A Warrior’s Pledge: Susannah Garza
As part of Phase III, each No Barriers Warriors participant is asked to create a pledge at the end of their expedition. The pledge is an opportunity to work towards a meaningful personal goal and create a lasting connection to the No Barriers community. We hope you are inspired by the stories of how our Warriors Alumni are continuing to move forward and live a No Barriers Life.
What was your Pledge?
“My original pledge was to help empower younger girls. To help them understand that they are completely in control of their bodies. To give them a voice. I wanted them to know and practice saying NO! To have confidence in their physical abilities.
As it turns out, I’m doing just that, but with a slightly older crowd. I teach a women-only cardio-kickboxing class, I teach moves that can be used for self defense. In my morning class I have a group of about 15 or so women, 4 of which are over 65, my evening class, same number of women just a slightly younger crowd.
The neat thing, is many of my ladies are mothers and grandmothers and they pass on the information to their daughters.”
How did it feel to accomplish your Pledge?
“I feel proud of myself. The last 18 months has been a period of huge change. It’s been a long time since I’ve completed something for myself. I feel satisfied and I feel like I’m making a difference. I’m in a really good place.”
What were some of the barriers you overcame to accomplish your Pledge?
“The biggest barrier was trusting myself. No Barriers gave me the push I needed to say the words that needed to be said. Sitting around a fire with a bunch of veterans, no judgement, no labels, just people listening to each other a offering words of support. I was finally able to tell the story of what happened to me. By saying those words, I took the power away from them and gave it back to myself.”
What advice would you give to fellow alumni as they work towards accomplishing their own Pledge?
“Everyone lives a different life. Your pledge is just that, yours. It doesn’t matter if it takes you a month or ten years to complete it, as long as you’re moving forward. Remember your rope team. We ALL need our team at one point or another, it’s not weakness to ask for help. I want to say thank you to John, Chris and Jill. I had great talks with each of you, it was like a puzzle, each part came together allowing me to see the bigger picture.”