Author: David Goggins | Hardcover: 364 pages | ISBN-13: 978-1544512280
For David Goggins, childhood was a nightmare – poverty, prejudice, and physical abuse colored his days and haunted his nights. But through self-discipline, mental toughness, and hard work, Goggins transformed himself from a depressed, overweight young man with no future into a U.S. Armed Forces icon and one of the world’s top endurance athletes. The only man in history to complete elite training as a Navy SEAL, Army Ranger, and Air Force Tactical Air Controller, he went on to set records in numerous endurance events, inspiring Outside magazine to name him The Fittest (Real) Man in America.
When I saw this book for the first time on instagram, I immediately added it on my TBR. There is this thing with book covers that attracts me to read a book. Without even reading the blurb I can decide whether the book is for me or not. So take a look at the cover…
Reading David’s abusive childhood and uneasy teenage life was a bit challenging for me. And for this simple reason, I couldn’t put the book down before finishing and when I was done, I went back to read it again one more time. Yeah, it’s crazy, I know.
At the end, this book answers one question: ‘<<what would it be like to live your life with no excuse?>>
In his childhood, David and his mother and brother were slaves to his father Trunnis. Every night, Trunnis took his wife and kids out to his skating rink where he made them work tirelessly until midnight. As if that was not enough for the kids, David often witnessed his father beating his mother with a belt whenever she dared to disobey him. Thankfully, when David was 8 years old, he and his mother escaped their abusive father but their freedom was bittersweet as his brother stayed with his father and they were suddenly dirt poor. And as if poverty wasn’t challenging enough, the traumatic effects of David’s early years began to make themselves known where he developed a nervous stutter. And heading to his teenage years, unbeknownst to anyone else, he could barely read.
One morning David saw something on television that would change his life forever: a documentary about Navy SEALS in training. SEALS are widely regarded as the most elite fighting force in the world and their training is the toughest. After watching this documentary, David wanted to join them more than anything. But there were two problems: firstly the recruiting program was going to be shut in 3 months and secondly he was too heavy to join the navy. The maximum weight allowed was 191 pounds and he was 297 pounds. This meant he had less than 3 months to lose over 100 pounds of weight if he wanted to have any hope in trying out for the SEALS.
Over the next three months, he set up a punishing fitness regimen. Waking up at 4.30 am every day, he immediately hit an exercise bike for two hours. After that, he’d drive to the nearest pool and complete a two-hour swim. Then it was off to the gym for an intense workout that included circuit training and at least five sets of 200 reps for all the major muscle groups. After the gym, he’d hop back on the exercise bike for another few hours. After dinner, it was back on the bike again for two more punishing hours. Remarkably, within two weeks he had lost 25 pounds, and within a month he began adding four-mile runs to his daily routine. When the deadline for enrolment came around, David was fighting fit. He joined the program and underwent a grueling training period that included going five and a half days with minimal sleep and completing tough exercise drills while soaked with water and covered in sand. However, Goggins gritted his teeth, graduated from the training and eventually achieved his dream of joining the Navy SEALs.
So how can we become as successful as him? His advice: work ethic. If you want to master yourself and harness your true potential, there’s no quick fix – only hard work. You may have tons of talent and passion, but without a work ethic to match, you’re a bird without wings – you’ll never fly. We have excuses like: “we don’t have the time to put in the long hours needed to achieve our goals”, “we have to focus on spending time with our family or working at our job.” But David doesn’t accept this excuse. In his opinion, all these doubters need to do is win the morning. So let’s get up tomorrow morning and start pushing ourselves.