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.

64 comments:

  1. Another amazing blog. I still wish i could talk to you directly but maybe one day it will happen by chance. Or maybe you'll put your email back up so people can ask you questions again. Until then im gonna do something i hate everyday and stop commenting on your blog. Because your basically telling us you dont want us to tell you your a role model, and you dont want to be told how great you are. Your trying to give us tools we can apply to our own lives and better ourselves. Its only now that i realized you probably could care less what we think of you. Well your blog worked fro me. Well done SO1. And do everyone a favor and stay safe on that RAAM we will all be thinking about you.

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  2. Message received, loud and clear.

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  3. Hope the race prep and event go well, and keep smiling. ;-)

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  4. Respect the heck out of you. The do something you hate idea falls apart at some point. I would expect that you actually hate inactivity more than going out and doing something you hate. So, consider following you own credo and do something you truly hate - Rest. Rest, up for your surgery, have the surgery and then rest more while you heal. David K in Indy

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  5. I understand what you mean by hating running, etc, and doing it anyway to see what you are made of. I don't run anymore, because I have other things I want to hate spending my time on (for now). I understand that wall you speak of and choosing to open the door or go around. I can't say I wish I were like you, I don't wish that and I don't want to feel that pain in running...at least not for now(I have never run farther than 13 miles at one time). But even that is painful. You are absolutely right that people should be under no pretense that things worth having are fun or easy to get. We must challenge ourselves to get anything "worth" having and your words apply to anything. In my mind, value is in character, not status or objects. It is what you see when you"look" at yourself and know that today you did or did not do your best. It is accepting failure and moving on undefeated to try again harder, over and over with no goal. I am not pulling the "weight" of myself that I know I can pull right now, and nowhere near what you do, but there have been periods during my life where I do pull the extent of my weight, and never is it easy. And I do understand that to "pull" one's true weight is to be alone. A practice of solitude. You are an inspiration...and I tell you that not to flatter you in anyway. Your words...the honest thoughts of what is really going on inside your mind to accomplish these feats are inspirational. Good luck to you and your family.

    Iana

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  6. I say this with as much respect for what you do as possible, but your mindset is very self centered. What is the ultimate goal?? To reach this amazing place where you have hated so much that you are so physically and emotionally strong... For what?? Life is about the positive impact we can have on others, when your life ends what do you leave behind?? A man that pushed his limits, why not be a man that pushed others limits to help them succeed far past your time here on earth...

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    1. You Sir are a jackass! The amount of money this man has earned for the children of fallen soldiers is nothing short of a miracle. Pushing yourself past limits is what life is about. Striving to accomplish what your mind tells you you cannot all while raising money for a cause is the opposite of self-centered. Why don't you go follow one of the other Ultra athletes that get paid for what they do! Maybe they will help you push past limits...you obviously lack the fortitude to do it yourself.

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  7. Fuck yeah.. You're the man

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  8. Hey Billings - Just because you are a pussy doesn't mean everyone else is.

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  9. YEah Billings.. By him doing the stuff he does he shows people what is possible with a no quit mentality and that pushes them go longer and harder.. Would you rather have someone just saying "Keep Going" or would you be more motivated by someone actually out there busting there ass and showing that it can be done?

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  10. Haha, Jack thanks for contributing to the discussion with great thoughts (I am not sure what you define a "pussy" as but I have completed multiple endurance races as well as many other adventure races on 3 different continents). Alex good point, but my entire point is just to say that if your focus in life is simply to suffer so that you can become "stronger" you are missing the point of life. Sure that can be a secondary goal, for me I love pushing my limits and seeing what I can succeed. But, we as endurance athletes have to keep things in perspective with what really fulfills us. The chase for that next longer or tougher race is sometimes just our effort to find the challenge that will make us content. Sadly, if we try to find life satisfaction only in the suffering we probably will never truly find it and will also be missing many other opportunities. I know I am saying this on Goggans blog so anyone else reading this probably views him as a God and will not allow themselves to accept criticism of their hero but its just something to think about...

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    1. HEY!!! Mr. Billings!!! How many people have you inspired today?? Have you ever raised money for a non-profit? Have you every volunteered? What have you done to change or contribute to your neighborhood, community, city, country? Time for you to have a big bowl of STFU!!!

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  11. GOD HAS A GREAT WAY OF MAKING US SPECIAL. DO WHAT YOU NEED TO DO TO STAY STRONG AND CARRY ON. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE TO OUR GREAT COUNTRY.
    ALSO THE WORK YOU DO SUPPORTING OUR VETS.

