Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The REAL DEAL

Hi Everyone,This is David's wife, Aleeza. I have only ever posted David's health updates on here but I feel that I need to. So many of you read David's blogs and take them completely out of context! David is a man that hates to do these things, that is a fact. Another fact is that...yes...he does do them alone. Myself and many others support David in his races, however, he is always alone. He is talking about his mind, the thoughts, the miles he has to complete. He is not speaking of physically being alone, or spiritually for that matter. He is saying that when you are on mile 50 or you are at work and have a horrible day, no one can help you get past that in your mind. You can get encouragement and love and support all day, but the bottom line is...if you don't push through it mentally, you will never complete your mission.
And to those of you who post that David is selfish... David gives his life doing these things to help others and is the most grateful guy you will ever meet...but I'm sure you've never had a conversation with him have you? I have seen this man go through extreme pain and suffering because it may put just one more kid through college. I watched him break the bones in his feet during his first 100 mile race and I watched him piss blood on the kitchen floor after I drug him up the stairs and he passed out. Don't talk to me about him being selfish. I witnessed him run 24 hours, tear his quad and then keep going for another 24 because people had promised to donate money if he completed 200 miles in 48 hours. My husband is an old school man, many of which don't exist anymore.
Many of you that read this blog understand that David is not the average guy. Most people would not choose to put themselves through pain to raise money, but David knows that is what gains attention. He hates being on magazines, hates doing interviews, but he does it because he knows that it will help the foundation. Trust me, you won't see him much after the RAAM. This will be his last race. He has had a goal in mind of how much money he has wanted to raise for the foundation and that mission will be complete when he crosses that finish line.
Everyone seems to think that David is a paid athlete; I'm here to tell you he is not. He is a hard working military man that works well over full time hours and gets a paycheck every two weeks just like everyone else. We as a family have spent thousands of dollars in order to raise money for the foundation. I'm not writing this blog to give you our life story, I'm writing because I have seen several posts on the Internet and this blog lately that talks about David being selfish and that his wife mush hate him. The truth of the matter is... I couldn't be more proud of this man. He is a true warrior and takes that spirit into his life everyday.
David blogs to try and help people take on the challenges in their lives. Obviously some of you think that life should be fun and lived that way. David believes that if he isn't pushing himself to become a stronger human being, that he isn't living.
Those of you who take offense to what David says, shouldn't be on his blog. Maybe you will all understand when David finishes the RAAM and you don't see or hear about him again. And you sure as hell won't have to worry about him upsetting you by his blog posts. He has dedicated his life for the last several years to this foundation to raise a million dollars. Not for himself, but for the guys who died for this country that allow him the ability to do what he does in his everyday life.
Until you have witnessed David suffer through some of the pain that I have witnessed, you will never truly know what all he has done for others.
Instead of assuming how David's family life is...please feel free to ask questions. I'm more than happy to answer. And I don't mean what he eats for breakfast.
It's funny how people seem to think this is all a game. David has told you why he does it...to raise money, and test his limits. When you read his blog, a lot of you get what he has learned and are taking it on yourselves and becoming better people who have pushed to get outside of there comfort zone. Others just get upset.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Get back up

