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Inspiration for The Iron King Gym

Heroes Remember

Inspiration for The Iron King Gym

So the gym concept came from a memory from battalion. The battalion had a rustic gym and it was my favourite area and it was sacred to me and that’s where all the hardest soldiers hung out and that’s where I want to hang out. One day the doors closed on me and it was a white room with mirrors and just the weights and it was so clear and I had so much fun and it was a moment of true enlightenment in this tiny room. Then when I got after my second deployment I got posted to Kingston and then I left all my brothers and all my section mates and Brittany and I both left and then I’m alone and that’s where I discovered that there was an issue because I wasn’t hanging around my peers. I didn’t have people that were on the same level as me and then it turned really bad. I went from the Prairies to busy like seeing Toronto where some of my flashbacks became real. I became, I would lash out immediately in civilian public and then I became suicidal. What is this and why can’t I turn this off? Why do I envision just scenarios that happened overseas but I wish I did more so people that were there probably understand my context is on that and it was maddening thoughts consistently. And then I had thoughts well that’s it, I’m going to get out. I am going to join Syria, I’m just going to die in conflict. I just want to die in combat. I just want to die that way. So then I would be spending six hours in the gym and then I told Brittany my suicidal thoughts and I told my warrant and my warrant was super supportive and then immediately got me into a social worker. I got my social worker and then we immediately started talking openly. We started nurturing the inside of my soul which is the childish, artistic side. And then I just went from there. I created a clothing line, HAF and then from there I was like I need a house to protect people because I went to a lot of civilian gyms and I felt worse leaving because of the opposite of comradeship. It was staring glares and judgemental glares and confused glares and eye contact was one of my triggers. So I go to a gym and all of a sudden there is like people who appear the same as me giving me eye contact and then when I step up and then switch it on they kind of run away from me and that was me trying to be like hey let’s be friends, lets train but in a weird way so I found it really difficult. So then I literally woke up in the middle of the night, I said, “Brittany do you want to do this?” We have no backing, we have nothing and I just said, “If we are going to do this and if you trust me to start this process I will bleed and I will die in this floor so if we fail, we can be proud of our failure.” So she said yes and so we went on kijiji got everything second hand, signed a lease, gave the guys, Frank our landlord seven thousand dollars and the only concept was to help Veterans give them a hangout platoon room and give them a sacred gym where they could break the walls and all I do is give them a hug and hand them a mortar and then they fix the walls and then come back the next day to heal themselves. So that was the beginning of the foundation of The Iron King and then it evolved and my mission statement has grown and the purpose of The Iron King and the purpose of me is to save lives, give Veterans, service men and women, police and corrections officers especially in Kingston that esprit de corps and that connection with others and a safe outlet to push as hard or as not hard as you want. This is not only just a place of iron and metal, its yoga, it’s stretching. I don’t care what it is. It is you sitting in the middle of the floor just breathing. And that’s our concept of the gym and I am going to grow and I promise you I am going to grow and there’s going to be just more for you to do outside of your home but feel like you’re in a home with PT, because PT is life!

Finding comfort within the walls of the gym, Arthur tells of how he became an entrepreneur in a business benefiting himself and fellow comrades.

Arthur Larimee

Mr. Arthur Larimee was born January 23, 1986 in Edmonton, Alberta. Growing up in Alberta and being involved in sports, Arthur always understood the importance of camaraderie and with this, was drawn to the idea of joining the military. With the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, Arthur trained as door gunner. He was a weapons technician and deployed twice to Afghanistan. After his second deployment Arthur left the military and together with his spouse Brittany, a fellow PPCLI, fulfilled his aspirations of opening a gym with the desire to have a place for countless service men and women to come together for support both mentally and physically, maintaining that bond of friendship experienced during service time. He and his wife have opened a clothing line and are proud entrepreneurs of the Iron King Gym Ltd in Kingston, Ontario.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
October 26, 2018
Person Interviewed:
Arthur Larimee
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI)
Door Gunner

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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