    GREG

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  12. Billings you keep talking about the purpose of life... How do you know what the purpose of life is? Does everyone have the same purpose in their life?

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  13. Alex, of course we dont all have the same purpose in life I never said that.

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  14. What we have hear is a man who is seting the bar for people who already achieve great things. Instead of repecting the mans post you are fighting and getting way off topic. Goggins you're the man take care of your heart so that you can continue to inspire us. Thanks for all that you do for our country and for our sport.

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  15. here not hear....

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  16. Thanks, Goggins--this was just the kick in the head I needed this morning. Have been feeling sorry for my self, alone in pursuing something I am not sure of the value in except that it's f'ing hard and getting through the training and the event will make me stronger. All I know is this: the hard stuff you choose to put yourself through makes you stronger for the stuff you don't choose to put yourself through. Take care of that heart and it will keep rewarding you with the strength to keep doing what you hate!

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  17. I was a crew member for Michael Cooks RAAM last year. Was by far the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. We had one goal, and that was to keep Michael moving towards his goal. I think he slept more than some of us at times. One cannot do the RAAM without the full support of a crew, not even you. I used the MyAthlete GPS tracking unit on him from trackmyathlete.com. This saved our butts more than once since the directions were not always clear, and we lost him in the weather a few times. You might what to write John and consider using some with your team. Rob Morlock will be using one again. I also was broadcasting live video 24/7 for the entire trip. Boy did folks love to watch Michael's journey! Have a great race!!

    Dave

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  18. why would you spend so much time doing things you hate? To find out what you are "made of"-? Hmm- I have spent many hours alone on trails, my bike and looking at the bottom of the pool, but only because I LOVE the sports and the memories that go with crossing the Grand Canyon over and back, climbing up to the top of peaks to eat some snow, swimming in "shark infested" 52 degree water....testing my "mettle" yes, but for fun.
    The times I have really been tested have nothing to do with athletics. It was seeing my new born in ICU for three weeks, with her father never around. It was managing a caseload of 60 students, a household and trying to hold a bad marriage together and find $ to pay the bills. It came from looking into the eyes of the dozens of throw-away children that I have helped over the years. This is where I found myself. Hope you find you and what you need. It's different for everyone. peace.

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  19. David does this for himself yes. But he shares everything with us to show people what the human body is capable of. By most doctors rules and standards he should be a broken cripple man. He should be sick and skinny for losing so much weight so fast. He is the exception to alot of rules, and most people that set out to prove a poing in history didnt do it for other people they did it for themselves. It just so happened that his actions and the actions of many other people before them realized that their prsonal aspirations might be helpful to others. This man is an all star athlete with a whole in his heart that refuses to quit. Noone can make him quit but him, and only on his terms. Thats what we are all supposed to be taking away from this.

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  20. No emotions left Big Guy? I find that hard to swallow...anyways. One hell of post, David! CanNOT wait til the next one. I'm gonna take this with me on my next solo run. Smiling all the way!!!!

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  21. Goggins! I was out on the 8 East heading back from El Centro at about 2 AM when I saw you climbing on the shoulder. I honked and waved but you didn't budge. You are truely the hardest man I've ever heard witnessed. I think that you were born in the wrong era. There aren't any men like you left in this world. They have all died off! Stay hard my man! I will be watching the sufferfest of RAAM and wish you the best of luck on your journey. Not many have completed that one, but I believe you will be one of the few.

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  22. Interesting philosophy. Good to not take the easy way out, but why do what you hate? You must at some level at least enjoy / love punishing yourself.

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  23. Your post is timely. I am training for an Ironman right now and promised my wife it would not interfere with family time. Therefore, I sacrifice sleep and that is okay with me. Too many people really do look for excuses rather than solutions. I think all of us find inspiration in people close to us, in God, in circumstances, in videos or stories. No one can make us do anything. But once committed to a goal I find great inspiration in those that push the limits to achieve it. Best of luck with the RAAM. You will tear it up.

    Also, I find it interesting how some people feel that you should be a certain way simply because of who you are. You are leading by example and it seems that more people are taking notice. Keep it up because "The only easy day was yesterday."

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  24. Another inspiring post. I understand a lot of what it means to be alone, and to struggle at times with health issues. I hope your surgery goes well. You are young and have a great future ahead of you.

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  25. David,

    Rest up and heal. You are an absolute inspiration and a positive role model. Would be great if you race in the United Kingdom sometime, the running community at large (let alone ultra) could learn lots.