I know that some of you would like me to post more often, but the truth is...I can't. Nor do I want to when I have nothing to say that won't get you out of your everyday mentality. I am writing today because my life again has given me some things to overcome. As you all know I was going back in for another check up on my heart in December. Well, unfortunately the surgery didn't do what we had hoped that it would do. I still have a hole in my heart and will eventually be going back in for another surgery. But... Not until I complete my mission. I am still in pursuit of the 2010 Race Across America starting June 9th. It will only be God or death that keeps me from it.
All that being said, I am not referring to my heart when I talk about the things I must overcome. All my life I have been tested. Mentally, and physically. I can't say emotionally because I honestly don't think I have many emotions left. Most of you can relate to what I am about to talk about. It seems sometimes that no matter how hard you work things or people continuously get in your way. I want to answer some questions that I have gotten over the last several months. People seem to assume that my job in the SEALs is to be an athlete. That is not the case at all. While I have a few, or should I say, very few, people that support my personal goals such as RAAM, the truth is that I work a full time job. In order to train for these events I do it on my own time. I generally wake up around 3 am to get a ride in before work, and then will ride to and from work during the week, followed by extra miles on my way home. Without giving away my full training schedule, let's just say, I don't sleep much, definitely don't eat enough, and any free time I may think I'm going to have is spent on the bike. I'm telling you this because it is not easy to achieve anything personally or professionally by depending on other people. Nine times out of ten, you are alone. Alone in your mind, alone at your desk, alone in your wants and needs. People are not going to understand your goals because they have separate goals. It's not easy to do things alone. You must deviate from the crowd. This is why it is easier to go for a run with people. It's much easier when you know that someone is out there suffering with you. You can't look over and see that when you are suffering alone. But let me tell you... you are alone. You are alone when you cross the finish line, you are alone when you do extra miles, you are alone when you don't get the promotion at work. You are alone. When you can learn to deal with being alone and not depend on the support of others, you become a stronger human being. I have always been alone in the things I've done. You have to expect failure, if you don't when I comes your way, you will not be able to get back up.
I have read countless blogs, articles, and talked to several people who don't think I really hate doing the things I do. And to be blunt about it... It pisses me off. I have never taken the easy way. I have had to fail several times before I succeed at something, and sometimes it was at no fault of my own. But I run, bike, all of the above because I hate it. By hating it and doing it I grow. I know that people will never understand that, but that is the way I live my life. Why choose something you like to do? Because it's fun? How do you grow as a person by doing fun things? You grow by testing yourself, by testing your mind to go where it doesn't want to go. If you take the easy road, you get easy results. You don't expect anything out of yourself. If you take the hard road,and you make yourself get through it, you will expect more out of your everyday life. If you don't achieve and let people keep you down, you will stay down. Not me... I choose to get back up. I choose to look the unwanted in the face. I choose to go after the unwanted with a smile. I choose to suffer. And from suffering I grow.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying don't have any fun. But this blog and what I say has nothing to do with fitness, has nothing to do with obesity, has nothing to do with winning, has nothing to do with running or biking. It's about life. The bottom line is this, when you get knocked down and when life comes at you from all different angles, take time to reset get back up and smile. Life doesn't like when it can't keep you down, especially when you smile back at it.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Response

I recently read this letter addressed to me on line. I feel that it warrants a response... Please read the letter and I will post my response below.

January 14, 2010
The dregs of 2009, part 1: An open letter to David Goggins
I'm currently mired in grant-writing. To keep a bit of blog momentum going, I'm going to post a couple of entries that I never got around to finishing last year. Here's the first one....

* * * * * *

Dear David,

You say the following on your website:

I’m nobody special. Let’s be perfectly clear… I don’t like to run. I don’t like to swim. I don’t like to bike. I do this to raise money for the children of soldiers killed in combat.... Like I said, I don't like running. I don't like biking. I don’t like swimming. I do it to raise money. But, now that I'm in this sport I want to see how far I can push myself. What makes me tick is that pain you feel when you do these ultramarathons. I can take a lot of pain.
I'll try to be perfectly clear too. You're a really tough guy, and you're raising money for an unimpeachable cause. Good for you. As far as I know, you're telling the truth when you say that you don't like to run but are doing it for the cause. Again, good for you. I just want to point out that you're a hero not only to the families of these fallen soldiers but also to the many millions of people who are battling obesity. You used to carry 290 pounds on your 6'2" body; now you're a muscular 190.

So where am I going with this? Well, you know as well as I that regular exercise is an important part of conquering obesity. Since we want people to exercise more, is there some way you can continue the fundraising without making physical activity sound so miserable?

People occasionally tell me that they "know" they should run more but just don't enjoy it. I always reply that they should find a sport that they like -- something that doesn't feel like a chore -- and do that instead. Perhaps you could offer a similar message -- one noting that healthy activities can also be fun?

