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Authors: Cade Courtley

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BOOK: SEAL Survival Guide
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Achieve a Better State of Physical Fitness

No matter what physical condition you are in now, it can be improved. Running and swimming will improve your cardiovascular fitness and will definitely pay off if you find yourself being chased or having to run from something like a wildfire. Pull-ups, push-ups, and weight training will obviously improve your physical strength and could come in very handy if you have to remove rubble from an earthquake that has collapsed on a relative. Rock climbing or surfing will not only improve your balance but make you more comfortable with heights and being in the water, two things that are incredibly useful during a high-rise fire or flash flood. Take up some type of fighting or martial art, because not only will you will enjoy the physical fitness benefits it provides, but you won’t be shocked and unprepared if you find yourself in a situation where fighting is the only option.

There are numerous training programs available that can guide you and help you achieve a better physical condition. No matter if you begin by taking a daily walk or joining a gym, your motivation is more than weight loss, per se (though that is good); you are also working to be better prepared to survive whatever may come your way. Improve your physical endurance, and it will provide the confidence that you can and will survive anything, under any circumstances. Expand your physical comfort zone, and you will become physically tough.

When I was training to go to BUD/S, I put a pull-up bar in my bedroom door. Every time I entered or exited the bedroom—ten pull-ups. Every time I went into the bathroom—twenty-five push-ups. Simple, a little masochistic, and very effective.

SEALs stress great physical fitness because it is an absolute necessity for mission success. The average person will never need to run with a hundred pounds of equipment through the desert for several days,
or jump out of a plane only to have to swim three miles in the freezing ocean before making it to the designated target. Then again, maybe you will. The sailors of the ill-fated USS
never thought they would have to tread shark-infested waters for several days. Nor did the Uruguayan rugby team that survived a plane crash ever imagine that they would have to make a hundred-mile trek over snow-covered mountains to get out alive. In both cases, these brave people were able to survive not only because of their incredible mental toughness, or mindset, but also because they possessed the physical ability to do so.

SEALs say: “It’s hard to stay hard—dying is easy.”

(all answers need to be yes):

 Did I physically challenge my body today?

 Did I elevate my heart rate and breathing today?

 Did I exercise longer or faster today than yesterday?

 Will I exercise longer or faster tomorrow than I did today?


How do you achieve a SEAL mindset, which is what I call
mental toughness
? For me, I reduced the goal of changing my mindset to a simple phrase that I repeated over and over during Navy SEAL training in Coronado, California: “Never quit!” It actually really simplified things for me. Instead of being mentally consumed by every nuance
(cold, heat, exhaustion, stress, fear), I just kept repeating in my mind, “Never quit!”

BOOK: SEAL Survival Guide
4.44Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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