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.

23 comments:

  1. Damn Straight Goggins!

    Everyone is so touchy feely, so sensitive, The whining is endless "I just want to be happy"

    Sometimes, alot of the time, Life isnt about you being happy. Its about the Mission. Whatever that is.

    What these people need to do is stop making excuses and take -800 miligrams- of Uncle bob's "suck it the fuck up", and get on with gettin on.

    Cowboy the fuck up America.

    SO1 Goggins: you are good to go.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You are a great writer.

    I enjoyed reading both posts actually...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well, I have to say I am always impressed with what Goggins has to say. I also have to say that, as a fat man, I now take my daily dose of S.U.I pills.........these for the layman, are Suck It Up, pills. Losing weight isn't as fun nor as easy as eating your way to being fat, it is hard. This morning for example, I wanted to lay in bed, make love to my wife, eat pancakes and eggs, but you know what I did, I ate a bowl of cottage cheese, filled my water bottles and rode 3 hours and 40 minutes. It isn't easy, nor should it be. I want to be healthy and no longer fat, so I've chosen the path that most fatties ignore, that is the path of most resistance.

    Goggins keep doing what you do my man!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi David -- Thanks for your response. I hope you can see my point that there are a heck of a lot of sports/activities out there -- rock climbing, tennis, golf, orienteering, ultimate frisbee, stair climbing, geocaching, etc. etc. etc. -- and people should try to find activities that appeal to them. At the same time, you are completely correct that losing weight and exercising can't always be easy or fun, and that determination and discipline are important. I wish you the best in 2010 and beyond.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm a believer in good pain, and bad pain. Bad pain states what's obvious, however good pain accomplishes the character we build, and defeats the limits on possibilities. You made that real clear in your post David.

    ReplyDelete
  6. David -

    Get yourself to the starting line of the VT race in May! :-)

    Love you Man. Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am posting this to david because right now i can honestly say i admire this man. He is inspiring and shows guys like me the things that he has done to become an athlete in endurance sports and lost 90 lbs and kept it off and continued to improve, are possible. I need to recreate that. Im not a 290 lb Navy Seal Im a 295 lb out of shape sailor that wants to lose 95 lbs and go to BUD/s. Simply i got complaicant i have no excuses, but im seeking advice from David and anyone else that thinks they can help me. I cant do a singel pull up and i need to lose alot of weight and id like to get the weight off in three months so i can focus on swimming, speed, and most of all stregth. So wehre do i start, do i just start running for hours upon hours everyday and stop eating junk? Again David if you read this i would really like to hear from you, but i am open to advice from anyone willing to offer it. Thank you

    ReplyDelete
  8. Really enjoyed your post David Goggins, in particular because you have the same fantastic surname as me.

    Steve Goggin

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hello David when you participate this year in the 3000 mile cycling event, will you be coming thru the state of Tennessee? If so where and projected time. Would like to do the distance with you.
    Walter

    ReplyDelete
  10. If your expectations are always those of someone content to live without physical challenge, then when it comes time for mental, moral, or emotional challenge, you fail to meet it because you are out of practice. Meeting and overcoming obstacles are skills that can be honed, as opposed to talents with which we are born. The best way to prepare for the inevitable shit that life occasionally hands us all is to live in a way that prepares you for it. Intentionally placing yourself in the position of having to complete a task when you don’t know if you can is the single best way of preparing to be in that position unintentionally. And that, my friends, is the way life should be approached, so that you get more out of it than just “wellness.”

    David secret soldier-Mike

    ReplyDelete
  11. I applaud both of you. David for being a beast where fitness, running, and altruism are concerned. And Greg for having the courage to speak his mind to someone that he is correct, could kill him with his bare hands without breaking a sweat.

    I agree with both. I hate running as well, actually my whole blog is about despising running eventhough I get my butt up 3-4 times a week to do it. David, you are right anything that puts you in better shape is going to be a challenge. But I think Greg is also right that your journey needs to include some things that make you happy and that you enjoy. The operative word being enjoy (not easy).

