Brian “Wolf” Critton served for ten years in the United States Army as an E-4 Infantryman. It was in the Army that Wolf learned to play the guitar. In 2008, he left the Army but the guitar playing stuck.
Wolf went home to New York, and kept playing the guitar. Before he knew it, Wolf was playing to packed rooms, had a deal with Luna Guitars and Shure. “When I started doing music it was really just for me. It was definitely a form of therapy…There were actually never any goals with it at first really. I was in the military, I was a soldier and I left it at that. Tomorrow was never promised.”
Then something changed.
Ten years later, Wolf would need another type of therapy.
Eventually, Wolf needed to come to terms with an elephant in the room. After speaking to his doctor and a psychiatrist, Wolf was officially diagnosed with PTSD. “You come from a war zone and you’re used to being in a constant state of adrenaline. And then it all stops,” Wolf said. The doctor put him on a prescription that was “absolutely numbing.”
In 2017, Wolf attempted suicide. There in the hospital, recovering, a nurse told him he should take his aggression out on weights. This gave Wolf an idea. He went home and found the closest CrossFit gym.
It happens to be CrossFit New Windsor.
From day one, like all the other things in his life, Wolf was all in. He loved it. It gave him something to do, a goal to set and meet, and it kept his mind busy and his body spent. In short, CrossFit used up all the extra noise Wolf had constantly spinning around in his head.
Wolf was just sponsored by the War Horse Games, a competition that sends 100% of its proceeds to Warhorses for Veterans, a therapy program that supports Veterans. He went on to get certified as a personal trainer and CrossFit New Windsor brought him onto their coaching staff.
He knows what it’s like to feel desperate and seek the help of others, and that drives him to make a difference. “I’ve seen brothers killed… I’ve literally watched a baby die in an Iraq hospital. My advice is this. Keep your mind busy! Take up a hobby, find something you love and put your energy there. I found my darkest days were the ones I spent doing nothing and alone in my thoughts.”