I gotta admit… I did not come from a warrior culture growing up.
I did not play football or team sports so I had never had anyone grab me by the facemask and shake it hard.
No one ever spoke to me directly with sage words of wisdom telling me about obstacles and how to maneuver.
I skateboarded after school and spent hours carving figure eights in the local pool.
The closest thing I knew about the military was the Sex Pistols shouting “God Save the Queen”.
So when I laid there on the BUDS grinder drenching wet and shaking – I was so out of my element like a fish flopping out of water.
And then I heard a calm voice standing over me – shined boots in front of my face.
He said these eternal words that I can still hear today.
“Son… If you quit now…. you will quit the rest of your life.”
Wow; that hit me like a ton of bricks. I had never heard anything like that before.
I did not come from a culture where a coach yelled “Get your @ss in the game and score”.
I came from skateboarding where you had no coach or accountability.
Yes; It was a galvanizing moment for me.
I thought about what he said for one second and then shouted back “Hooya Senior Chief!”
And from that moment on I have lived with those words galvanized in my mind.
When things got hard – I would recall those few simple words.
I took them to heart in Hell Week. When I got kicked out of BUDS for failing a math test.
I carried them with me on a rust bucket ship while I worked out and swabbed the decks.
Those words were with me the second time around in Hell Week.
When I went to college and got married and started a business — on and on.
Three decades later I still hear those motivational words and know deep down that I will always give my best and DFQ – Don’t Freaking Quit.
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