    I do believe eventhough you don't like running, biking, or swimming, that you enjoy the pleasure gained from accomplishing it. So while it sucks on your body in the process, you find your own happiness with it at the end and that makes it worth it.

    Good job to both of you, and David, you are a true champion. Thanks for all you do!

    ReplyDelete
  12. "IT doesn't have to be fun to be fun." Diana Finkel

    ReplyDelete
  13. David Goggins,

    I write this comment hoping that you read it at some point, despite your schedule which I am sure is, fully loaded. I have nothing negative to say what-so-ever and I hope this does not come as negative.

    To keep it as short as possible, I am going to ask you to please, post on your blog more often. I understand how unimportant, how annoying and how petty this might sound to you considering your profession in conjunction with your training schedulea nd recovering from your Surgery, but I have to ask.

    Whether you ever intended to do it or not, you inspire people. I have known hard men and champions my whole life. The whole spectrum: Military special forces to Sports heroes to regular Joe blue collar tough guys and simply nobody has ever been so consistant in their message or as effective at delivering it as you.

    You are leading from the front and nothing inspires others to put out like seeing someone else suffer more than they are.

    I wont talk about specifics and Ill avoid explaining how I have copies of all your blog posts taped in my training note book so when its 2000 and I have to decide to go to the gym as planned and sparr, work the bag, the weights, run after and then get up at 0400 and run in the snow or whether I should go out to eat with friends or sleep in that extra couple hours, those clippings remind me that some place someone else is putting out.

    I need that reminder. I am sure other people do too.

    You have inspired alot of people, likely much more than you will ever comprehend and some of those people will go on to do some pretty amazing things, and things you write make the difference, sometimes on a day to day basis.

    Finally I ask you to write now because frankly, once you rotate back to the Sandbox or where ever, I doubt the words you have to deliver will be quite the same.

    Its selfish I know, and you have alot on your plate, an incredible amount but Im asking anyway.

    Kick ass and take names Man, Continue to be Hard.

    Eric Barnes

    ReplyDelete
  14. I agree (that there should be more posts), say once every two or three weeks. I know my life has much of the same each day, so I find it hard to write anything on my own blog. However, I have been greatly inspired by reading David's posts. I am going to do a marathon in one week's time, and as I struggle out there on the course, I will just think of David at Badwater.
    By the way, the comment above in Chinese was not a comment, but a piece of junk mail that found its way into the blog.
    Look forward to learning more about the progress of the 3,000 mile bike ride.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Big Goggins, I just wanted to say what's up! Hope all is well...

    Mario Sandoval
    Stay hard.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Drive on Big D...Stay Hard...

    Troy Hamman

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hello everybody,
    I'm proud to inform you that David Goggins has his own Wikipedia entry in Polish language. Except English, this is the only tribute to this man in the foreign versions of Wikipedia. I have made every effort to collect as much information about him as possible (meaning: too few), but mentioned article will be developed by me later more and more...

    Thank you, David. You are really inspiring person. You have inspired me to run my first 10k. I wish you all the best in 2010 challenges. Regards from Poland!
    F.L.

    http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Goggins

    ReplyDelete
  18. yes. absoulutely true. losing weight is going to suck, big-time. i was 280lbs before, now i'm 160lbs. and i didn't like all the things that i did to lose weight, from all the running, trainings and eating modifications. it just sucks, but ultimately, it's what we need to get out of that couch and start helping ourselves.

    david you're my hero! i just joined my first marathon, and i must say, all the things i hated doing before, are all part of my everyday now. all with your help.

    ReplyDelete
  19. DAVID,

    I WAS TRYING TO FIND YOUR EMAIL BECAUSE I WOULD LIKE TO BE ABLE TO ACTUALLY TALK TO YOU NOT POST A REQUEST TO A BLOG THAT IS VERY MOTIVATING AND HOPE THAT THERE IS SOME SMALL CHANCE THAT YOU WILL FIND THE TIME TO READ ALL THESE COMMENTS, AND SEE MINE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE LIST AND ACTUALLY BE ABLE TO READ THE WHOLE THING.

