003: Navy SEAL Brad McLeod

June 23, 2017

FYS 003 | Navy SEAL

I’m totally jacked up because we have Brad McLeod, who is a former Navy SEAL. When I grew up, I dreamed of becoming either a professional athlete, a Navy SEAL or an Olympic athlete. Obviously, I didn’t get to do all three of those things. I did become an NFL player, but I’ve always been so fascinated on what it’s like to actually become one. What does that mean? You don’t show up and just don’t take a few courses and go through some tough training exercises. In their case, going through BUD/S and trying to make it through all his setbacks. Now he is out of the SEAL business in terms of being an actual Navy SEAL and has a business called SEALgrinderPT. It’s really fascinating to understand and hear his journey. As always, if you like it, share, review on iTunes. Tell your friends. Tell the planet. We love having more podcast listeners out there and interesting people today and on the horizon. On that note, enjoy the podcast.

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Navy SEAL Brad McLeod

I’m jacked up to have Brad on the podcast. Brad is a former Navy SEAL and he’s got some cool things going. Brad, welcome to the show.

Good to be here.

The name of my podcast is Finding Your Summit. I just want to get into your background. Guys who have set high goals and gone after it, it’s not just about reaching your summit, it’s also about the journey and how it goes. Like most things, there are setbacks. Why don’t we go back to growing up, where did that happen? Where did this idea that came up in your head like, “I want to go try out for BUD/s, the Navy SEAL program,” come from?

FYS 003 | Navy SEAL

Navy SEAL: The Old Frogman

I was born in Thomasville, Georgia. I moved over to Tallahassee when I was about seven years old. I grew up here and went to high school. I was pretty much like any other average kid growing up. I played a little bit of sports but I was never really that good at it. I spent a lot of time just skateboarding. I didn’t quite fit into the structure of baseball, football, things like that but I found a good outlet in skateboarding. As a high school teenager, I got into a little bit of everything. Running around, chasing girls, chasing the next six pack of beer or the next party, or whatever. As I graduated high school, I really didn’t have any clear goals as to what I wanted to do, but I did read a book that talked about the Navy SEALs, and the The Old Frogman. Something just resonated inside of me. I really didn’t have any other aspirations in life. For some reason, I just really gravitated towards that. Maybe like the kid from Kansas that grew up on a farm and read a book about Hollywood or saw something on TV, it just resonated with me. For the same thing with that kid in Kansas, he was just like, “I’m going to go out to Hollywood and I’m going to be a star.” At the end of high school, for me to say to other people, my friends, my family, or whoever, “I’m going to join the Navy and become a Navy SEAL.” pretty much everybody laughed at me. I must be pretty much like that kid in Kansas. “Yeah, right. You’re going to be a Hollywood star,” or “Yeah, right. You’re You’re going to be a NASA astronaut.” I really didn’t have anything that gave anyone to really believe that I could do it. It was that farfetched. I wasn’t a top A, B student. I didn’t play sports. I wasn’t a letterman. I had a lot of friends but I didn’t have any main focus. To all of a sudden talk about something as farfetched as that, it was pretty much just a foreign concept to everyone. I knew deep down inside that I had to prove that to myself that at least I was going to go for it and I was going to try it. I just signed up for the Navy. Back then, you didn’t take the test beforehand and then decide if you want to go into Navy. Now that’s what they do. They take a test to get a contract. Back then, you had to sign up to regular Navy and go to San Diego or wherever and take the test then. If I didn’t pass that test while in the Navy, I would be locked into four years, two years reserve or six years on a Navy ship. Luckily, I passed the test. One thing I really had going for me too though was I started dabbling around with weights. I used to skateboard about everyday but I also lifted weights. That, at an early age, helped me to build some discipline.

[Tweet “I knew deep down inside that I had to prove that to myself that at least I was going to go for it and I was going to try it.”]

When you talk about a test, what is that test?

While I was in boot camp, I had to swim. It’s 500 meters with either a sidestroke or breaststroke. You can’t free style. When you get out of the pool, you a have one, two-minute rest and then you do as many push-ups as you can do in two minutes, and as many sit-ups as you can do in two minutes. Then you do as many pull-ups as you can do, as long as you can hang on the bar. They have to be dead hang, good pull-ups. They can’t be kipping. You get off the bar and you have a two-minute rest and then you run a mile and a half. Back then, we ran them with boots and these old Navy jeans. You’re not out there with your $100 sneaks, compression socks and your shorts. I was running in jeans with a belt and these things called boondockers boots. There were probably 30 guys that tried out for that test. I was one of two out of the 30 who passed that test.

You passed the test so you can qualify then to go to this next level. This is all before BUD/S, right?

Yeah. There is a screen and then they screen you again and they screen you again. The other way they screen you is you had to have an ASVAB, like a college SAT. You had to take an ASVAB test. You had to score really high to even get into BUD/S. They don’t just take the bottom tier guys. There was a mental academic test and luckily I passed high enough for that. Then there’s a extensive dive physical. You have to have perfect vision. You have to have perfect lungs. You can’t have any plates in your body. You can’t have had depression or anxiety in the past, anything like that. It was heavy duty screening, which actually gets a lot of guys. You might have passed the test but if a guy has a plate in his ankle or even though he can run fast, they don’t want anybody that could breakdown in combat. There are several screenings. Probably very similar to your past in the NFL, you’re always being tested. If you don’t pass, then you go home.

In terms of the pushups, you did those in two minutes. How many pushups are we talking?

People ask me that and it was so long ago, I can’t even remember. I think the minimum you need to do is 60. I probably did 80 plus or something. My scores were never that great. I’m an average guy. I was not some stud athlete in high school. I was your average C, C+ guy. There were things that I was able to do well that turned me, a C guy, into an A- guy. I had to go learn a skill because I had to go to A school and learn radio communication.

What does ‘A’ represent? Is that an acronym for a name?

It’s like after high school, you go to a vocational school. Maybe you learned welding, maybe you learned to be a cook, maybe you learned to be a medic. For me, it was radio communications and satellite communications. That’s what I learned as my skill because what happened back then is the washout rate was so high. What they wanted you to at least have and to show proficiency is that you could learn a skill, show up every day, do the task and your chances of washing out, which were extremely high. When you wash out, when you go back out to the fleet Navy, the ship, you would have a skill to use. If not, they would have you as a boatswain’s mate or you’d be just chipping paint, so you need to have a skill. It’s one more test. You can’t go to A school and start partying and think, “I’ve got a contract to BUD/S. I’m a badass.” You’re nobody. You’ve got to keep your nose clean for another two months to learn the skill.

You’ve gone through this to qualify in test. You get through that. You score well and now you’re off to BUD/S. What does BUD/S stand for?

It stands for Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL Training. I was in San Diego for a boot camp and A school. I went across the bay to Coronado, which is like Disney World almost. It’s so pretty. There are sailboats there and the ocean and everything, but that’s where the BUD/S camp. You’d think it would be in some place like a Louisiana swamp or something. In a way, it’s this idyllic setting in Southern California and that’s where you train.

It sounds like they just lure you in with the beautiful beaches and dolphins out there jumping and then they torture you.

I lined up that first day there in BUD/S and you’re on the infamous grinder. That’s the place where every frogman in training, every tadpole has to go through and be a part of that grinder with blood, sweat, tears, skin and everything else. I stood there that first day with 139 other guys. I looked around and here I am, all of 5’8″, 165 pounds, not a letterman, not an A student. didn’t have any inkling that people would say, “I’m putting money on this guy. This guy is tough as nails..” Nobody said that. Nobody gave me a chance. I looked around, I was intimidated as hell. I thought, “I’m done. It’s going to be one week and I’m done.” I was just freaked out. Everybody was 6’1″, chiseled, freaking 190 pounds, broad-chested. You got guys that swam in high school. You got guys that were talking about track. One dude was talking about how many times he could you press 300 pounds. The first couple of days, he was doing extra pushups and all the other guys were looking at him like, “That guy is a badass.” He was saying it wasn’t hard enough for him. Where I went from a C minus, average, middle guy, to actually figuring out, “I think I can make this,” is in the second and third week.

First week, they go pretty easy on you. They’re just feeling it out and grading everybody. The second week, they turn up the heat. Not only are you PT-ing harder on the grinder, you’re getting up early. They’re putting a water hose sprinkler out on you in the morning. It’s dark. They make you go hit the surf, sit in the surf, then you go to chow, you go do an obstacle course, you swim. You’re in the pool with drown-proofing, getting your hands tied together, underwater 50-meter swims. Just a lot of things are starting to get guys knocked out. They’re quitting or they can’t make a 50-meter swim. Or they freak out because their hands are tied together. Or they were like, “Screw this. I’m not going in the surf again. I’m in and out of the surf six times a day. I am not going in. It’s dark out. Screw this. I’m going home.” I look around and that same guy that was talking about how many times he could bench press 300 pounds, he quit. He was in the surf, got up and quit. The light went on in my head and I saw an inkling of the real game.

FYS 003 | Navy SEAL

Navy SEAL: The game was, “Can you take a beating and show us that you want to stay? Can you be a good teammate?”

The game was not about if you’re bigger, faster or stronger. The game was, “Can you take a beating and show us that you want to stay? Can you be a good teammate?” Instantly, if your buddy needs water, you’re handing him your water. If your buddy’s gear needs straightening up or there’s sand all over his hair, you brush the sand out of his hair. You pay attention to your buddy first before you do anything with yourself. How that relates to combat, how that relates to hard training situations and how that relates to a brotherhood. They’re not looking for the number one, two, three guy that can run, swim and do pull-ups. That’s great, but every day. you get tested on obstacle course, swim, run, pull-ups and all that. If you don’t make the cut, you’re out of there. You could be a C average student and pull-ups, sit-ups, swim, diving scuba, obstacle course, all the academics, but if you kickass and an instructor sees you over there and you’re brushing your buddy off and you’re handing him your water, you’re giving him a massage, you’re patting him on the back, that’s what they’re looking for.

All these physical things that you were doing, what was the one physical thing that you found was the most difficult thing that you had to do?

The single most difficult physical thing was probably log PT.

What does that mean?

A lot of Special Forces groups find old logs and telephone poles and they put five, six, seven guys underneath the pole, based on height. It’s what I think is one of the ultimate teamwork development tools that’s out there. You’re asked to perform a command, you’re given a verbal command and you have to then perform exactly how the instructor gives you that command, with the rep count and call back to him. You’re basically under load, under pressure and they want to see how you are going to perform when you’re put under a load. You’ve got to have the physical side of it but you’ve got to keep listening to the commands and performing the commands when you have a man in the front and the back of you. You can relate to this as much as anybody being in the NFL. Imagine your offensive line. They have to have that ability to listen to the command, the count for the quarterback getting ready to receive the ball and be able to come off the line and perform and move through the play. It’s very similar to what you would have in football with your lineman, being able to block, being able to execute and being able to get punched in the mouth. You’re sweating. It’s raining on you. Whatever is happening. They’re spraying you with the water hose even. They want to see who’s going to crack under pressure. What you obviously don’t want to do is turn around to the guy behind you and scream at him and start bitching and moaning. If you suffer, you have to internalize that. You have to suffer in silence. It’s a famous thing that you hear there. Nothing worse than you crying out and infecting everyone else in the group. There are so many things that it hits on right there and you do that again and again and again. That’s probably the most painful thing from a physical standpoint. There are a lot more mental things that happen but from a physical standpoint, that one stands out.

[Tweet “The real game was not tapping out, not quitting, helping your teammate before yourself and not worrying so much.”]

I had talent, I was recruited to play football all over the country and I chose the University of Washington. Up to that point, especially in those days, there wasn’t a whole lot of training like they train now and start with the weights. I pretty much just showed up on the first day of camp. I remember standing there. It seemed like this was yesterday. I’m eighteen, I go out in the first day of fall and sometime in mid-August, and I’m looking around and everybody else is an All-American from somewhere but they were built. They were gone. They were ready. They were mentally tough. I just looked at them and I’m, “I am so far in over my head,” because I hadn’t done any of those things. One of the points you’re making is that you’ve got to physically come in and be ready so that you can take on these physical challenges so that as you’re going through these tough things, you mentally don’t crack. I don’t think it works the other way around. I don’t think you can get mentally strong and then physically build up. I think you need to have that in front first so that you can take those things on.

I needed to have that baseline physical part but I also had to turn on the mental and be able to figure out that game. The real game was not tapping out, not quitting, helping your teammate before yourself and not worrying so much. I was intimidated by all these other guys and I was intimidated by these guys who swim faster or run faster than me, and I did not focus on that. I just had to focus on staying in the game, not tapping out, helping my teammate every single day. Rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat.

This is the part that I don’t understand. In terms of there’s a finality of, if you make it through Navy SEAL and they’re cutting people or people are failing in certain tests, but are there certain levels that you have to pass? If you don’t pass it, are you out or can you come back and try that level or how does that work?

FYS 003 | Navy SEAL

Navy SEAL: Looking back on it, it’s the best thing that ever happened to me

My story is that I got over halfway through. Made it through hell week. Made it through the initial part of dive phase where you’re underwater, they pull your mask off, your regulator out of your mouth, turn you upside down. Guys fell out right there. I got past that and believe it or not, I failed a Math test. The cut there is just ruthless. They give you two times. It could be a 50-meter underwater swim, it could be obstacle course, it could be academics. I passed everything else. I did that thing with academics and I just froze up on that second test, made a 65 and that was it. There were tears in my eyes. I was like, “Can you all send me across the street back over to the naval base and let me do a remedial math course or whatever?” It was like, “No, you’re going to the fleet.” There’s no mercy there. Looking back on it, it’s the best thing that ever happened to me. Looking back on it, too, it wouldn’t be SEAL training if they just went, “You go over here and we’ll give you a private tutor and we’ll put you in your own room in the barracks and we’ll set you up. In two months, you come back.” No, it’s ruthless. They sent me out to the fleet Navy. I had that skill as a radioman but I ended up chipping paint, swabbing the decks, working in the chow hall, delivering cans of soup or eggs or whatever it was they needed. I was using that as a workout. I had to leave and go to the fleet for a year. There’s no really good workout room and most of the guys on the ship don’t work out anyway, partly because that’s not what they think about, but also it’s hard to work out on a ship when the ship’s moving.

I was in the worst possible place to be. If you were in prison, you’d probably have better workout. I was in a bad spot. I had to stay out there for a year. Once you get in the fleet, they don’t want to turn you back loose to BUD/S again because the way they look at it is like, “You failed out the first time. Why should we give you a chance to get back when there are 100 other guys wanting to take your spot that are qualified for their first time around?” They didn’t want to let me off the ship.

A year goes by and now you’re going back to go through this BUD/S training again. Are you going through the entire program again or are you just taking that Math test?

No. They’re incredibly strict. There’s zero slack there. I can assure you and I’m living proof of it. Before I could even go back to BUD/S when I was on the ship, I had to come over and take that same dive test again, up in the dive locker with one of the instructors looking over me and I took the test. If I didn’t pass right then, then I was screwed. Luckily, I passed. Thank the Lord or whoever higher power. I passed, then they go, “Now you’re going to start back at day one.” That’s how strict they are. They made me take the test first again just to even give me back my day one slot. It wasn’t like, “Come on over and we’ll put you right back in where you stopped before.” I had to go all the way back through it again, go through winter hell week again. Same drill, 140 guys lined up. I finally made it through the second time, passed the Math test again, all that. I had no problems. I didn’t get flagged again on something else and made it all the way to the end.

I know it didn’t happen like this but I almost picture like the Top Gun movie where Tom Cruise finally passes his gig and they’re fighting with ice and the other guys. The next day after they celebrated, they get shipped off to some ocean and there’s this conflict and they get up there with the Russians or something and battling out. How did that work for you?

We had sixteen guys that ended up passing, out of the 140, so less than 20% made it. They do it a little differently now than they did back then. We all packed up and they shipped us off to Fort Benning in South Georgia. For us, that was easy, compared to what we’d been through. That was three weeks, they taught us how to jump. From there, you go to a team. Being on a team as a new guy, I almost think like we’re the pros or something. Coming in as a rookie, you’re called an FNG, Fucking New Guy. You’ve got to do everything that they don’t want to do, which is fine. There was a little bit of mild hazing but nothing too bad. You’ve got to hustle super hard because right then you’re under observation every single day. If you don’t make the cut then, let’s just say you go out late, drinking and driving, DUI, you’re out. Smoking weed, you’re out. Steroids, out. Fighting in town, you’re out. The list goes on. Everybody in our class didn’t have a problem, but here and there, there were guys that go for their next six months and they get shipped back out to the fleet because they get popped on a piss test or they’re fighting in town or some problem.

[Tweet “Every single day is different. You have to listen to the command and perform the command exactly as they say.”]

Essentially, you’re six months under review before you can get your Trident. In the meantime, what you’re doing every day too, you’re jumping, you’re swimming, you’re rappelling out of helicopters. Every single day is different. You’re planning demolitions, you’re shooting, you’re in a kill house. Every single day is something that could harm you. Like log PT, you have to listen to the command and perform the command exactly as they say. In a kill house, if you stepped in the wrong direction and they’ve got sim rounds, you get popped in the back of the head with a sim round, it’s going to hurt like hell. Or God forbid, you stepped the wrong way and you’re in a kill house or you’re on a live shooting firing range and you’re doing contact drills, those are live rounds. I’ve been out in training before. Long story short, we set up an ambush in training, I was inside of that six-month period and one of the Claymore mines, the way that it was directed towards the ambush, it was off by a few degrees. One of those rounds, which was a shotgun lead round, it shot off of plastic explosives which moves at a super high rate of detonation. Not only is the round moving super, super fast but it’s just white hot. I watched one of those rounds go through my buddy’s leg in a training evolution and just sear the meat off of his leg there. We’re just doing basic training-type stuff but if you look on the back of the Claymore mine, it gives you exact instructions of what you’ve got to do with it.

I assume that you made it through this six-month program. This is the general public, there’s SEAL Team Six, Five, Four, Three, Two, One. How far does it go up and what does that mean?

FYS 003 | Navy SEAL

Navy SEAL: To get drafted to Tier 1, you’ve got to obviously be the top 1% of all SEAL teams.

I went to SEAL Team Four. Back in the day, before the big war after 9/11, we were all broken into hemispheres. Team Four was a South American group. We did all of the rough duty Caribbean and South America and Central America. Partly the reason I got picked or drafted was because I had a year of high school Spanish. I spoke a little bit of Spanish, just rudimentary Spanish. I got drafted to Team Four. At that time, up to Seal Team Six, there were only six teams. Team Eight was just getting commissioned as I was leaving. Team Six is not a regular SEAL team, so you can’t say there were six SEAL teams. They are DEVGRU or Dam Neck. They’re a SEAL team but they’re not a SEAL team. SEAL teams were Tier 2 operators. We’re the same as Green Beret, Army PJs, Rangers. You’re still elite but your regular run of the mill. SEAL team guys were Tier 2. Team Six is Tier 1. Delta Force is Tier 1. There are a couple of other no-named groups out there that are Tier 1. To get drafted to Tier 1, you’ve got to obviously be the top 1% of all SEAL teams. That’s how the hierarchy goes.

I know that this is pre 9/11 but you would be deployed all over the world and then you’re going through all these training missions on basically red alert, to jump in and to go do something crazy if called upon.

If you were to go to work at a factory every day and you had your task that you would do, it was the same way. Sometimes it would be a 16-hour day or even a 24-hour day but that’s what we did every day, but every day was different. We were training every single day. For two years, I don’t think I was in one place for more than two weeks. You traveled all over to shooting schools, climbing schools, diving schools. They’re continually training you. If there is an emergency, your group can easily get pulled right in and next thing you know, you’re in a classroom or a warehouse and they’re giving a briefing. “This is the scenario and this is what you’re going to do.” You can see then when all the training starts coming back to you, is that you have to listen to the command, perform the command and trust in your teammate next to you.

Going back to what this podcast is all about, which is finding your summit, I keep talking about how it’s a part of the journey. Just listening to your story, you weren’t a big athlete in school, you didn’t excel in the classroom, but you had this goal and you went after the goal. Then the thing that you wanted to do the most, you don’t make it back. Then you have to go do something awful for a year and be on the ship. Then you end up coming back and having to start this whole thing all over again. Even when you passed BUD/S, then you go on to a team and the entire time you’re being evaluated, whether or not you would actually be a great team member. For six months, you’re grinding it out. You probably look back on that and there were ups and downs and things in between, but it’s the journey. You accomplish that thing but as you moved along through the process, that’s the rewarding thing. That’s a cool way to go about life. SEALgrinderPT, what is that? I know that you’re a very active guy. Tell me what your life has become about because I know it has a lot to do with working out and goal setting and things like that. It would be really cool to talk about that.

[Tweet “I was intimidated and full of fear but I had to overcome those fears.”]

I’ve always just had that attachment to that very day that I stood out on the grinder and looked out there. I was intimidated and I was full of fear but I had to overcome those fears. That grinder, for me, it’s just an analogy to say, “You’re now stepping out onto the mat in the dojo and you’re getting ready to step into this new realm of where you don’t know what’s going to happen completely. There’s a lot of unknown but based on your training, you need to be ready for anything at any time.” The other side of that is that the grinder itself is almost like a warm-up practice field that you have in the NFL where you get out there and you do warm-up drills, you stretch and you do push-ups. We have pull-up rings that go all the way around the whole grinder. We have dip bars. Every morning, when you come out of there, you’re sweating unless it’s 48 degrees in the morning. You do a hard workout and that’s how you start every single day.

I don’t remember any one day that you didn’t start on the grinder with something. You could have just come off a hell week and be all banged up but you’re probably going to do a lot more yoga stretching and little light calisthenics. The point is that every single day, you do something to not only work your physical body but also, the other side of it with the grinder, is that you have to work on the fears. You have to work on expanding your horizons. You have to not be intimidated. You have to push through boundaries. That’s where I came up with that word. It popped in my head, SEALgrinderPT. It was goofy but it just said what all I’m talking about here. It’s a place where we work out the physical and the mental every day.

Does that mean people are coming to your physical location somewhere?

No. Actually, 98% of our business is online. We have athletes everywhere: Hong Kong, Norway, a lot in the US, Puerto Rico, Canada. I do travel. I have traveled to Ireland, Puerto Rico, Canada, a lot in California, but this past year my daughter’s really been sick, so I’ve ratcheted down the number of events where I travel to. I have one event this July in Montana. We call it the FreakFrog Montana. My whole family is going out with me. This year, I haven’t traveled as much. In the past, I would travel ten, eleven times a year about once a month. I would travel to other grinders, a lot of CrossFit gyms, a lot of military establishments and train those athletes not only in the push-ups and the pull-ups, but talk about mental toughness, about not giving up and how to be a good teammate. Teaching them the ways that I learned back my first day in BUD/S how to be a good teammate. I always believed that that’s a foundation. You could be the fastest, jump the highest, do 225-pound bench press, 30 times or whatever, but if your mind isn’t right and you’re not a good teammate, a lot of times a coach will not pick you or you may not make the team. A lot of times the coach is going to want a good teammate first and then help to develop their skills.

What you’re talking about Brad, where they can find you online is www.SealGrinderPT.com, right?

Yeah. We’ve been online for over seven years now. , so we’ve We’ve been around for a while. We’ve got a lot of articles and a lot of free stuff. Athletes can email me at. Brad@SealGrinderPTt.com. I answer 20, 30 emails a day personally. I don’t have anybody helping me with that.

You and I are kindred spirits. I work out, I climb mountains and I have played in the NFL. A lot of that is just every day going out and doing something positive. I really feel like it sets up your day. Not everybody can be a professional athlete or climb mountains but you can go out and work out and you can do the type of things that you were talking about. That just puts you in a great mindset to take on other things that might be a challenge in your life. It’s great that you’ve provided a roadmap for those who want to seek it out to go and download this different stuff and see how you’re doing. I was on your site and I was checking it out. I’m always looking for something that’s new and different and one of the things I saw on your site was a workout called the Murph. Explain what that is.

FYS 003 | Navy SEAL

Navy SEAL: Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10

It’s named after Lieutenant Michael Murphy who unfortunately passed away in Afghanistan. It’s in the book, Lone Survivor. Lieutenant Michael Murphy went out into an exposed area so that he could get satellite communications and call in support for his teammates. He exposed himself out on that rocky crag and when he did, he took enemy fire and was killed, but he was able to get the call out. He paid the ultimate sacrifice. As the legend goes, the workout that he used to do once a week or whenever, was he would put on his weighted vest and he would go out. He’d do 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 air squats with the vest, then you run a mile. It’s now a famous workout. Every Memorial Day, that’s the way that we pay homage and respect to Murph. Everybody can’t do it with a weighted vest. You don’t have to. Everybody can’t do 100 pull-ups. It’s fine. You can do Australian pull-ups or you can do the push-ups without the vest. You can partition it like the CrossFit Cindy workout and do twenty rounds. You don’t have to do it strict. A lot of people do, but the fact that you’re out there and you’re on the grinder or your driveway or wherever and you’re doing it and you’re respecting Murph and his sacrifice and the others that sacrifice, that’s what it’s all about. If you do it strict, it’s crazy hard.

I was doing the Murph for a period of time in my training on Denali. The push-ups for me, no problem. The mile and a half run, no problem. The sit-ups, no problem. Pull-ups, that was a problem. I had to break it down. I’d do 50 push-ups, 50 air squats, and 10 pull-ups. The thing I struggled the most with are those pull-ups. That’s why Rome was not built in a day and you’ve got to keep at it. It motivates you next time. Just get one more and you got the day before and you’re on the right track.

You can do it once every month, every two months and get ready for next year. How do you eat an elephant? You do it one chunk at a time. You just don’t step off the couch and try to do Murph with a weight vest. Just like you’re trying to train for a marathon, you want to run a one-mile, you want to run a-three mile, you want to run a six-mile, etc. You want to slowly build your way up. It’s the same thing with Murph. It’s that level of workout where, unless you’re this elite athlete, more power to you, but most of us are going to have to get out there and do it in small chunks. The biggest thing is the intent and showing your respect for those that have sacrificed for us.

Brad, thank you so much for coming on. Your story is great. It’s about not mattering where you start in life. It’s where you end up. You still have this journey that you’re paving the way on, helping others and showing that there are possibilities out there. You’ve got to put your mind to it and we can overcome anything. Where can we find you?

SealGrinderPT.com. You can email me at Brad@SealGrinderPT.com. I’m really easy to get in touch with. I answer the phone. If you’ve got questions, text me, email me. I love helping athletes. That’s where I find my purpose. When I’m helping people, I’m the happiest. Anything I can do to help other athletes achieve their dreams. They don’t have to be going for BUD/S, if they’re trying to be a better dad, trying to be a better teammate in the workplace, whatever it is, if I can help them, I’m more than happy to bend over backwards to get that done.

Brad, I appreciate it. Thank you so much.

Thank you, Mark.

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