SGPT: Tell us a little about yourself and your background coming into Kokoro?
JS: I am a 45 year old banker. I work for Wells Fargo. I was in a job where I traveled forty weeks a year and I was totally out of shape. I decided to get in shape in September of 2009. I met with Mark Divine and joined USCrossfit/Sealfit. I had an athletic background from my youth. I was a 4 year varsity swimmer and 2 year varsity cross country runner in high school. I also played collegiate Rugby at UCLA for 3 years.
SGPT: When did you go through Kokoro and tell us about your experience.
JS:I went through Kokoro 11 in August 2010. It started out rough for me. Your body gets you through the first hour, your team mates, heart and soul get you through the rest. I learned there is no easy part of kokoro. You never know what is going to happen. I also learned you can get used to pretty much anything. By Sunday it just doesn’t really matter what happens to you. Wet, cold, sandy…no problem. Your mind goes to a different level of consciousness you will only experience if you do kokoro.
SGPT: What was the hardest part of Kokoro for you?
JS: The toughest part for me was the second and third hour. Our instructions said to drink two canteens of water with electrolytes before we got started. I only drank half a canteen. BIG MISTAKE! It was a warm day and I bonked. It took a couple of canteens of water to recover. I did all right on everything for the next two days. The last hour was a lot harder than I thought it would be. I was very happy and relieved when it was over!
SGPT: How did you prepare for Kokoro and how long?
JS: Like I said, I was totally out of shape. I started with an onramp class at USCrossfit in September 2009. We had 12 crosssfit lite classes. In October I started the regular crossfit classes. I was up to RX in most WODs by February. I did crossfit three to four times a week up until Kokoro.
SGPT: What is one tip you would give a candidate for Kokoro to take heed?
JS: Follow the instructions — drink your water! I also think I should have done more SEAL type workouts. More pushups and flutter kicks.
SGPT: How does it feel to be done and what have you learned?
JS: This is one of the single most significant things I have done in my life. I truly feel I can do anything now. As a result of completing kokoro I think it has empowered me to be a better father, better husband, better at my job and a better athlete. I have moved up to SEALFIT workouts now. I have learned the mind is a powerful thing. Your mind gets you through kokoro, not your body.
SGPT: Thanks for the interview, John and I look forward to seeing you at SEALFit in March.
JS: Thanks, my pleasure