SGPT Interviews Kokoro Grad Nash Liagridonis

SGPT: Tell us about yourself?

NL: First, thank you for the opportunity to share my experience. My name is Nash Liagridonis , I’m 42 years young, husband and father of two children. For the pass six years I’ve operated my own business, a restaurant, in a busy little town in rural Saskatchewan. Previous to getting into business , I spent three years in the Canadian Armed Forces as an Infantry soldier in the PPCLI’s 2nd Battalion.

SGPT: Did you have an athletic background growing up?

NL: I grew up in northern Canada, and spent lots of time in the bush either hunting with my Dad, or out exploring. I was active in martial arts most of my youth and this gave me a well rounded athletic foundation, but I was not involved in sports in school, I was too busy working at my father’s restaurant! In general I have always been active to varying degrees and looking for new physical challenges.

SGPT: How did you train for the Kokoro event?

NL: Physically, I had built up a good running foundation during 2012 as well as working in various calisthenics for muscular endurance. In the fall of 2013 I began mixing in lots of Grinder PT, doing Cross fit benchmark Wods and SealFit SOF Wods . My favorites were doing an hour or hour and a half of Grinder PT followed by a four or seven mile run, doing run, swim, run training sessions and once a week I would head out to the Bad Lands south of where I live and ruck between 8 to 16 miles with 35 to 45 pounds and walk up and down the huge hills for the day.

Any opportunity I had to get wet and dirty during a training session I did as well, for example, I had a water reservoir with a gravel road running down to it about 600m. So it’s hills sprints, jog back down , dunk oneself, do flutter kicks, push ups, etc. Mentally, I read and researched as much as I could about what I could expect during Kokoro. SEALFIT’s Unbeatable Mind Academy was a tremendous resource for my mental game. I also took a lot of cold showers the year leading up Kokoro so by the fall of 2014 I was as ready as I could have been.

SGPT: Tell us a little about the event? Where was it?

NL: It was held at the SEALFIT Head Quarters in Encinitas, California.

SGPT: What was hardest part of the event?

NL: The hardest part for me was the Log Pt. I’ll take surf torture anytime, thank you.

SGPT: What is one thing you wish you would have done to get ready for Kokoro?

NL: More static over head presses, and holds, sand bag presses, and over head squats.

SGPT: Any tips for up and coming athletes that want to do Kokoro?

NL: On the mental side of things really know why your doing this. Practice self awareness, learn to banish any negative thoughts or self doubt during really hard training sessions. You won’t be alone during Kokoro, your energy has an impact on everyone in your crew. Be an asset to them, always do your best, stay positive and when things really start to suck, be grateful for it.

Remember how lucky you are to have an opportunity where you can test and learn about so many aspects of yourself in one event. Before I went to Kokoro I had an issue about possibly failing. When I realized that no matter the outcome I will learn more about myself, the fear of failure left me and I could focus on doing the best I could and have fun doing it.

SGPT: What kind of boots did you use for the event?

NL: I used the Bates Velocitor boots. They were pretty good.

If I were to do it again though , something with better drainage, like LALO’s amphibian would be much better.

SGPT: Did you use double socks or body glide on your feet to prevent blisters?

NL: Yes, I lathered my feet with Hammer Nutrition Seat Saver and used compression socks with a wigwam hiking sock over that. Which helped but in the end I ended up with monster blisters on the balls on my feet which popped on the hike down the mountain during the second night. Good times.

SGPT: What kind of ruck did you use for training and the event?

NL: I had a Kelty day hiking pack for really long rucks and a cheap back pack for training sessions requiring weight.

SGPT: What book are you reading now?

NL: I have two on the go right now they are, So You Want to Run an Ultra: How to prepare for ultimate endurance by Andy Mouncey and 100 Deadly Skills by Navy Seal Ret. Clint Emerson.

SGPT: Many thanks for the interview Nash.

NL: My pleasure, thank you.

Questions from our SGPT athletes.

Question: Coach; I am currently training for a GORUCK event that is coming up near my town.  My buddy says I should ruck every day and bulk up with whey protein. He said all that matters is being strong and carrying stuff.

Answer: I would not ruck hike every day with weight. That is a way to injure yourself and burnout. I would start by rucking more miles and slowly adding weight. I would try to add elevation and rough terrain if you have a local trail nearby. I would then add in sand bag work and running.  Check out this SGPT article: GORUCK Training Tips

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About the AUTHOR:
bradBrad McLeod knows first hand about mental toughness after being kicked out of a top tier Spec Ops training unit. He failed out of BUD/S the first time after failing a math test (made it through Hell Week and Dive Pool Comp).

He came back a year later and graduated and served as an operator on the Navy SEAL Teams with a total of 6 years of military service.

Today, he helps Veterans and athletes achieve their goals. What is your goal? Lets work together to accomplish it.

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