Woman warrior workouts are named after women who have been affected by Military Sexual Trauma (MST). Watch Melanie’s short film describing the long-term harassment she endured and how it affects her to this day. Here is Melanie’s workout representing her perseverance through the pain.
3 rounds for time
Accumulate 90 seconds hollow rock
50 meter bear crawl
25 box jumps
The Hard Way
Melanie’s story is not an uncommon one. After graduating from Army basic training, Melanie attended a 16-week training program to learn her military occupation. There, she was one of only 13 women in a group of 300 trainees. Early in that training, she was awakened by one of her drill instructors who asked her to choose between completing training the “easy way” or the “hard way”; the easy way was being raped by whomever was on duty and the hard way was facing constant harassment.
Melanie chose the hard way. The harassment she endured would have broken anyone, allowed only about 90 minutes of sleep on most nights and made to perform impossible tasks for hours, but she was determined to finish her training. Finish she did, but not before her leaders attempted several times to discharge her from the military for “failure to adapt” and “narcolepsy.”
After serving in the Army National Guard and Army for 7 years, Melanie was raped by a fellow service member and she made the difficult decision to end her military service in order to avoid further issues.
Melanie still struggles with the affects of military sexual trauma (MST) and the associated PTSD, even decades after she was traumatized. Unfortunately, she has found that many treatment and support programs for veterans are not available to veterans who served before 9/11. After a long search, Melanie found the Veterans Making Movies program at LACMA in Los Angeles; this program has given her some healing by allowing her to share her story through the creative outlet of film. She wants to ensure that all veterans know about this and similar programs that provide a valuable, therapeutic method of coping.