Sharing a Better Man’s Words.

“In a country that most would struggle to find on a map, in a compound that few possess the courage to enter, men from my previous life took the fight to our enemy.

In that compound, they found men that pray five times a day for your destruction. Those men don’t know me, they don’t know you, and they don’t know America. They don’t understand our compassion, our freedoms, and our tolerance. I know it may seem as if those things are currently missing, but they remain, and I know they will return. Our capacity for them is boundless, and is only dwarfed by their hatred for you. They don’t care about your religious beliefs; they don’t care about your political opinions. They don’t care if you sit on the left or the right, liberal or conservative, pacifist or a warrior. They don’t care how much you believe in diversity, equality, or freedom of speech.

I’m sorry that you have never smelled the breath of a man who wants to kill you. I am sorry that you have never felt the alarm bells ringing in your body, the combination of fear and adrenaline, as you move towards the fight, instead of running from it. I am sorry you have never heard someone cry out for help, or cried out for help yourself, relying on the courage of others to bring you home. I am sorry you have never tasted the salt from your own tears, as you stand at flag draped coffins, burying men you were humbled to call your friends. I don’t wish those experiences on you, but I wish you had them. It would change the way you act, it would change the way you value, it would change the way you appreciate. You become quick to open your eyes, and slow to open your mouth.

Most will never understand the sacrifice required to keep men from that compound away from our doorstep, but it would not hurt you to try. It would not hurt you to take a moment to respect the sacrifices that others make on your behalf, whether they share your opinions or not. It would not hurt you to take a moment to think of the relentless drain on family, friends, and loved ones that are left behind. Ideas are not protected by words. Paper may outline the foundation and principles of this nation, but it is blood that protects it.

In that compound, a man you have never met gave everything he had, so that YOU, have the freedom to think, speak, and act however you choose. He went there for all of us, whether you loved him, or hated what he stood for. He went there to preserve the opportunity and privilege to believe, to be, and to become what we want. This country, every single person living inside of its borders and under the banner of its flag, owe that man. We owe that man everything. We owe him the respect that his sacrifice deserves.

Saying thank you is not enough.

We send our best, and lose them, in the fight against the worst this world has to offer. If you want to respect and honor their sacrifice, it needs to be more than words. You have to live it.

Take a minute and look around. Soak it in, all of it. The good, the bad, and the ugly. You have the choice, every day, as to which category you want to be in, and which direction you want to move. You have that choice, because the best among us, the best we have ever had to offer, fought, bled, and died for it.

Don’t ever forget it.” – A Debt That Cannot Be Repaid by Navy SEAL Andy Stumpf

One thing that being away from home has allowed me is a chance to do a lot of thinking, deep thinking. Today I stumbled upon these words again. This is not my first exposure to Mr. Stumpf’s words as I have followed his blog for a while. However, recently events that effect me personally have led me to questioning leadership surrounding me.

These words have allowed my tensions to ease a bit over my leadership dilemma. Re-reading these words have reminded me that I, and my family, are doing something so few do. We are sacrificing on behalf of others who have no idea what goes on in the military. We are sacrificing on behalf of so many who take for granted the freedoms and privileges they enjoy. We are sacrificing on behalf of a bunch of “adults” who act like children fighting over every single aspect of our society.

Mr. Stumpf hits my feelings on the head when he writes “It would change the way you act, it would change the way you value, it would change the way you appreciate. You become quick to open your eyes, and slow to open your mouth.” Unfortunately, in today’s world we have far too many people who need these changes.

Do You Know Jocko?

Freedom

Jocko Willink. Ever heard of him? If not, you should research him. He’s done some stuff. A Navy SEAL officer, commander of Task Unit Bruiser in Ramadi, Iraq. Post Navy, he’s become a successful author, writing several books and one Field Manual. He has his own podcast, the Jocko Podcast. He runs his own business, Echelon Front, helping business leaders of today become better leaders. In my opinion, from what little I know about the man, I’d say good leadership is one of the things he is most passionate about. It’s a common theme in his writings and podcasts. Personally, this world needs more people like Jocko. More people who strive for greatness in all aspects of their lives, more military leaders who strive to be great leaders rather than just check the block towards the next promotion. Our country, our world, with be a much better place if people tried to be like Jocko.

