My YouTube feed is full of workout videos, lots of fishing, some travel, and motivational videos. And by workout, I mean Strongman, CrossFit, Olympic weightlifting, a little bodybuilding, yoga, Ashtanga yoga, animal yoga, and Tai-Chi. Yes, I end up watching a lot of Joe Rogan too.
If you subscribe to Joe’s feed, you’ll notice a lot of talk about David Goggins. Not only directly with David Goggins, but other people talking about him as well. But I was never very interested to watch. I mean, I would start and quickly change the channel.
To be honest, when I first started watching videos before YouTube or any social media, there were other venues to see such things. Often they were web pages, listservs, and bulletin boards. What turned me off about David Goggins was the same thing that turned me off about this video called "Every Second Counts". There was this brash guy who couldn’t talk without cursing every other word. Mind you, I was raised in a household that never cursed. When I got into the Army, there were guys who couldn’t say a single sentence without a curse word in it. It was just how they were conditioned to speak. I never felt the need to communicate that way. Even when I later became an Army Infantry Drill Instructor, it wasn’t something I had to do to be hard and get my point across.
But eventually, this guy on "Every Second Counts" broke me down. I started to see through the inflammatory language and get to his point. This man was David Castro. He has been the 2nd man-in-charge throughout the life of CrossFit. He was an ex-Navy Seal and instructor, so he has built this vocabulary over the years. Since I was also in the military, I gravitated toward what he was talking about; and it lead me down the path of CrossFit that I still do today. The actual video that hooked me was one called "Nasty Girls". It was a workout done by 3 ladies who got after it to the original tune Nasty Girls. They did cleans, strict muscle ups, and air squats, really killing themselves along the way. I was amazed at how they could do that. But that path is a whole other story.
As I circle back to David Goggins, all I could hear at first was the coarseness of his words. I couldn’t see through that and walls were built in my mind. But something finally broke through a month ago and I decided to give him a chance. Like my wife says, if there is good character development in a story, she can listen or watch a story or movie and be totally engaged. That’s what got me in his book. His book doesn’t start out about how great David Goggins is; it started at how broken he was. The story of his abuse as a child was my hook. I felt anxious and in pain as I read. And then I couldn’t put the book down. I ended up staying up 4 hours past my bedtime that night.
Mind you, I’m intelligent, but not necessarily a fast reader. Fortunately, I had some air travel ahead of me and that’s where I can read voraciously. I finished his book and let it settle into my mind for a while. Then I started watching Goggins Clips on YouTube and anything else I could find on him. When you go back to the broken boy, the 300 pound depressed man, and mental challenges of his intellect, it opens your mind to what he has accomplished in life. It goes beyond the physical into what the mind is capable of.
Since I have a history of ultramarathoning, backpacking, and even CrossFit, I really connected with what he was saying. I’m also a Yoga teacher. Believe me, more than any other practice in life, I feel yoga helps us deal with limitations. Either you are very strong but inflexible or very flexible but weak. Some people can bind into pretzels but can’t do an arm balance. Others can handstand for 10 minutes but can’t do a half lotus. It explores the limitations we put on ourselves and opens your mind. This is exactly what Goggins is getting at.
Goggins has reinvigorated my mind. And, in turn, my mind is changing my body. The past week has been amazing for working out. I’ve explored more of what is possible. But not only have I evaluated on paper what I’ve done, but how my mind has faced adversity. I won’t regurgitate all the ideas from Goggins book (though I probably eventually will). Let me just say its very profound. Its nothing like I’ve experienced before.
Give his book "Can’t Hurt Me" a chance. And if you’re like me, you can buy the "clean" version. I hear the audiobook is even more amazing. More to come on the after effects in my life.