I know, I know: you've got your script and I've got mine, and the fact that I like mine better doesn't mean that it's right for you. It was just an idea. I hope you're not upset, because you look like you could kill me with your bare hands without even breaking a sweat. Hey, no hard feelings, right?

Sincerely,
Greg Crowther


Greg,
First off I would like to say thank you for the kind words you said about me. I understand your questions and I hope that I am able to clear them up.
I do hate, running, biking, swimming, ect. I was 290lbs twice for a reason. I enjoy lifting weights. I can't tell people that all types of physical fitness is fun, because I truly don't believe that it is. I think that people in general enjoy what they are good at. For instance, I enjoy lifting weights. I am also good a lifting weights. I can't tell people that running, biking ect is going to be enjoyable for them because chances are, it's not. If you tell a 250 pound man to go out and run or anything of that nature. He is not going to enjoy it. It is going to be very painful and exhausting.
I believe with all of my soul that I have become a better person because I make myself do the things I don't enjoy. I believe to help obesity in America that it is important to spread the message that it is going to suck to loose weight. But, you also don't have a choice. You have to do it. If you con people who are overweight and out of shape into believing that working out is fun. They will stop after they realize that it isn't fun.
However, if you tell them that it is going to hurt and it is going to be painful, but you have to do it for your health....they won't quit when they experience those things.
You have to get out of your comfort zone to become a healthier, better person. You have to go outside your box. You have to go outside the normal and do the things that you may not want to do.
I believe that fighting obesity in America has to start with getting people in the right mindset that it has to be done regardless of their own personal feelings to it. I was raised by a mother that worked 3 jobs to go through college and a World War II vet that believed in being raised with discipline and a firm hand when needed. Maybe that is why I am how I am. Maybe you like to run because you are good at it. I don't no. But I can't tell people that physical fitness is fun, because for 90% of the population, it won't be.
There are a lot of exercises in the world that people can find enjoyable, like I said I find lifting weights very enjoyable. But like I was saying sometimes you much leave normal behind to grow as a person. What has helped me grow as a person is putting myself at the starting line of some of these horrible races knowing that I don't like to run or to bike. However, when I get through with the race the person that comes out the other side is a person that has grown. The things I say may not be for everyone, nor are they intended to be. I was raised old school and this is just how I live my life.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

CAN'T SLEEP

Don't ever let anyone tell you that you can not do something. All my life I heard that I couldn't do something. My mom was working 2 jobs and going to college. I was an African American kid in an all white school. They tried to say that I couldn't....but I did. I wanted to be a Navy SEAL. They said I couldn't because I was too big and couldn't hardly swim....but I did. They said I couldn't go to Ranger School because my schedule as a SEAL wouldn't allow it....but I did. They said that I couldn't run 100 miles because I had never ran a marathon...but I did. They said I could never complete the Ultraman because I had never done a triathlon...but I did. Now they say I can't do RAAM because it's too soon. It's not safe....but....
Life is not always going to be this care free happy place that we would like it to be. What life throws at you is a lot of negativity. It's what you do with that negativity that makes you a stronger human being. When you hear the words, no, you can't, impossible, never...what do you think to yourself? Do you cower inside and run from the challenge. Or do you face it...head on...asking for more?
Failure is an option. It's what you do with the failure that makes you who you are. Our failures mold us. I have failed at several things in my life. What sets some of us apart, is that when we fail, we can't sleep at night. It haunts us until we have our time at redemption.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My Visit at the Naval Academy

I just wanted to say thank you for all the students at the Naval Academy. I enjoyed visiting with you. Everyone made me feel very welcome. Not to mention you were not afraid to make sure that I got my workouts in! I would like to give a special thank you to the Triathlon Team for making me an honorary member and recognizing me at the football game. I look forward to getting any feedback that all of you have and I look forward to visiting again next year.

"Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.” Jean Paul Satra

All of you guys going to BUD/s continue to work hard!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Where Has David Been?

