Monday, July 25, 2011

Becoming a champion - why we do the things we do PART I

Over the years I have had the ability to train with many people, with many different types of skills and with many different types of teaching methods. Thinking about it, even as a young boy, I remember coaches putting in better players and thinking to myself and asking myself, I want to be in playing; why am I not playing?

As I got older I started to understand about skill levels and how, for some kids, certain things came easier. For example school, I struggled in school even through college, but as I got older I used what I learned in my athletics and found my own little way of focusing on my schoolwork and getting it done. Now, I was in no way, shape or form an “A” student, I mean I got some “As;” but I can tell you that some of my “Cs” felt like Congressional Medals of Honor. Sports weren’t easy for me either; they were easier but not easy. What did come easy for me was the ability to be able to focus on my sport, find ways to make myself stronger, faster, and most importantly being able to endure.

I will never forget my first SEAL Training Adventure back in 2005. There were 32 assigned, 32 present, 32 accounted for at muster (call to order/formation.) SEAL Instructor Mann made an announcement and made it very clear that there was no way I was going to get any special treatment of any kind. In fact, (as his voice became more clear, as if he was a proud lion standing on a rock over looking his pride) what I would be getting is a wonderful induction along with everyone else here —  to the world of pain! It occurred to me at that very second that I wanted SEALs and I got SEALs; not to mention we were all in for one hell of a night.

Instructor Mann continued on by saying, “Your pain, is our pleasure.” To this day, that voice, along with the voices of six other highly decorated men of honor will forever drop me to the deck and make me push out 20 just when I hear the sound of their ever so charming voices.

After two hours of our so-called “Warm–up” and my best friend Shawn looking at me saying, “This is your fault QUAD, you got me into this,” we headed into the pool.  There were now 32 assigned, 30 present and 30 accounted for — two people had rang out.

When we got to the base for the “PT” portion, there were 32 assigned 28 present and 28 accounted for — two more had dropped from the program. A sense of pride flowed throw me just like a parent feels when they see their child born, or watch them grow up and graduate and do the things they wished they could have done. Moreover, a memory rushed through me at the very second, as I realized I have just outlasted not two but four able-bodied people.

Memories of a bike race filled my mind; I was 15, one of my first races of the season.

Stay tuned for the second half of this story.

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