Triathletes think we’re tough. After all, we exercise like demons. We swim. We bike. We run. Lots of people look at us and think we’re freaks. For a long time, I’ve thought that the toughest people in the world were triathletes. Maybe Craig Alexander. Perhaps Chrissie Wellington.
I’ve changed my mind.
This weekend, I read a book called Sole Survivor by Marcus Luttrell. Marcus is a Navy SEAL. The book tells the story of how Marcus and his SEAL team were inserted into Afghanistan in support of Operation Redwing in 2005. These four men were basically ambushed by close to 100 Taliban fighters. The ensuing firefight was horrific and fierce, ultimately costing the life of three of the four men. Marcus (the sole survivor of the team) was ultimately rescued by some local Afgan people and then a team of Army Rangers.
Part of the book describes the incredible training that Navy SEALs go through during BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL) training at Coronado, CA. The training these guys go through makes P-90X look like toddler exercise. For example, they run for miles in soaking wet & sandy clothes. They carry telephone poles. They do more push-ups than you could imagine. They never stop running. The swim like crazy. They go through “drown proofing” where they are basically tossed into a pool with their hands & feet tied.
After reading this book, I’m convinced that Navy SEALs are the toughest guys on the planet. They amaze me.