Just wanted to give everyone an update on what David has been doing since his heart surgery....
The doctor told David that he would have to experiment a little when getting back into things. There is no text book answer for what he should and shouldn't do when it comes to this type of exercise. He still has to wait a couple months before he can really go crazy lifting wieghts in the gym like he wants to and he has to be careful when dealing with the elevation. As far as what he has been up to...
Starting at the beginning of August he ventured out on an 1800 mile PAC Tour. They road anywhere from 80-126 miles per day. The elevation gain was around 8,000 to 12,000ft per day that he road. The tour went really well for him he road strong and his heart felt stronger than ever. 1800 miles with no issues other than his bike taking a true beating.
In September he went out to the Hoodoo 500 but unfortunately the elevation there was too much for his heart. He went into atrial fibrilation and was unable to get it back into rythm during the race so he had to pull out. Needless to say he was very frustrated about that.
Following the Hoodoo he decided he needed to find another 500 mile race because he couldn't have that hanging over his head. He looked on line and was granted a late entry into the Furnace Creek 508. The race was going really well until mile 200. As he climbed up towns pass (elevation 5,000ft at the top) he started having some issues with the elevation. Along with that his legs were experiencing severe cramping. He couldn't pedal more than 10 times without his legs locking up on him. So, given the race had a 48 hour cut off we got a hotel at the halfway point in Furnace Creek. He had covered 252 miles in 14 hours and 44 minutes. We checked in and spent 7hours and 30 minutes in the hotel. After eating, and getting rehydrated David was set out to tackle the rest of the course. When he turned right out of the hotel room he turned directly into the same 30+ mph headwind that he had left when he checked into the room. The wind was relentless! He rode stong and hard. From the time we left Furnace Creek until the next checkpoint (around 70 miles) he managed to ride past 28 riders. The wind stayed with him all the way to the last checkpoint. There were reported gusts of up to 45mph. David road his bike amazingly well and was able to overcome all his complications to finish in 41hrs 44minutes. He is feeling great and is looking for his next event. He still has to watch the elevation, but other than that his heart is responding great. He wants to thank all of you for your tremendous support.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Man in the Mirror

What do your really want?

Every morning when you wake up what is the first thing you think about doing. I'm not talking about work, family ect. I'm talking about personal ambition. What is it that you desire to do?
Think about that. Then think about how long you have thought about doing it. Next, think about what you have done in the last year, 2, 3 or 4 years to get you closer to that goal. For some of you the answer may be simple. You may desire to do something and work toward that everyday. For others, it is harder. Some of you may desire to do something that seems impossible to do because of obligations. Work, family, and finances, can all play a role in what we desire. I will tell you this though. You will only truely want something when you work everyday at getting that something. What I am trying to say is that if you wake up in the morning and your true desire is to run a marathon, if you don't think about that everyday and work toward that everyday, you will never get there. I believe in life you have to be selfish sometimes. When we get older and can no longer do the things that we desire, what then? If you want to acheive something you have to be selfish. You have to put that goal in front of everything else. When you wake up in the morning it is the first thing you have to think about. You have to say to yourself, what is it that I am going to do today to bring me closer to my goal? For some, it may be waking up an hour earlier everyday to get to the gym. For some, it may be putting back $100 dollars a month toward that dream vacation. Whatever it is that you want to do, work for it. It has to become a part of your daily life. Until then, it will remain a desire, or a goal. You have to be upfront with those around you. Let them know what you are expecting to do, what you want to do. If they don't understand or support it, so what?!? It is your goal and your desire! Do what you have to do to get there. When you do. It will be the best moment in your life. Most likely you will find that those who truely care about you want you to succeed. They want to help you acheive. Your mind has to overtake you. You have to be in constant pursuit. When it is all said and done with you will see that you were truely not selfish. Through your hard work and dedication you probably inspired some of your friends and family to do better themselves. A lot of people say that I'm selfish. Is that the case? I have been able to raise a lot of money for a good cause. So you tell me. Is the time and energy worth it? Why don't you find out for yourself? A lot of people say that they are the ones that have to look at themselves in the mirror everyday. Everyday when I see my reflection. I see a man who is not yet satisfied. What does your reflection say to you?