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  26. The bottom line- Your life is what you make it, noone else should be held accountable for what is fair or what's not fair. All you cheese dicks, blah blah blah. David , suffer on.

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  27. I believe that sometimes to get to the things (or emotions) you love you must suffer and push yourself through the things you hate. I am suffering greatly in different aspects of my life and I HATE it, with everyone around me quitting. If I quit, if I do not push through the things I HATE, then I will NEVER grow and have the ability to "feel" the way I want to feel again. Everything good in this life must be earned. And, YES, even with a support group around you, you are still alone, because at the end of the day you must stand up on your own two feet and face your fears, death and loss.
    Too many people give up David; you inspire me because you have the fortitude to go on and on, even if it means the end. You can accomplish things others can only dream about because you have pushed yourself past so many mental barriers. You have earned the right to post your true emotions and we, the readers, can learn from it, or abuse you with it. I want to learn, and train myself to not give up.

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  28. Take care of yourself man. Much respect.

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  29. Americaaaa.. FUCK YEA!

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  30. David,
    I'm reading your blog and website because I find it very inspiring but this is the saddest blog I've ever read. You've got it all backwards. We are never alone. You haven't achieved anything by yourself, you have always depended on other people. If you think otherwise you're only thinking of SELF. There has always been someone supporting you're sorry ass whether it was your parents or family or friends. Someone, even if only one, has been with you. Like the other posting said, you can't complete any of these races without a support team. Someone else grew the food you eat. Someone else made or designed the bike you ride. Someone else made the shoes you run in. Your wife probably cooks the food you constantly eat. Who does the dishes? You? Who arranges your travel to and from the race site? You can't run for 48 hours straight and then drive home. Someone else was there. Always. All the time. If you have no emotions left, I'm not surprised. You're completely empty inside and are only filling it with SELF. And that's not a very good thing to be filled with. You should write a blog thanking all those who have made anything you do actually possible.

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  31. David, you are the most inspiring and incredible human being in the world. Your wife should not let any of the ridicuolus comments about you upset her. Like yourself, I have a heart condition at 38 years of age. But that did not stop me from losing 88 pounds and running 40 miles a week. And even though I have a wonderful wife and children, I had to do that all by myself. Good luck with your heart. It will all work out for you and I hope you continue to Blog because your thoughts and way of life provide a tremendous benefit for those of us working in corporate America who try to stay fit, provide for our families, give back to our communities, and generally compete in society in a fair and ethical way. As a great Rabbi once said, think positive and it will be positive. Best.

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  32. show no weakness bitches!!!

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  33. David,
    This post was a wake up call. No one should feel sorry for themselves.The outcome from suffering and being able to push through the multiple walls during a workout and life is one of the best gifts that God can give us.To have that ability and realization that you will become stronger through suffering is a special thing. Goggins you are a hero and most importantly a great person. Reading your blogs got me through a lot in life and I will continue suffer to build myself. I wish you best in luck in the RAAM and life.

    " Show No Weakness"

    Zach

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  34. Mark,
    Stop being a douchebag and realize what he is actually saying.

    Get some Goggins

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  35. If this is indeed the last post on your blog, I'd just like to say;

    Thank you for everything you do. Thank you for being true to YOU and sharing yourself, your beliefs and values with us. It will be a sad day when this blog no longer exists. There just aren't very many old school people around anymore. Gritty people who stop at nothing to find what they're made of or just to find themselves. Our society has it so backwards that they can't even understand or comprehend "what" you're saying or "why" you're saying it. They/we live in complete security, comfort and convenience. It's sad when you take a step back and really look at it. I truly appreciate you!

    I only have one suggestion about the blog though; Maybe you should make it a pay site. Perhaps a few dollars a month towards the charity and it would help keep down the naysayers and morons who can't see the genius in you or those that just "don't get it".

    Once again, Thank You!

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  36. David you are an absolute fu_cking legend! You're not "tough" you just have the courage of your convictions, when you say you're going to do something you do it, you have balls, unlike most people who run scared of everything life throws their way. What's the meaning of life? To be the best you can be, physcially, mentally, emotionally, you don't have to be the best in the world, however you MUST be the best you can be, otherwise you're just selling yourself short. We live in one big fu_cked up world, all we can do is keep busy and make the most of it. To succeed in life one must be tenatious, and have the grit, determination and will to rise above mediocrity. Maximum respect my brother.
    Mike from Australia.