    I READ YOUR BLOG DAILY TO GET THE MOTIVATION TO NOT QUIT, EVEN THOUGH IT FEELS LIKE IM AT THE BOTTOM OF MOUNT EVEREST LOOKING UP TO THE FINISH LINE WITH NO SNOW BOOTS AND NO DIRECTIONS.

    IM AN ACTIVE DUTY SAILOR AND I CAN TELL YOU ITS NOT JUST CIVILIANS YOU INSPIRE. I WANNA DO WHAT YOUVE DONE AND EVEN ATTEMPT TO SURPASS IT BECAUSE THATS WHAT READING YOUR BLOGS HAS TAUGHT ME TO STRIVE FOR.

    ReplyDelete
  20. You are an incredible writer/speaker. I could've never articualted that as you just did. You really have a gift at hitting the nail on the head. You have been a huge inspiration to me, and im sure to countless others. You are easily the toughest man alive. Best of luck in the RAAM.

    ReplyDelete
  21. David,

    I could not agree with you more about your views on training, life, etc. I have the same belief as you do. We have to try the things we don't like and conquer them to grow as people. If we continue to stay in our comfort zone we will never know what it is like to give. I want to share a story with you and everybody that I experienced personally. I am a runner and had minor success by competing from middle school through college. A lot of my friends are runners and compete in various activities that range from very competitive to very challenging and everything in between. I often find myself doing things that may seem out of the ordinary to common people. One of these things was helping a friend in a race that was 150 miles long. My back ground allows me to understand these types of events even though I don't participate personally. A group of us were recruited to be pacers for my friend. (I don't know if I agree with the pacer thing but my friend is kind and I will help as long as it is leagal) Anyway, I am in decent shape so I said I will pace whenever and I have time to run two laps (10 miles each), so I performed two laps as a pacer. My experience I want to share comes on the first lap. As we were cresting a large hill along the course we come to two gentlemen running together that were obviously ahead of us in the race. As we passed one gentlemen in partcular he was very responsive to my friends presence and offered great encouragment. The gentlemen kept the encouragment comments going until we were out of sight. This was 100 miles into the race at a very light pace. I remember looking at this guy's face as we passed and turning to look back at him to say thank you as he kept up the yells to us as we were ahead and thought to myself, "this guy is just real" he is focused and determined, strong everything a runner should be, a participant should be, a human being should be. It was a moment, a few seconds that you have to make a decision, a strength you carry with you. Even when you are going through hell, or you hate what you are doing it can't define who you are. My friend was inspired! I could tell at that moment he stengthened up and finished the 150 in first place establishing a course record. He was very proud of his accomplishment and all that jazz. He moved out to Colorado shortly their after and I got out of the ultra scene, because I was their to support him and help. So here I am a couple of years later just remenscening about the ultra experience and that moment on the hill and I decide to go to some websites and look up ultras and see what is going on. And since that time, there has emerged a great influence and strength in this ultra running community. This is David Goggins, the same guy I passed on the hill in spring of 07. If anybody wants to know who David Goggins is. I met him before all of this at about 104 miles cresting a steep hill, and believe me I will never forget that moment, he is honest, strong and believes in what he does. His message is honest, yes not everybody wants to here the honest answer, but it is David Goggins answer. Everybody has to understand that inspiration can come from achievemnet, even if you don't like it and it's extremely painful. That does not define you, it is the goal the end result. Not everything in life is fun and easy, enjoyable. That is honesty, that is David.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I had never even heard of you, until my friend told me about you. He says you are a whole different animal!!! Truly amazing!!! You are an inspiration.

    My friend said he was in BUD/s with you. His name is Ramon S,he claims to have went through BUD/s with you. Class 230. I find it hard to believe he was a Seal since he never talks about it. I figured I would ask you if this is true since I don't know any Seals to ask.

    Keep up the hard work! God Bless

    ReplyDelete