David Goggins

The man, the myth, the legend. There is no one quite like Chief Petty Officer David Goggins.  As a Navy SEAL, Goggins was one of an elite group of men regularly sent on some of the toughest missions in the world.   Goggins military record is astonishing.  He is the only member in the U.S. Armed Forces to complete SEAL training (including two Hell Weeks), the U.S. Army Ranger School (where he graduated as Honor Man), and Air Force tactical air controller training.  Goggins faced combat in Iraq, and served as the body guard for Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari. 

He is an overwhelmingly determined man who seemingly harbours an insatiable internal desire to push himself to the limits of human capability. This desire has manifested itself in a variety of missions in which he sets about conquering some of the toughest sporting events known to man. As a result he is now considered to be one of the greatest endurance athletes in the United States Of America.  In less than four years, Goggins completed more than 30 endurance races.  These sporting events included multiple ultra-marathons, triathlons, ultra-triathlons, bike races, and arduous mountain ascents, setting new course records and regularly placing in the top five.  In 2007, shortly before he was diagnosed with a hole in his heart, David completed 203.5 miles in the 48-Hour National Championship endurance foot race, beating previous records by 20 miles and earning a spot among the top 20 ultra-marathoners of the word.  His extraordinary achievement earned him a feature story in Runner’s World, where he was named a “Running Hero.”

Born in 1975, this incredible human specimen started running to raise money for a wounded warrior charity project after seeing several friends die in action, most notably when some of his fellow U.S. Navy SEAL(s) were killed in a helicopter crash during a mission in Afghanistan. In order to be truly successful at the task he had set himself David immediately recognised the need to demonstrate to others that he was doing something truly extreme, something exceptionally challenging and horrendously painful. This was the best way he could ensure people would respond in a positive manner to his efforts, in his owns words he says:

It’s a gesture from me, letting the families know their husbands or daughters did not die in vain.

What’s funny is that people do not believe me. I try to tell them the only reason I do it is to raise money for the foundation.

People respond to pain. If I go out and wash cars for $10, who gives a damn? People want to see you throw up, cry and go through tremendous suffering.

The more you learn about David Goggins, the more you can’t help but be amazed at his absolute endurance and unflinching desire to simply keep going. This perhaps first became apparent when his Navy SEAL quest began. He weighed in at 280lbs with no endurance experience, he just went after his goal. In two months, he lost 100 pounds to become a Navy SEAL. When on the dawn of his new challenge involving the wounded warrior project he sought out the most demanding events known to man. He decided to race ultra marathons and subsequently googled the 10 most difficult feats in the world. First on the list was the Badwater Ultramarathon, a 135-mile footrace through Death Valley. He called the race organizers to inquire about entry.

Goggins had never participated in an ultra marathon before – he had never even run a regular marathon. However, the race organizers were sympathetic to his cause and said that if he completed a couple of ultras before Badwater, they would consider his race application. Only four days after deciding to compete in Badwater, he was on the starting line of his first 100-miler. What happened to Goggins over the course of the next 100 miles might have been a life-changing event for many. For Goggins, it was simple affirmation. He broke nearly every bone in his feet and suffered kidney failure. His wife, who is a nurse, feared for his life and urged him to go to a hospital. He refused. He called in sick to work the day after the race. In truth, he couldn’t move. He began to wonder if he’d make it through the night. “I thought I was dying,” he says, “but I thought to myself that if I did, I’d be OK with that, because I’d done something impossible.” He woke up the next morning happy to be alive, happy that he’d completed his first ultra, and even happier that he was closer to getting into Badwater. Two weeks later he ran in the Las Vegas marathon. He ran Badwater just six months after that—and finished fifth.

It was the start of a journey whose course no one could predict, not even Goggins. What is even more remarkable is that he says that he hates to swim, hates to bike, hates to run and still does them all on a daily basis – precisely because he hates to. At Imperium Lifestyle we are truly in admiration of his sheer dedication to a cause and the unwavering persistence he has shown to achieve what in most cases only he thinks and believes is possible.

Oh and David Goggins has also held the world record for the most pull ups in 24 hours!

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