A few months ago I checked into the Hotel Del Coronado to relax, reflect, write and rejuvenate. A solo mission for a few days in the sun to stop and enjoy the view.
During my stay I decided to catch a workout and 5:00 p.m. presented perfect “beach run” conditions. Sun still shining, waves crashing in, I put on my new playlist and set out North on Coronado Beach for what I estimated would be a nice 3-4 miler. A couple miles in I started closing in on a small group of men in white t-shirts and long pants, a few more men in blue t-shirts and shorts and two utility vehicles. My pace slowed in approaching their location. I realized who they were and it was readily apparent what they were doing.
They were Navy SEALs, the U.S. Navy’s principal special operations force, engaged in BUD/S training, universally considered to be the most grueling military training in the world. From my vantage point and based on the little reading I had done on SEAL training it appeared they were deep into the program and I was pained stealing an occasional glance and considering what they were enduring. These were special men. True warriors.
This was prior to the SEAL Team Six execution of Osama Bin Laden where following much was written about SEAL Team Training and these elite warriors. Even knowing a little more now than I did then, I can still recall upon seeing them considering why someone would choose that path? How they survive the mental and physical test of this training?
I considered the reasons. I concluded I was grateful for them.
This week while reading The Heart and the Fist author, humanitarian and Navy SEAL Eric Greitens offers this bit of insight:
“The SEAL teams would give me little, but make me more. I might fail at BUD/S; I might find myself miserable; but I’d live with no regrets. We wanted to be tested. We wanted to prove ourselves worthy.”
This book is about Eric’s journey from Rhodes Scholar and Humanitarian to becoming a decorated Navy SEAL Commanding Officer.
It is also very much about living a life with purpose. About passing tests. Often, the two aren’t mutually exclusive.
Feeling tested lately? I believe this is a time where many are facing real hard tests in work and life.
Would you be better served by stepping up to pass a true test? In challenge we often find strength, growth and our most meaningful evolution.
Would that prepare you to better serve others?