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Why Joining the Navy was the Best decision of my life.

The Navy gave me a complex. I kind of hated it while I was in.

But I respect the hell out of it, now that I am out.

If you have been following my post, you’ll know that I had a successful personal training business some years ago. In 2014, after graduating with my B.S., I decided to enlist. College enlistment is not the smartest idea but very well known in the program I joined.

I wanted something that was bigger than myself and man did I get it.

I picked up a SEAL contract and went in to become a Navy SEAL. It was the most exciting time for me to think I had a shot at becoming one the most elite in the military.

The comradery was a lot of fun at Bootcamp, although I felt Bootcamp was pointless. I didn’t want to learn about ships and Naval history. I wanted to shoot, dive, and blow things up.

Who doesn’t want to do that?

After graduating Bootcamp in the God Forsaken Great Lakes, IL. I headed off to BUDS prep school for 8 weeks which was still in Great Lakes. In retrospect, it feels like I was there a lifetime. I didn’t go many places during the weekends, so I feel like I never restored my morale. I was too poor as a little E-3. (Rank)

We swam, ran, lifted weights Monday through Friday.

By the way, this was the first time I saw snow. I am from Florida.

I passed the exit test and shortly I landed in Coronado, California in Feb 2015.

It was beautiful, I never visited the west coast. I was already traveling and seeing the different parts of the U.S. and I didn’t even have a rate yet. (a rate is your job title)

Now when I did make it through training, I would see the whole world and that was super exciting. To skip a lot of the boring Navy SEAL training portion that is easily found anywhere on google, something happened to me…

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During my 4 mile timed runs on the beach, my legs began to fall asleep.

I had no idea what it was. How do I make it stop? is it in my head? Is this my mind telling me I am weak?

I pushed forward and crossed the finish line with numb legs. I didn’t make the timeline.

Now go get wet.

This happened twice until I was dropped from the program.

(intentionally leaving a lot of stuff out)

I started to hate the Navy.

What was I going to do now? My legs aren’t working like they used to. Now I have to go cook food on a ship or submarine. (my fate would be chosen by a designator or job picker.)

This was so scary to me. I gave up so much to be here and now my body doesn’t work, what will happen to me?

The unknown was so scary and I fell into depression.

It was the same stuff over and over every day. Sweep the parking lot, take out the trash, etc.

It was a huge morale killer.

But here is what I learned…

It put me at the bottom. I was sweeping parking lots for pennies. I was walking on eggshells around the base because no one likes a sailor that is injured.

(Skipping a lot of medical appointments)

AND THEN I WAS OUT!

Now what? I wasn’t going back to Florida. No way.

So I stayed out in CA. But I didn’t have a job. I applied to 300+ and had 4 interviews. One guy told me I was too motivated, which is still strange to me.

I stuck a job after living in girlfriends parents garage for a couple of months.

I got back on my feet and life was grand. Like isn’t easy in CA for a young man but I was hungry to succeed.

The moral of the story is that life is full of ups and downs and so is the military. On the other hand, I wouldn’t take it back. I learned so much about myself in the Navy. Like how to handle stress, manage fixed income, eat terrible food on a fixed schedule.

It made me stronger and you’ll learn so much about yourself while pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.

I didn’t have an easy time in the military and still get uneasy when people ask me what I did and how long I served.

Take chances, do things that are bigger than yourself, learn from them. There are plenty of people who will read this wanting to get the inside scoop. I am not that guy.

I am failing for success.

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