term social distancing. This is a time we need to connect even more. Safely physically distance but don’t give up your social connections. Isolation kills.
I believe we should always pursue something physically challenging. Archer’s Challenge has done just that for me and gives me a purpose to the pedaling. It allows me to continue to advocate for service members, veterans, families and caregivers through athletic endeavors. I’m not stopping at 100 miles though. I want to push the envelope to honor all of those who sacrificed for this great nation by exceeding the standard.
You can support Jach, learn about our other athletes, and follow Team COSF’s journey here.