GORUCK Heavy: The after action report of D-Day 2018, in Chicago with Cadre Shredder. Water, Mosquito's and endless physical training

GORUCK Heavy: The after action report of D-Day 2018, in Chicago with Cadre Shredder. Water, Mosquito's and endless physical training

This is the AAR for the GoRuck Heavy D-Day memorial that I had the privilege to be a part of on June 1, 2018. Before this event I had only participated in one other GoRuck event which was a custom GrowRuck Tough associated with F3. I knew this would be a significant undertaking however I had no idea just what this amazing event would entail.

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GORUCK Tough Challenge: Learn how to train, how to pack, and what you can expect to experience during the event

GORUCK Tough Challenge: Learn how to train, how to pack, and what you can expect to experience during the event

In other words, you can't do it alone, there are no accolades, and you get to suffer.

Who wouldn't want to sign up?

The reality is that the GORUCK Challenge is one of the funnest and most fulfilling things that I have done. It reminded me a lot of those first few days at boot-camp. Everyone is disoriented the Cadre are shouting out commands, some guys have the deer in the headlights look, it's chaos.

When they don't  get the response they desire, then they punish the whole team.The whole event is designed to do one thing. Take a huge group of people from all walks of life and have them go from not knowing each other, to functioning as one unit.

It doesn't happen automatically, it takes a couple hours before everyone starts to see the big picture, and the cadre do a great job of channeling everyone in that direction.

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Testosterone 101: 5 things that decrease it, 10 ways that you can increase it, and why you need to do it.

Testosterone 101: 5 things that decrease it, 10 ways that you can increase it, and why you need to do it.

I didn’t really even understand what testosterone was until recently.

Yes, maybe it’s sad to admit, but honestly, I didn’t think that it was really something that I needed to think about.

I was wrong. There are some startling facts about men and testosterone that I believe every man needs to know, and tune into.

Something happened to me about 6 years ago, right after I had graduated college. I was depressed, lethargic, and slow. There was no way I could do anything, even if I wanted to. Physically, I wasn’t as strong, I was gaining weight.

All telltale signs of Low testosterone.

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Living a legacy: 5 Things Every Man Should Seek to Accomplish in his Life

Living a legacy: 5 Things Every Man Should Seek to Accomplish in his Life

Every man wants to be great.

He wants to leave a legacy, be remembered for something.

Unfortunately most of the time, that's as far as it goes, it's only a thought. Rarely do dreams become realities through thinking alone.

A man has to strive to take action on his dreams, and his goals. When he doesn’t he becomes lethargic, depressed, envious and restless. Things that lead to an early death.

Not necessarily a physical death, but a death within, a death of the spirit within him.

The light burns out.

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How to build your own workout program: A comprehensive guide to kicking your own butt

How to build your own workout program: A comprehensive guide to kicking your own butt

I get asked this question all the time; “I don’t really know where to begin. How should I workout, where do I start?”

I love this question for two reasons.

  1. The person is interested in improving their lifestyle and health. They see that they are not meeting their goals, and want to do something proactive about it.
  2. It means that the sky is the limit. They don’t have something built in their head as the precise way to do something, they are willing to listen to advice.

If you find yourself asking this question, then I am so glad because I have a guide on how to help you answer this depending on what you’re fitness goals are.

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Discipline for the morning: How to build strength, conquer your goals, and stay positive throughout the day

Discipline for the morning: How to build strength, conquer your goals, and stay positive throughout the day

Those days are over right?

WRONG.

I’m on a mission to debunk that. I believe men are warriors, and they have it in them to be great in all aspects of their life.

It starts with a Mindset Change, a belief that you are capable of being more than you think…being the man that you are made to be.

Men have bought into a lot of lies that have crippled them.

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Rise of the Machines: Why free weights and garage gyms are the better option if you want to build strength and muscle

Rise of the Machines: Why free weights and garage gyms are the better option if you want to build strength and muscle

Have you ever walked into a gym and had no idea where to begin?

I have, in fact I did it for pretty much my whole life until around the age of 30.

I didn’t really know how to “work-out” or “exercise”. Up to that point I had just played sports, but never lifted weights or made physical fitness a practice in my life.

When I did start making it a practice, I tended to stay on the treadmill and weight machines. I wasn’t even using the machines correctly.

I was the guy in the gym fail videos you see on the internet.

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If you do these 3 things everyday you will be more focused, more intentional , and stronger

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Strong people are harder to kill than weak people and more useful in general
— Mark Rippetoe

What if every morning you woke up, you had 3 extra hours to yourself, you knew exactly what you needed to do, you were super focused on accomplishing those tasks, and you could get more done in those 3 hours than anyone got done in their whole day?

Does this sound likes something that could add value to your life?

Do you believe it to be true?

Do you believe that you can do it without taking any special pill, or diet? You don’t need any superhuman ability or genetic inheritance to do this.

The only thing you need is a desire to succeed.

There are a lot of books and gurus out there that will tell you that you can have a miracle morning, or achieve a perfect day in 5 simple steps. I am not going to tell you that.

What I am going to tell you though is that there are several things that you can do, and if done consistently, over time you will see positive results. It might be instantaneous for some, and for others it might be gradual. Results may vary.

Every person is different, but these habits do not change.