Over the last few weeks while over here in Korea I have been enjoying his writings and podcast daily. He’s helped me make some small changes in how I go about my life to try to make it better, for me and my family. After reading his Field Manual, Discipline Equals Freedom, I’ve been cutting out more and more bad foods from my eating habits. Now, let’s be honest, I’m not going to just throw away all the goodies friends and family send me in care packages, but I surely do not indulge like I used to. Now instead of eating a sleeve of Oreos a night, I have two or three cookies, but only after a good workout where I can use the sugars as glycogen replenishment over night. I eat more vegetables in my breakfast and lunch meals. I’ve upped my physical training intensity. Slowly, these changes are shrinking my waistline, letting me feel better in my daily activities. Simply put, Jocko is an extreme motivator. He’s opened my eyes to his concept of Extreme Ownership, the title of his first book.

In Extreme Ownership, Jocko and his co-author, fellow Navy Seal Leif Babin, write about how truly taking ownership is a  key to becoming a successful leader, in combat and business. They draw on their own lessons learned in combat to teach business leaders how ultimately the buck stops with the person in charge. Nothing can happen without the person in charge, the leader, being responsible for it. They point out that to be a great leader, one has to accept ultimate responsibility when things do not go as planned. They also promote pushing the successes of the leader down to the members of the team. It’s one of those situations where the leader takes all the blame for the bad, and none of the credit for the good. Looking at it from the outside, it seems like it’s a sure fire way to make a good leader. However, they share many stories about how leaders struggle with this. Since I have read this book, I have noticed more and more how leaders in my unit could benefit from learning and implementing these principles. I’ve also begun to see places and times when I need to be that type of leader too. While I am not in a direct leadership position in my unit, as a Noncommissioned Officer I do have general leadership authority and need to be sure I do my best to be a good leader as well. It’s not an easy task, but seldom is something worth doing easily done in today’s world.

Again, if you’ve never heard of Jocko, I suggest you look him up and follow him. He offers a lot for everyone looking for some motivation and drive to be better. He’s on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, just search for Jocko Willink. He’s easy to find. When you do begin to read and listen to him, do your best to implement his teachings in your life. Once you do, you’ll be doing your small part to make our world a better place.

Fitness

Here is the training from this past week.

4 June 2013
Rowing Intervals
5 x 500m with 1 minute rest
2:14 – 1:58 – 1:55 – 1:53 – 1:47
Pullup Work
5×3 Strict Pullups
5×3 Chest to Bar pullups
Back Squat
5 @ 145#
5 @ 185#
3 @ 220#
3 @ 255#
3 @ 295#
5 @ 330#
For Time
21-15-9
Calories on Air Bike
Toes to Bar
Thrusters 95#
Time – 13:16
5 June 2018
Strict Press
5 @ 80#
5 @ 100#
3 @ 120#
3 @ 140#
3 @ 160#
3 @ 180#
For Time
1600m Row, with Death By Pushup
 * Every minute, get off the rower and do a pushup, increasing reps by 1 pushup every minute. 
Time – 6:36, I then continued the Death by Pushup through the 15 minute mark. 
5 Rounds, untimed
20 Calorie Bike
40 Double Unders
6 June 2018
Partner “Lumberjack 20”
For Time
20 Deadlifts 275#
400m run
20 KBS 53# (No 70# in our gym)
400m run
20 Overhead Squats 115#
400m run
20 Burpees
400m run
20 C2B pullups
400m run
20 Box Jumps 24″
400m run
20 DB Squat Cleans 45#
400m run
* split the reps evenly, both partners run 400m
Time- 27ish minutes, the coach did not set the clock to run continuously, it stopped at 15:00
7 June 2018
Front Squat
5 @ 125#
5 @ 155#
3 @ 185#
3 @ 220#
3 @ 250#
3 @ 280#
Crossfit Games Open 11.1
10 Minute AMRAP
30 Double Unders
15 Power Snatch 75#
Score: 6 + 12 reps
10 minute casual pace bike
5300 meters
83 calories
8 June 2018
Deadlift
5 @ 190#
5 @ 240#
3 @ 285#
3 @ 335#
3 @ 380#
5 @ 430#
Power Clean
6×2 Touch and Go
135-185-205-225-245-255
For Time
100 Wallballs 20lb 10ft
* every break do 10 burpees
Time – 7:16, 2 breaks (sets of 35-25-40)
5k Air Bike
Time – 8:28
9 June 2018
6 Supersets
4 Chest to bar pullups
4 ring dips
Row Conditioning
1000m – rest 2 min
750m – rest 90 sec
500m – rest 1 min
250m – rest 30 sec
500m – rest 1 min
750m – rest 90 sec
1000m
Times- 4:06 – 3:05 – 2:01 – :59 – 2:06 – 3:10 – 4:24