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  37. You're so right about being alone
    Others can put you on a pedestal or knock you down but...you're the only one who can give them permission to take control of your world by letting them influent you in your actions or goals. We can only count on ourselves and strenght within to persue the big road that's life.

    Wish you and your family all the best
    God bless you

    Martha

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  38. dear David. I'n a 71 year old ex-navy chief petty officer, and i just wanted you to know that i am inspired about what you do. I dont run much but, i can be found walking every day out in the desert,either along or with my dog. Thanks again

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  39. Hell of a man! Kicks in for Badwater again! Yeah Baby!

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  40. What you call being alone I call the igloo.
    I have always been alone in that moment of failure or success.
    Those times are burned into my brain.
    As you say running, biking, swimming with others is a easy day, you feed off their energy.
    I like being alone almost at the point of defeat because as you say
    "That's how I find out about my self"

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  41. Every individual has their own path along life's journey that they alone MUST traverse in order to satisfy THEIR personalized definition of Life.
    Mr Goggins has my respect because he is true to himself and has his wife's understanding and support.
    The few that have stood up and risked ridicule to accomplish great feats should not be criticized by lessor men that wish they had the viscera to challenge themselves in life and death situations.
    Bravo Zulu Mr. Goggins.
    signed.....
    An ex-Submarine sailor on the Seal delivery vehicle USS Sam Houston (SSN 609)

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  42. Anyone making anything even remotely close to a negative comment on this blog needs to get up and go do something. If you think you've already done things worth mentioning on this blog, go do them harder and faster.

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  43. strangely after a disappointing sydney city2surf this is what i needed to hear..thanks

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  44. What I find interesting (and the point many here miss) is why he's doing it. He was finding a way to raise money for the Special Operator's Warrior Foundation to raise money for kids. He looked up the hardest events in existence to do this. That's not mere hobby, and to willingly punish yourself over and over is not easy. They all require significant training which is why we don't always love or relish in it. Especially on low days! I understand the pain, and that alone feeling.
    As a fellow Team guy, David I get it. Do what you need to do to arrive at any event prepared and ready. Push the limits yet again and every time for yourself! We're driven by a cause and that's more important than simply what we feel like doing sometimes.
    Keep that in mind folks!

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  45. Hey David!

    Liana here (author of The Earth Diet www.theearthdiet.org)! I write a daily blog about anything and everything related to health, mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually. Today I featured your article "Get Back Up" - thank you for your words and being everything that you are and are not for the world! if you want to check it out the link is here -http://theearthdiet.blogspot.com/2010/09/day-306.html

    Peace, love light to your and your wife :)

    Liana Werner-Gray

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  46. David: Congratulations on Quadruple Dipsea!

    Great to see you out there again! Hope you'll blog again and ignore any hateful people. Those of us inspired by your work couldn't give a damn what those other people say. Either way, your fans are watching and rooting for you. Keep up the good work!

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  47. Great words. Thank you David.

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  48. Hi David,
    Sorry to hear about your surgery not going well. I really just have a few questions for you. You see you have become sort of a inspirational figure to me. My question is directly related to this post however. First of all i am wondering why you feel so alone? it is my understanding that in the teams it is your team mate who you must depend on could you elaborate a little more on such. the reason i ask is because while i dont want to be a SEAL i am in process of joining the Navy to go EOD. while my dream is to be assigned to a SEAL team. i know that it is not likely. therefore i was wondering why you say you will inevitably be alone?

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  49. Sorry i forgot to say that i applaud and admire the effort you put forth for the fallen solders families.

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  50. Dave its Steve, I just posted this on your Aleezas last post:

    Aleeza. (I think we met at Horton Plaza one warm afternoon, u and Dave were having lunch Maybe?)

    I have noticed Daves websites are down, not sure if this will get to you all...
    This is Navy Chief Steve Schaljo, I was Dave's Naval Reserve Recruiter In Indianapolis, I was the only one who told Dave: YES! to SEALS when everyone told him no, as with many trials in Daves Life, it wasnt a cake walk, but we got it done: He got it done! I knew he would when everyother recruiter in Indiana laughed and hung up the phone!
    We trained together (the onlky training he did like: Weight Lifting when he came home to Indy after the first Hell weak)
    He needed me once, I need him now, whenever that can be, he will understand(Remember Dave who was there working at what 10pm at night on your OS3 package! Hooya!)
    I know who he is and where he might be, so whenever and wherever I will be here for him: Again! lol

    Here is my e-mail: NCCUSN@comcast.net

    Godspeed and safety to you both!

