SAN DIEGO — March is Brain Injury Awareness month. In this Zevely Zone, a military hero showed me how Pure Barre has given him a new life.
Pierre Anthony, a retired Marine Corps veteran, has gone from disarming bombs to pulsing at Pure Barre in East Village San Diego. "Going into combat changes you," said Pierre (41) who became a Marine at age 18.
Pierre took four extended deployments to places like Iraq and the most dangerous areas in Afghanistan which led to high casualties. "Every single day, I think that was the bloodiest conflict since the Vietnam War," said Pierre.
A conflict that came with thousands of IED's. "Improvised explosive devices. They called me right in. I came in running with the boys. We are going to take care of it for you for sure," said Pierre with a smile.
The experience left him with PSTD. "It did. It did. Every workplace has its occupational hazards," said Pierre. Some more than others, Pierre, was a Master Bomb Technician who suffered multiple traumatic brain injuries. "I am a one hundred percent disabled veteran. I have first, second and third degree burns from being blown and burned. I've been blown up on a number of occasions," he said.
After 21 years of service, Pierre retired from the Marine Corps. "I got divorced twice," said Pierre. He said he needed therapy and found it in a form of exercise called Pure Barre. "I probably looked through the glass for a year and a half before I was talking to some fellow down on the stoop. I was like 'Yo, it's a bunch of chicks down here working out you know what I am saying?'
I don't want to go in there and scaring the environment. You know, I know how I look, I am very aware of myself," said Pierre who was welcomed with open arms.
The workouts challenged his body and his mind. "This is the movement right here. That is the PTSD kicking in," said Pierre who lost his train of thought momentarily.
Marco Vazquez from the Pure Barre East Village studio helped us raise the bar. "Bring it up and up," said Marco. "You fell that burn?" Next up? An ab workout. "Now hold that position, cross your arms like an X on your chest down two counts," said Marco.
Pierre has lost thirty pounds, but more importantly he has gained a loving community. Laughter has replaced a lot of his anxiety. Pure Barre is now sharing Pierre's success nationally. He is becoming the face of Pure Barre. "Ha, ha, ha, I am not quite sure how to respond to that but thank you," said Pierre.
Even if sometimes that face comes with a grimace from an intense workout. There are eight Pure Barre locations in San Diego County. For more information click here.
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