Who’s David Goggins?
David Goggins is the only member in the U.S. Armed Forces to complete SEAL training, U.S. Army Ranger School and Air Force Tactical Air Controller training.
He was also a personal bodyguard for the Iraqi Prime-minister.
After the Operation Red Wings, few of his friends died in a helicopter crash. Almost everyone in the operation died except Marcus Luttrel(2013 their is a movie called “Lone Survivor” based on the book Marcus wrote).
He started competing in ultra marathons with the sole purpose of raising money for college tuition for the children of the soldiers who died in the operation.
David competed in numerous ultra marathons without even being a long time runner.
He competed by being a novice runner.
For the first marathon, he was looking for the toughest run that he could find.
Which at the time was BadWater Ultra Marathon.
But for entering the race he had to complete 100 miles run in 24 hours or less.
He competes at 100 miles run few days after they told him that he has to with almost no training for it.
Goggins completes the 100 miles race and competes in the BadWater Ultra Marathon to raise money for the charity.
He was also a world record holder for the most pull ups made in 24 hours in 2013 with 4025 pull ups.
Ran 7000 miles for an year.
8 consecutive 100 mile races over 8 back to back weekends.
In 2010 on a regular health check the doctors found out that he had a birth defect on his heart.
Basically a hole in his heart(WTF?)
Which made his heart function at 75%, for obvious reasons.
Please note that he started competing in ultra marathons in 2003.
Once in an interview his wife mentioned that he hated every time that he had to wake up early to run but he never the less did it so he can raise money for the charity.
You are probably wondering how is all that even possible.
Wait to see how his mind works and you will understand.
Key Lessons from David Goggins
I rewatched his interview few times already.
And I am still amazed of his determination, drive and will power.
I’ve listed the most inspiring takeaways from this interview.
I recommend you to watch it when you have a spare hour, because it’s 50 minutes interview full with insights of his mindset.
All of the lessons are something that I relate to. You may relate to different parts of his story, that’s why I recommend reviewing the interview as well.
1. “To grow you must suffer”
Growth occurs at the end of our comfort zone.
And in most cases going out of the comfort zone is not a fun experience.
Sure over time we may get used to it a bit and eventually enjoy it.
But the first few times it sucks.
“Suffering is a test, it’s all it is. Suffering is the true test of life.” – DG
“Getting to the point where you are not afraid to face the other side of the door that wants to attack you, has made you happy.”
“Thicken your skin, become more of a human being.
Don’t be afraid of the reflection in the mirror.
That’s all you can be afraid of.
Once you overcome the reflection in the mirror, you’ve done it.”
Pushing yourself to do the last rep that we all think we can’t is what actually means to face this reflection.
To face that voice inside that tells us “I think we are pretty much done here.”
Proving that voice inside wrong should be our goal while working out, while we are working, while we are studying or whatever we do.
2. “Who are you?”
“As humans we want to find out how to be someone else.
We read books about how to be someone else.
What we don’t do is, we don’t go inside.
Read the book that’s inside.”-DG
Before doing calisthenics I was very into weight lifting.
Because it was going to give me the muscles and fake confidence of having attractive physical appearance.
Once I realized that muscles are not the real source of confidence, I started wondering what I really want to do with my body.
Don’t get me wrong here weight lifting has its own strengths like everything else but I wanted to do something more with my body then just pushing metal.
That’s how I ended working out only with my own body weight.
All of this self-questioning applies to everything in life not just working out.
“Right now for you to find greatness in yourself. You are not gonna find it by looking in a book or even hearing me.
At the end you’ve got to go inside yourself to find it.” – DG
David Goggins is a firm believer that everyone has it’s own greatness, we just have to keep looking until we find it.
For some people it may take years for other lucky people they may know it from the get go.
“At the core of your soul, who are you?
If you don’t know who you are, I can’t tell you who you are.” – DG
3. The first ultra-marathon
“The first ultra-marathon wasn’t very smart at all.” – David said jokingly.
The reason he has interest in this is to raise money for the special operation warrior foundation. A foundation where 100% tuition goes to the kids (of the fallen soldiers in operation Redwings) to go to college.
Goggins never run an ultra marathon in his life.
And he was looking for the toughest race that he could find which at the time was Badwater Ultra Marathon.
Which is 135 miles run during the summer in the Valley of death.
He contacted the organization and asked to join, and they told him that he has to run 100 miles in 24 hours or less in order to compete in their race.
Four days later their is a local race where he would be able to run the 100 miles.
The race was one mile circle and the goal was to see who will run the most in 24 hours period.
David goes to the race without much of a preparation.
He was just a novice runner, nothing special.
DG started the race, he does 70 miles for 12-13 hours but for the price of having stress fractures all over his legs, muscles tearing, shin splints.
Those conditions are normal, the body was not used to this type of stress.
At mile 70 he sat down, blood pressure was pretty low, was peeing blood, shitting himself while sitting.
For someone who was through 3 hell weeks in SEAL training this was the most pain he ever felt in his life.
“In hell week they break you physically and mentally and that’s when hell week starts.” – DG
He realized that he had to do it not for himself but for the cause that he stands for.
He broke down the last 30 miles into small pieces.
Some of the steps were very small, for example, while still sitting on the chair his goal at that point was to stand up.
And having the most pain in his life at that moment this seemed as something out of reach, something that would be reached after the hospital.
Before standing up he taped his ankles, due to the muscle tears and shin splits he was not able to move his feet.
So he taped them in a way so he could keep running.
He stood up, started walking and for the next 11 miles he was walking until his wife told him that he would not make it in time.
And the last 19 miles he runs nonstop.
“Motivation is shit, motivation comes and goes.
I was driven to go through everything.”
He finished the race by pulling out memories of success from his past to prove to himself that he is a badass.
“The last 19 miles I believed that I’m indestructible.”
He finished the race in 21 hours.
4. Be the best
“No matter what avenue I choose I wanna be the very best. And the very best may not be I’m number 1. The very best is “Did I leave everything inside me out there?””
We knowing that we are the best at something that we put all of our efforts in is the end goal here.
I mean if you put out everything you’ve got in a certain task, you’ve given your best at it.
What more can you give, if you already gave everything?
“At that point it didn’t matter if I’m the best or not, I believed I am and that’s all that I needed.” – DG
That’s what leading by example means. WOW!
I recommend you to check out his full interview, because as I mentioned I took out the lessons that I resonate with.
You may find something else that he already overcame and you are still struggling with.
You can find the interview here.
P.S. What do you find amazing about David Goggins?