Daniel "Stix" Parker Sydney-bound for royal games
EVEN with physical injuries sustained during active service, Daniel "Stix" Parker says he's always been into running since he was knee-high to a grasshopper.
And after a stint in last year's Invictus Games in Toronto, the 28-year-old returned serviceman is ready to go again in the upcoming games in Sydney next week.
Mr Parker served in Timor Leste in 2010 and Afghanistan from 2011-2012 before being discharged that year.
"When I was discharged because of medical and physical injuries I was 105kg and pretty worse for wear," Mr Parker said.
"I've had more surgeries than birthdays, so every 8-12 months I had bilateral surgery for my knees and ankles, have pins in my hips and a battery pack for my spine as well as the mental trauma.
"Being a soldier, I thought I could just soldier on and toughen it out."
He said the games changed his life for the better when he started re-training in 2016 after extensive surgery.
"It's a proven fact there's no medication on the market capable of the effect released by social interactions by endorphins and oxytocin from physical activity," Mr Parker said.
"It's a great way to self-help."
During the 2017 games, Mr Parker won gold in the 100m and silver in the 200m in 2017.
Mr Parker will be competing in the 100m, 200m, 400m, long jump and the relay when the games start on October 20.
He said he was hoping to beat his personal best on the day.
"I am super excited, I'm just shaking thinking about it," he said.
"My last experience was overwhelming... walking onto the massive podium with the cheering crowd was mind-boggling, to have that support and to know that people still care about our service and what we've gone through."