 

1) Have a to-do list or a Daily Action Plan

In all reality, you should have this done the night before. It’s very simple and it only needs to include those items that are going to give you the biggest bang for your buck.

If you are new to this, things like sending an email, taking out the trash, making an important phone call, writing a page of a book are good places for you to begin. The point of the action plan is to build habits.

The more that we do something a certain way, the more likely we are to continue doing it.

Mike Rother wrote a book called Toyota Kata, mainly geared at the automotive industry. However, I believe that it really points out the human reality also:


There are perhaps only three things we can and need to know with certainty: where we are, where we want to be, and by what means we should maneuver the unclear territory between here and there. And the rest is supposed to be somewhat unclear, because we cannot see into the future! The way from where we are to where we want to be next is a gray zone full of unforeseeable obstacles, problems and issues that we can only discover along the way. The best we can do is to know the approach, the means, we can utilize for dealing with the unclear path to a new desired condition, not what the content and step of our actions – the solutions – will be.
— Mike Rother

The daily plan is to show you where you are, and it subsequently points to where you want to be.

It is a guide, not necessarily a solution. As you work on where you want to be, you will inevitably come across things that you missed, things that came up, or obstacles that need to be overcome. That’s the point.

If you are never trying to get to where you want to be, and instead continue to stay where you are at, your threshold of knowledge will never be challenged or grow.

We set an objective we want to achieve, but there may be smaller steps or challenges in between.

 

2) Read a portion of a book (At least 20-30 pages)

There is no doubt that Teddy Roosevelt was an avid reader, and probably one of the most well-read men in history. He would read 2-3 books a day. That’s incredible especially with the type of schedule that he had.

Not all of us set out to be Teddy Roosevelts, we can certainly strive to have his discipline, and approach to reading books.

So what is his advice?

  • Despite all the lists that are out there telling every man what he should read, it is not necessarily true (Even the lists I make). I never tell people that they are less of a man for not reading a book, that’s just not the case, and in the same sense, Teddy Roosevelt said the same thing. “Not all books are best for all men, because every man is different.”
  •  The books that you read should be interesting to you, at this point in your life. Some people tell me that every man has to read the great Gatsby. I thought it was boring, and unrelated to my life. I didn’t find it enjoyable at all. Someone else might like it. You make the choice on what you want to read. Just read.
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  • Read books that you love, because you love them
  •  Read books to meet your own needs not because someone told you to read a book.
  • Don’t pretend to be interested in something you are not.
  • Don’t always read non-fiction books on leadership or business, because you think it’s trendy. I know guys that do this, and they think that because they are in a leadership position that they only need to read leadership books. Bro, I am telling you, SciFi and fiction books such as Enders Game will teach you a lot more about Leadership than some of the crappy leadership books out there today.

My favorite book is The Count of Monte Cristo, there are more leadership and life lessons in that book than any modern day book that could be written.

Some of my other favorites are the book of Proverbs, James, and the Book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible. Why? Because it is jam packed full of daily wisdom and insight on how a man should live and conduct himself in daily life. These books also have a way of getting in your face, they aren’t afraid to confront you.

If you are interested in looking for good books to read, you can check out My Reading List, which is a list of books that I have read since the beginning of 2017, also the 360 Man Library, and if you want a couple book lists:

 

3) Do some sort of Physical Exercise

Men need to be challenged. They need to have a moment in the day where they expend physical energy.

This can’t be compromised.

I hear a lot of excuses from men who say they don’t have time to exercise. I say, you can’t afford not to. You are hurting yourself, those around you, and those that you take care of. This needs to be a non-negotiable in your life.

In earlier times the thought of checking a scale or wanting to count calories wasn’t even a thought. Fitness or rather “Functional Movements” was a way of life.

Unfortunately, now, we have way more exercise equipment, technology and access, but we are way less fit and athletic than our ancestors. Seems ironic.

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Things like running, jumping, squatting, climbing, lifting heavy objects, throwing heavy objects, swimming and wrestling were commonplace.

Now, our culture plays video games and watches movies about other people doing that stuff, but they don’t actually do it themselves. Kids watch other kids play video games, or play with toys on YouTube. They are taught a false sense of reality.

You have a problem.

As a man, you set the example for your family. If video games, toys and phones are what you spend your time on, what kind of example are you setting?

It’s time to start getting serious about the type of man you are becoming.

Fitness, exercise and strength are paramount in a man’s life.

Don’t believe me. Start lifting weights, your mind will change, and you will start singing a different tune.

What is more appealing to you? A man who doesn’t know who he is, who doesn’t take a stand or have boundaries. Or man who is confident, strong and has principles and a code that guides his life?

It’s just like Steve Rogers before he became Captain America. Right now, you are Steve Rogers, you need find or define the principles and code that guides your life.

Then you need to start stepping into that, and watch as you transform into Captain America.


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A man’s got to have a code, a creed to live by.
— John Wayne

Start doing these things and see your life transform for the better.

I have personally done these for the past 5-6 years and have done some incredible things, such as paying off $55K in debt, getting in the best shape of my life, running an ultra-marathon, starting this website. I know if you stay consistent you will have good results.

Don't wait for the right time. Start Now.

-Stephen


Caveman Photo credit: Lord Jim on Visualhunt / CC BY
Book Shelf Photo credit: cowfish on Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-SA
Captain America Photo credit: marvelousRoland on Visualhunt / CC BY-SA