Sunday, January 27, 2008

Inspiration can come from some unlikely places. I didn’t think that I’d be as moved as I was when I got this boxed set documentary series about Navy SEAL training as I was. It was around the time that I first got serious about my exercise and it came at the right time. It really forged some of the strong opinions about physical training that I have to this very day and taught me so much about getting real results out of it.

Evolutions are an expectation for each trainee in BUDS class. Improvement has to happen regardless how tired the trainees are or how much harder training gets. As I watched this, something occurred to me. These guys crank out pushups even after little or no sleep. The trainers know the signs of injurious physical breakdown and most of the time, those who claimed to be nearly there were not. It was all in their mind. It got me thinking about when I trained. How many times did I say that I was too tired when I really wasn’t that tired? Could I have cranked out 15-20 minutes of SOMETHING?

More often than not, the honest answer was yes. Even one time when I flew an overnight flight flight to Tuscon, Arizona, slept 3 hours, and pulled weeds out of a man-made wetland for 10 hours I still had enough gas to exercise for 15-20 minutes. If there is one thing that the Navy SEALS know it’s that the mind is what is keeping people from performing the task that needs to be done, not the body. The body is a wonderful thing that can take a remarkable amount of stress if ran by a mind that will make it do so.

There’s the problem: we sell ourselves short. We take the lazy route. We come up with excuses why we can’t exercise. I admit that the regimen and training protocol of the SEALS (and my example, for that matter) are extreme but it demonstrates a point: How often are we really too tired to do anything? I’ve said it before that to get fit requires a level of commitment that many can’t or won’t comprehend. That’s what holds them back from getting into great shape. Don't let it hold you back. Dig deep and get something done, even when you don't feel like you have it in you.

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