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…
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.