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Entries in Navy SEAL (1)

Sunday
Jan022011

Fitness Spotlight: David Goggins

Is David Goggins the Toughest Athlete In the World?

He may or may not be, however the more you learn about him, you start to believe that he is at-least in the discussion.

His story is amazing and is captured in several quality peices online (including a Runners World cover feature).

  •  Spent four years in the Air Force, then spend a few unsuccessful years attempting to break into pro football (weight = 280 pounds)
  • Decided to apply for the U.S. Navy SEALS, however the recruiter warned that a man of his size/weight would never make it through the grueling training (also known as "Hell Week").
  • In less than three months, he returned to apply weighing 190 pounds and eventually completed SEALS training in 1998.
  • Goggins is the only member in the U.S. Armed Forces to complete SEALS training, U.S. Army Ranger School and Air Force tactical air controller training, and has also faced combat in Iraq.
  • In 2005, tragically lost several friends in the armed forces to a helicopter crash in Afghanistan.
  • To honor them, Goggins vowed to find a unique way to raise money for Special Operations Warrior Foundation, providing college funds for the children of fallen soldiers.
  • He Googled the 10 Most Difficult Feats in the World - and stumbled upon the Badwater Ultramarathon (135 miles).

The only problem was - the Badwater Ultra required approval of application by a standards committee, and Goggins had never even completed a regular marathon (26.2 miles) before.  Four days after making his decision, he entered his first 100-mile ultramarathon - and broke several bones in his feet, as well as suffering kidney failure.  For most of us, this would have sent us hurrying for an alternate fundraising plan, however for David Goggins, it only reaffirmed that his path was the correct one.

Goggins completed the Badwater Ultra in 2006,  then just three months later he competed in the Ultraman World Championships in Hawaii. He placed 2nd in the three-day, 320-mile race, cycling 261 miles in two days on a rented bike.

Before training for the Ultraman Worlds, he’d never biked in a competitive event. Goggins returned to the Badwater in 2007, finishing 3rd. Over the next two years, he competed in another 14 ultra-endurance races, with top-five finishes in nine events. He set a course record at the 48-hour national championships,  and earning a spot among the top 20 ultramarathoners in the world. 

As of spring 2010, Goggins had earned more than $300,000 for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.  His hard work and relentless dedication for the cause are almost super-human - as is shown by his typical daily schedule.

  •  
    • 3:45am -- 15-20 mile run followed by biking to work (25 miles)
    • 8am --  begin work day
    • Lunch --  brief 4-5 mile run if time allows
    • 6pm --  bike home from work (25 miles) - weight training (with his wife)
    • Midnight --  bedtime

We all attempt to balance work life, family life, social life, and other miscellaneous interruptions.  For those trying to start 2011 off on the right note from a fitness perspective, hopefully a glimpse at the amount of training David Goggins manages to fit into his schedule while balancing married life plus the immense duties required of a member of the U.S. Armed Forces will provide some motivation.  After seeing his typical work day, setting my alarm clock an extra thirty minutes early to squeeze in a workout does not seem so heroic by comparison. 

My words cannot do David Goggins' story justice, so for better illustration here are a couple video features: