SGPT Interviews SEALFIT 20X Finisher Craig Graves

If your reading this blog post you all ready subscribe to the idea that a team cannot reach its peak performance until it has faced significant challenges together.

It is a valuable lesson that will serve you well in times of adversity and obstacles. It is those moments that you either fail or grow.

Craig Graves decided to grow and leaned into this idea.  “We are stronger in some evolutions and not as strong in others. It’s in those times when we depend on the team”.

Check out this interview with longtime Team SGPT and SEALFIT 20X finisher Craig Graves.

SGPT: Tell us about yourself? Where are you from and where do you train?

CG: I’m from Cramerton, NC, just south of Charlotte. I mostly train in my garage and in my neighborhood. I have about 300lbs of Olympic weight, some kettlebells, a box jump, and enough equipment to do just about anything I need to do. I do have a gym membership and usually go there when my training requires a rower.

SGPT: Did you have an athletic background growing up?

CG: No not really! I played baseball until I was about 13 but that was my only sport. I did grow up before smartphones and all that stuff so my friends and I stayed active outside as kids but I wasn’t an athlete. I did take weight training classes throughout high school which was my introduction to “working out”.

SGPT: How did you train for the SEALFIT 20X event?

CG: I am also a member of Mark Divine’s tribe and used the SEALFit WOD’s to train. I trained 3 times a week and did at least 3 parts of the WOD, usually Baseline, Strength, and Work Capacity. I also used only the On-Ramp or Masters WOD’s on the site.

I also train in Brazilian Jiujitsu as was training at least 3 times a week there as well.

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

CG: The SEALFIT 20X was in Temecela, CA. We checked in at 7AM EST and it was on from there. We ran from the check-in to the grinder, about 1 Mile I would guess. We lined up in formation and Commander Divine came out and met each of us and gave us a talk about the Big 4 of Mental Toughness as a group. Then the coaches began the beatdown.

I met most of the coaches at an Unbeatable Mind Experience in 2020. Really nice guys but they definitely had their game faces on during this event!

Overall the event was an amazing experience! I recommend it to everyone.

SGPT: What was hardest part of the event?

CG: The whole event is a physical challenge. But for me, there were a couple of times during the day when I thought I was holding my team back. We managed to get through the evolutions together as a team but feeling like I may have been a weak link was difficult. It wasn’t an ego thing but just a feeling like I was letting them down.

At one point during the day, the Kokoro guys were mixed in with us and one of them said something to the effect of we are stronger in some evolutions and not as strong in others. It’s in those times when we depend on the team. That helped for sure!

SGPT: What kind of boots /trail running shoes did you use for the event? For training?

CG: You actually recommended or reviewed the New Balance OTB Bushmaster boots many years ago (I’ve been following you for a long time) and I used those.

I trained in them as well but also have a pair of Inov-8 Mudclaw trail shoes that I use when I run trails.

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

CG: I used double socks. I had a pair of cotton running socks and put a pair of ski socks over those. I had no trouble with my feet during the event and really didn’t do anything outside of that to prepare my feet. My boots were really broken in as well.

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

CG: I used an ​​Allnice Tactical 50L pack. I found it on Amazon and it worked really well. I cleaned it up when I got home and now it’s my jiujitsu pack. I also use it on rucks and to travel. It held up really well.

SGPT: What is one thing you wish you would have done to get ready for 20X event?

CG: I wish I had run more. I was told to run at least 6 miles a week and I wasn’t hitting that. The training I mentioned above had me ready strength-wise but the runs definitely hurt me. If you read this interview and are training make sure you are running as well.

SGPT: Any tips for up and coming athletes that want to do a 20X Challenge?

CG: Train your mind as well as your body! Yogi Berra said ‘Baseball is 90 percent mental. The other half is physical.’ LOL! Same with the 20X. You need a strong mind. Most of it is mental. Have a strong ‘why’, and learn and practice The Big 4.

SGPT: What good book are you reading now? Are you listening to any good podcast or audio books your listening to and can share?

CG: I’m reading “Never Split the Difference” by Chris Voss. It’s great so far. My podcasts shift around some but lately, I’ve been listening to Jocko Podcast. I’m also listening to JRE when he has a guest that interests me.

SGPT: Many thanks for the interview Craig. We greatly appreciate you sharing your knowledge and Congrats on finishing the SEALFIT 20X Challenge.

CG: Thank you so much Brad! I really appreciate the opportunity!

Do you have a big event on the horizon and you want to finish the drill?

Wanting to complete a Spartan, GORUCK, Tough Mudder or SEALFIT 20X Challenge?

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