Posted by: Judy | March 9, 2015


I signed up for the SEALFIT emails in July 2013. I’ve saved most of the emails so I can review. Last week, SEALFIT offered special one-on-one sessions with Coach Mark Divine or other prizes, if I filled out a survey to enter the drawing. For an idea of what they do, this is a pretty detailed article from Outside by T.J. Murphy:

The whole thing is truly beyond my capabilities, for the whole of my life. I missed the Presidential Fitness Award in school every single year because I could not do a flexed-arm hang, not even for a second. The teacher tried everything short of holding me there. I dropped like a rock every single time. I always thought it was a problem with upper body strength, until I was carrying 50 lb bags of dog food and grain and I realized my upper body strength was fine. My hand grip is pretty useless. I can’t go water skiing. Really. The handle is ripped out of my hands the minute the boat picks up speed. Add to that, at 18, I tore all the ligaments in my ankle. It pulled my back out of alignment, eventually leading to a herniated disc. I’ve re-injured my ankle numerous times. Not to mention the food and environmental allergies. There is no time in the last half century I could have ever accomplished what is expected in the SEALFIT program. It truly is impossible. I know this, and I’m okay with it.

So, why do I continue to hold to the impossible?

I’ve never married, and cannot have children of my own, also impossible lifelong dreams. What’s one more?

Over the last few years, following the SEALs has had a significant impact on my life. Actually, strangely enough, there is in my heart a sense of belonging.

“The only easy day was yesterday.”

This kind of thinking has helped me to accept my horrific past. I’ve survived living in an insane asylum visible only to me. My sister didn’t remember. I spent decades alone with the knowledge, believing I belonged there. What a relief it was for me when my sister started remembering. I’m sorry it was difficult for her, but it saved my life to finally know I wasn’t the one who was crazy. Without her recovery process, I would be in the same place I was, trapped inside the fear something was wrong with me. I’d still be fighting to figure out what I could do to make everything right. Still unaware that it wasn’t about me and that nothing I did would change anything. It only drove me deeper into the downward spiral of wondering what was wrong with me, besides everything?

My sister and I occasionally talk about our “do or die” attitude. This is why I feel like I fit in. I use the SEALFIT emails to help me stay motivated. Coach Divine gave me permission to fail. I desperately needed that permission. It was life saving. It helped me let go of the brutalized lessons demanding insane perfection that changed anytime I came close.

Finding the SEALs and those connected to them centered me. A God-given gift. Finally, I found people who had seen horrible things but kept fighting for the best. They knew the ugly side, and still hoped for better. They didn’t simply hope; they made hope a verb instead of a noun.

I still don’t fit in, not really, but I never have. Familiar territory. To be honest, I’m not sure I know how.

The SEAL community holds many of my mentors.

I’m grateful I fit in with my wonderful ACoN friends, but none of us wants to be a part of this club. No one aspires to be an ACoN.

ACoNs grow up in abuse and spend their lives endeavoring to learn how to process it and let it go.

SEALs learn how to process abuse so they’re able to endure whatever they’re asked to face.

I’m deconstructing and reframing. I survived the abuse, and a lot of what the SEALs learn is applicable and can be used in reverse.

It was because of SEALFIT that I made sleep a priority. One of the videos was a physician talking about the importance of sleep and a few tips I found useful. I accepted the challenge. I fail more often than I succeed, but Coach Divine encourages failing. Hooyah!

I’m a wannabe in a lot of things, which doesn’t stop me from doing the best I know how, no matter how lousy I am at it. Failure is an opportunity to recognize what my next goal needs to be. I don’t really fail until I refuse to get up again… until I quit.

I wasn’t going to fill out the survey. Having torn the ligaments in my ankle, again, I didn’t see the point.

The part of me I’m endeavoring to encourage wondered what would it hurt to look at the survey?

Most of the questions were easy to answer. Some I answered with a very detached perspective. I answered what I thought I should, not what I felt. I closed the survey before finishing and decided not to finish filling it out after all. What was the point?

Then I checked my emails in another account. The first one I opened was from Motivating Daily:

Get Started Already

While you are still waiting to find an easy way (or the perfect time) someone else is already getting results because they decided making progress is more important than making excuses. ~ Phil

You talking to me? It sure felt like it.

I went back to the survey and read it more carefully and answered more thoughtfully. When it asked about my life and dreams I’d tossed out that I wanted to be a healthy writer. Basically true. What is truer? I deserve to be true to myself.

I want to be physically healthy and able to support myself as a writer.

What do I feel is holding me back? My past, physically and emotionally. True. I’m working hard to learn from the past, but I daily struggle with old habits.

What did I want from the program? How to see and actually move beyond my limitations. I feel like I’m always working on this with very little success. Okay, it feels like very little success. I’m still living at home. However, I’ve published 11 books in 3 years. The duality drives me crazy.

I almost threw away the opportunity to explore a gut check and share it with someone outside my usual circle. This requires courage. There is value in clarifying one’s perspective in a way that is understandable to others, especially those who don’t know you well enough to fill in what you forget or struggle to express. In a survey format, I had to accomplish the task in as few words as possible without losing what matters most. I did it.

As I filled out the survey I prayed, please, God, don’t let me be one of them because it would be wasted on me. God answers prayers. Congratulations to the prize winners. I’m happy with the prize I won: I took a risk of sharing my fear of failing and my hope for success. I’m very good at mudding the water with all the other things that would be nice. I clarified to myself what I want.

Yes, I want to be a blessing. However, that’s possible no matter what I pursue. I needed to remind myself of the path I’m pursuing, especially as I glance down at the bruised and swollen knee, ankle, and foot, again, that makes me feel like I’m stuck on myriad levels, caught in an endless loop.

I will do this.


  1. It’s wonderful how SEALfit worked for you! I’ve never heard of that before but my curiosity it piqued.

    • Anyone can sign up for the emails.

  2. I’ll say it again you found your tribe. You have the same mindset….”The only easy day was yesterday.” Hugs. I’m glad I remembered.

    • ((Ruth))

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