    Dave, miss you like a brother: Chief! U better be on your way to damn 7 by now ;) Its 1214 am Portland time: Gotta PT, cant sleep, got a race this weekend ;)

    Hooya! Navy Chief Navy Pride!

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  51. If you ever read this...because I probably would not...here it goes. I am 17 years old and truly was amazed when I saw you for the first time on the navy website. Your attitude is pretty much the exact same as me. Only thing different is that I like to do some things I do like running and the challenge in your mind and seeing how much you are willing to overcome and do. I say yes it is hard but that does not mean you don't like it. I do it all for God also... It make me feel more respected and able to be with him when im at my lowest. It also gives me time to talk to him and I am bettering my temple of worship ( body ). It also makes you respect the comfortable way more and respect what God has given you in life. I love nature and believe that God lives through all living things and that gives me motivation as well. Everything you say I agree with and that never happens, because I believe society is so screwed up now a days that it make me so mad. I am not a hippie and think you should never do anything to hurt your body in the form of drugs so on.I will say that hurting yourself physically and mentally is many times necessary for you spiritual well being and much more. I would say a lot more but I will not...just started looking you up when I found that navy video.
    I will say one more thing I have always wanted to join Marines for challenge then move to Recon the Scout Sniper to be the best I could ever be in Marines. I also love the outdoors with God everywhere so I love to spend long hours and days and weeks and longer out in mother nature (witch is a fun challenge as well).
    THANKS!!

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  52. Something to consider considering; you are respected for being who you are, a man that insists on chiseling his life out of a toughest experiences you can dream of. You are a hero to many for being who you are. These comrades and fans make you a hero, this is something that others decide. These people admire what you do when you are doing what you do. Whether you like it or not, it is what it is, but what you do with this status is your call. Stay strong.

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  53. Thanks for this David.
    You're an inspiration that transcends most boundaries.
    Thanks for talking the talk, and walking the walk.
    Sincerely wishing you all the best with your objectives, and cheering you on from the other side of the World.

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  54. David - I recently (today) made you Hero of The Week over on my blog page. This was an easy decision for me. My father was born with a congenital heart defect similar to yours. Over the years he has underwent numerous surgeries and procedures. His unwavering positive outlook and toughness is an inspiration to me and fueled my desire to become a competitive runner. I know and understand the perseverance it takes to not only compete in endurance events, but deal with a health concern like yours. Keep fighting the good fight and check out our page if you get a chance.

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  55. You're a true boss, David. I'm running my first ultra (AR50) in Cali this weekend, largely because of the drive and determination I've seen you display/discuss in interviews. Whenever my training gets rough or I just want to give up, I just think of what you said about how when you get to a wall, you can go left or right. And then you eventually reach a door. And you can open that door or leave it closed. If you leave it closed, you're giving up. If you open that door, you've chosen to overcome and your mind resets. Mane!

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  56. Mad respect.

    It's NOT about the "fun". It's about the self respect and self discipline you get from doing it, the hard way.

    You're an example to us - don't let the haters hate. You've got the support from those of us who understand what you're doing and that's what really counts.

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  57. David Goggins, if you ever read this, and I hope you do, I just want you to know that you literally have changed my fundamental outlook on life. I am sure a lot of people say that when they meet you.

    I used to be quite large 6'1" 260 pounds, now 175. It was an extremely painful process, that was marred with my painful setbacks. But in the end, like you said, you force yourself to get through it, and your mind learns to deal with the pain. And the you recognize really how bad it is for other people out there and you realize you do not really have problems at all and the pain just goes away! Beyond belief.

    Your resoluteness gave me no excuses for today or tomorrow. It is a hard life but at the end of the day I thank god I am able to do what I can with what I have. Me being inspired planted the seeds in my family and friends to do something more in whatever they do, which in turn inspired me to just try harder and harder everyday. Totally nuts.

    Mad respect for what you do for your foundation.

    Cant wait to see what you do next. Cannot believe you were back at badwater again. This is uncomfortable because now I know, there are really no excuses for today

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  58. David is a true inspiration to all who desire to face life's challenges head on, rather than heel. I strive to develop the same tenacity and unwillingness to quit in the face of adversity. Life is naturally harsh and will test you in the most severe manner. To bear witness to such a strong individual that not only remains resolute during such challenges, but even excels tremendously is extremely motivating. Thank you for your display of extraordinary character and resilience. Your example is one I work to emulate in myself.

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