'That’s when I feel the best': Weightlifting helps retired police officer tackle mental health

'When I walk out of here, that’s when I feel the best': Strict curling helps retired police officer tackle mental health
Posted at 11:48 PM, Oct 27, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-28 00:48:26-04

OSHKOSH — At Anytime Fitness in Oshkosh, one police veteran has picked up strict curling to crush mental illness and the competition.

“That's just something that I had to learn how to, I guess, relinquish that control and accept that I'm not perfect, I can't be perfect,” said Ian Seaholm.

For about as long as Seaholm can remember, he wanted to be a police officer.

“It really was a dream,” he said. “That’s what I wanted to do, so as soon as I put the uniform on it was surreal. It was just really special.”

In 2019, after a promotion to sergeant, a leadership role. He started to obsess about the little errors he might have had in his career. That spiraled into obsessive compulsive disorder which also led to major depression issues.

“I mean it turned out to be about as bad as you can get and it was severe enough where I had to be put on medical leave,” said Seaholm. “I just wasn’t fit for duty and it required me getting intensive therapy for a better part of a year – staying in a hospital, seeing psychiatrists, doctors, therapists on a daily basis, i mean it was bad.”

After over a decade of serving, the Oshkosh police officer was forced to medically retire.

“I had been in law enforcement for the better part of 13-14 years and for it to just stop, just like that,”he said. “It was difficult. It's still difficult.”

Psychiatrists, doctors and therapists all helped his mental health, but so did working out. Since March, he found a new obsession. Strict curling. where you have to keep your behind and back against the wall at all times while curling the bar. 

“I come in here focused, I know what I want to do,” said Seaholm. “I have my program and it allows me to push myself. When I walk out of here, that’s when I feel the best.”

Recently, he entered a competition at Mr. America, competing in the police, fire and military category.

“I’m going to go to the gym for 60 minutes, 90 minutes and I'm just going to focus and it is clearing my mind," said Seaholm.

His personal best record for strict curling was 145 lbs going into Mr. America. He shattered that record with 151 pounds. He the won the competition for that category. His goal is Arnold's next year. 

“For me, that’s what it was about – I'm coming in here to beat myself and be better.”

Just like when he was awarded the Chiefs of Police Law enforcement Purple heart a few years ago. He's hoping his story can inspire others to seek help for their mental issues.

“For me, it wasn’t so much about receiving the award, it was hopefully for others who have mental illness in law enforcement that are disabled by it to see that this is just another injury. It’s just a physical one that everyone can see.”