Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My Navy Seals Experience

My experience at the Navy Seals yesterday was incredible. It was harder than I imagined and more motivational than I could have hoped for. If you don’t know a Navy Seal, you should try and meet one. These people are truly something special, and it’s not because they possess something more than you or I do, but they’ve trained themselves to dig so far deep inside themselves, that they don’t believe in the impossible. The fact that that is possible for virtually anyone, is what they tried to impart to us. Being on the athletic field and on the battlefield is basically the same mentality. (Besides the idea you could die, of course.) The way they train to prepare for war and to know that they’re prepared for any situation they might find themselves in, is to learn how to get past the uncomfortable. It’s training your mind to understand that how you might feel is not important, it’s finding a way to accomplish the task you have in front of you. Excuses are simply reasons why you fail. If you rid your mind of excuses why you can’t do something, then you allow yourself to find a way to get it done.

AHHH!! I love it.

All the speeches and videos we watched when we arrived had me pumped up and eager to face what we had in store for the day. But before we even got outside to get started, we had pushups. That’s when I knew we were in trouble. My arms were shaking before we even did one. We all got down in pushup position and then he started in on a monologue that wouldn’t end. No knees allowed…back has to stay straight…and finally we had to start…then stop…then start…then start from the beginning because we weren’t in unison…and finally, “recover”. Now we can get started. The sad part was my arms already felt like jello.

We started on the obstacle course. Walls to climb over, barbed wire to climb under, ropes to climb up, swing on, and shimmy across. The works. It was so upper body intensive that I felt like I wouldn’t be able to grasp a pencil half way through. But no one cared. At one point I went to swing on a rope and land on top of a beam and I was so out of it I smacked into the beam and ended up on my back on the ground. That’s when I knew I needed to focus. Mind over matter. Because nobody cared that my forearms were the size of Popeye’s or that I’d just created the bruise the size of Texas on my shin. At the end of it though, after you’ve finished and can “Hoo-rah O course”, you feel a great sense of accomplishment. You’re happy that there was no way over the wall except for over it and no girl rope to climb.

After that though, things got ugly. They got ugly, and wet, and dirty, and miserable. It was about 60 degrees out yesterday, which is still a little chilly when you’re dry. But where is the fun in that? After it was all said and done I think we jumped in the ocean about six times. You had to be wet from head to toe. I tried to dodge this and at first just went shoulder to toe because…you know…my hair, but I quickly got sent back in the ocean. After we emerged from the ocean, we rolled in the sand, bear clawed back to the ocean, then slithered in the sand some more. My fatigues were heavy and wet and falling off me, but it didn’t matter. I was shivering and miserable, but nobody cared. In fact, they kept yelling that in your ear. “Nobody cares that you’re uncomfortable! Who gives a s#it that you’re wet and covered in sand! We could care less about your feelings! How you feel doesn’t matter!” And sooner or later, you got it…sort of. You were going to be totally out of your comfort zone and you had to find a way to be okay with it. How you felt had nothing to do with whether or not you were going to accomplish something and you had to disassociate the two really quick.

Then we were put in teams and there were logs to carry on your shoulder and boats to carry on your head. And run with. And lunge with. And squat with. And do sit ups with. And of course pushups. There was always pushups. That whole process was trying because I’m not used to teamwork. But it made you rely on people and you knew that they were relying on you. When you are part of a team you can’t quit and let other people down because it gets hard for you. It’s just as hard for them. They’re over there with snot running out of their nose, grunting and trying to keep the log from slipping, how can I slack because I feel uncomfortable?

I’d love to explain in detail the entire day, but it’s hard for words to do it justice. I’m hoping that next week I can share a video so you can get a better idea of the experience. But as crappy as my body feels today and all the new bruises and scrapes I acquired, the pounds of sand I had to try and wash out of my hair, and the hypothermia I’m sure I experienced (okay, so I’m dramatic), I’m glad I did it.


steveburks said...

This is one of the best blog entries ever.

Larry the Leper said...

....and you know they were checking out your a*s the whole time! Ha!

Anonymous said...

there's always got to be one in the crowd. Why does it always have to be about that with some of you jerks.

Anonymous said...

That was harder and more 'uncomfortable' than any of the training I did during basic training in the army, and you didn't HAVE to do it. Proud of you that you were able to push yourself through it and see the big picture of what it was really about, most people never get to see what's inside them like that. I remember feeling that sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.

Gina said...

Hi Brianna,

I'm so inspired by this post, I felt like I were there (dying as well with all the push ups). I would like to experience something like this.

Do you have any information on how I can become a participant? Is there someone I can contact, or must you be invited?

Thank you, Happy Thanksgiving.

Brianna said...

thanks to you with positive feedback.

gina, i'm not sure if there is a way to do it on your own. They invited us and I have heard of other groups doing it but i believe it's always some sort of organized group that they think can handle it. if you are part of something (group of 15 or more) that is up for the challenge it's worth looking in to.

Toddy said...

WOW, That's a serious day.. I guess i'm nervous now because i'm leaving for the navy Feb. 7th..But I'm excited at the same time. I think being an athlete going into the military helps you out because you know how to make your body do things it's never done. So, thanks for giving us/me the inside scope on what's to come.


Daniel said...

“How you felt had nothing to do with whether or not you were going to accomplish something and you had to disassociate the two really quick.”
Sounds like Single-Parenthood, every-single-day to me.

And …
Bet you Still find little granules stuck in there. Always seemed like three weeks before I ever got a trip to the beach out of my little girls hair, lol.

Anonymous said...

But then again, you could have just made the whole thing know long jumpers are crazy!