Posted by: Judy | January 15, 2019

Why David Goggins

As I tried to explain my enthusiasm for David Goggins to someone who didn’t know who he was, I discovered I made a hash of it. I talked about some of the insane things he’s done. I can’t do the physical things he does. It’s the same with SEALfit. I can’t do what they do. Why do I follow people who do things I can’t?

They push me to see how far I can go. Failing is not something to be criticized but to be accepted and used as a new goal.

I’ve been pushed in the negative direction most of my life by people who didn’t care what happened to me and a few who wanted to destroy me. I know how to push toward annihilation. I also know it is an impossible goal. Not so long ago, I wished it were possible. Fortunately, it isn’t.

The mentors I’m choosing now push me to do the impossible but in a positive direction. Not a “feel good” direction but a healthy direction.

David Goggins freely admits he hates running. He runs ultra marathons to raise money for the SEAL Foundation, which helps the children of SEALs who have died, scholarships for college. He doesn’t run because he enjoys it; he runs because it takes him where he wants to go.

I desperately needed to learn this lesson. I needed to learn that a lot things have to be done that I don’t enjoy doing, but they have to be done. Complaining and whining does’t accomplish the tasks. Facing the unpleasant and pushing through isn’t fun, but it takes me where I want to go, to the other side of what I think is impossible.

I spent too much of my life fighting and failing to do the impossible tasks assigned to me, like “take care of your mother” “make her happy” “do what she wants.” I kept thinking that if I only worked a little harder, twisted this way, bent over backwards, was more patient and kind, then she’d be happy and would love me and would stop criticizing me. Never happened. Never would. It wasn’t about me.

The problem was that I spent so much time trying to solve her problems that I didn’t learn how to face or solve my own problems. I could also blame her. It wasn’t me. I not only had to stop blaming her (it didn’t accomplish anything), I had to stop trying to make her life better. It was a struggle to figure out how to quit one but not the other. We were so enmeshed I often didn’t know where she began and I ended. I spent my life being an extension of her and my father.

Goggins refuses to be limited. His problems are his responsibility. What he wants is his responsibility. If he has to do things he doesn’t like to do in order to attain what he wants, then he does it. He works until the work is done and then he starts the next thing.

Marcus Luttrell, when he was struggling to survive with a broken leg and being hunted by the enemy, he’d reach as far as he could, draw a line in the dirt, and drag himself across the line. He’d draw another line and drag himself across the line.

I’m still learning how to draw a line. I’m still learning how to do the stuff I don’t like to do. I don’t have to like it. I have to do it. Not complaining makes it easier. I’m still learning, but I am learning.


  1. Lots of great lessons here as I start my work day! Thank you! I agree that it’s difficult to face the things we don’t want to do, and I also agree that it’s important that we face them. Sometimes, they ultimately lead to our happiness.

    • You’re welcome. Happy to help. 🙂

  2. I also like following a few of the SEALs – listening to podcasts and blogs (like SEALfit, etc). And, as you mentioned – I can’t actually do what they do. Nor do I want to. But I have found that many of the principles they adhere to can be applied to any part of life!

    Glad to know that there are other fans like me – that are inspired by them without being super-duper extreme!

    • High Five! 🙂

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