Embrace The Yuck

By: Mae Lewis

2020 — YUCK! Canceled plans, isolation. Uncomfortable masks. It is very easy to slip into a kind of depression without something to look forward to, move forward to, or anticipate. If nothing else, we have learned the power of anticipation and hope. It’s easy to become bitter, and certainly most of us wouldn’t think of “embracing the yuck.”

David Goggins is a real-life example of someone who rewrote his story by embracing the worst. He went from being nothing to someone who is recognized around the world for his military and athletic contributions. But he did it by changing his mindset about all of the little things in his life. He learned to embrace the yuck. (Excerpts in this article are taken from: https://www.goalcast.com/2017/11/11/david-goggins/, and please note that for the sake of gentility we have inserted the word ‘yuck’ in place of the one with which it rhymes, and which happens to begin with ‘s.’)

David Goggins was the product of a “physically abusive father, a crippling learning disability, and inflammatory racism.” His teachers held him back to the point where he barely graduated high school. As an adult, he was stuck in a dead-end job spraying for cockroaches.

His upbringing was one of fear and insecurity. His severe health problems, including anemia and sickle cell trait, did not contribute to a sense of confidence. Instead, he was depressed and overate. Eventually, he weighed over 300 pounds.

He says that he was “everything everyone said I was going to be.”

One night, he saw a documentary on Navy Seal training. He saw man after man ring the bell (quitting).

At the graduation of those who had succeeded, the commanding officer stood up in front of the Navy Seals and said: “We live in a world where mediocrity is often rewarded. These men up here detest mediocrity.”

David Goggins said, “I wasn’t even mediocre. I wasn’t anything…Up until that point…I had chosen the four-lane highway for my life…the easy route…I decided then to join the Navy Seals.”

This decision changed the course of David’s life. His commitment to something bigger than himself led to a life of excellence:

  • David is the only member of the U.S. Armed Forces to ever complete all three — the U.S. Army Ranger School, Navy SEAL training, and the Air Force Tactical Air Controller training.
  • Graduated from Basic Underwater Demolitions/SEAL (BUD/S) training with Class 235 in 2001 and was assigned to SEAL Team FIVE.
  • Graduated from Army Ranger School with the distinction of enlisted “Top Honor Man.”
  • Multiple deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq.
  • Bodyguard for Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari.
  • He has raised over $2 million for the NPO, Special Operations Warrior Foundation, providing college scholarship and educational counseling to the surviving children of Special Operations personnel killed in the line of duty.
  • David is without a doubt one of the world’s best endurance athletes. He has finished over 50 endurance races, taken home first place several times, and consistently places in the top five.
  • In 2016, David completed the Infinitus 88k in first place, easily one of the most challenging and brutal races in the world. He won the race almost twenty minutes ahead of the next finisher.
  • Guinness World Record for pullups. On his third attempt at breaking the record, David completed 4,030 pullups in 17 hours.
  • Consistently one of the top 20 ultra-marathoners in the world.
  • He was the lead feature in Runner’s World magazine, where he was named, “Running Hero.”
  • Outside Magazine named him, “The Fittest (Real) Man in America.”
  • Triathlete called him “The Toughest Athlete on the Planet.”
  • Stars & Stripes Magazine said, “He epitomizes what a SEAL is.”

      He has run the world’s toughest races. He has endured and completed the hardest military programs that have ever been designed to break and shape people.

      HOW DID DAVID DO THIS? He embraced the yuck.

      “I had to start thinking about how I was going to overcome all of the things around me.”

      “How do you get mentally tough? It’s a lifestyle…You don’t hit the snooze button. You get up. You don’t want to go run? You go run. You don’t want to go swim? You go swim. You don’t want to make your bed? You make your bed. You don’t want to clean your house? You clean your house. You don’t want to study? You study. That’s how you start to callous your mind. That became my life. If you say you’re gonna wake up at 4:00 in the morning to go run? Wake up at 4:00 a.m.! It’s gonna s_ _k. It’s not gonna be fun. Do something that s_ _ _s every single day of your life. That’s how you grow. Embrace the yuck.”

      This may be the perfect time to rewrite your story. What is one thing in your life that you have been putting off? Turn your story around. Make 2020 something that worked for you, not against you.
      By: Mae Lewis