The most difficult civilian course on the planet
I recently enrolled into what is largely considered the most physically and mentally challenging course available to non military civilians. The event is called “Kokoro”, and was created by Sealfit CEO and former Navy Seal commander Mark Divine. It is a grueling 50 hour crucible modeleed after the infamous “Hell Week ” given to Navy Seal candidates. The navy seals have a very high failure rate (as much as 50% or more) as does Kokoro. However, students who complete Kokoro who then go on to do the real Hell Week of the Navy Seals have an extremely high success rate. 2 things I know for sure, this is both the most excitement and most fear I have felt in a very long time!
In preparation for this event I have adopted a very strict schedule of 2-a-day workouts along with my regular 2-a-day Jiu-jitsu training (modified to reduce the risk of injury). I do this Monday through Friday with Friday being only 1 day of Jiu-jitsu training. Saturday is Competition Class at my Jiu-jitsu school, Team Tooke which consists of a 20 minute warm up followed by about 90 minutes of sparring. That class alone is grueling. To follow it up with maniacal sealfit training is just plain brutal…but I love it! Workouts consists of running (trails and hills), swimming (25-35 laps per session), weight training (deadlifts, squats, overhead presses, overhead squats, lunges,…everything!), body weight exercises (pushups, squats, pull-ups, sit-ups, lunges, hand stand pushups,…everything!). On Saturdays (after the exhausting competition class is when I do my rucking. Rucking is carrying a weighted backpack (55-75lbs) around on your back and walking briskly for long periods of time and for several miles like an insane person. The only pause is to drink some water, refuel and do some pushups, squats, burpees and hill runs before continuing on. My favorite part is seeing my neighbors faces as I march past them during their dog walks wearing combat boots and military pants. If it’s near the end of the ruck I’ll likely be covered in dirt so the looks on their faces are even better. I imagine they think I’m either a terrorist or a vigilante of some sort destined to leave a wake of destruction in my path LOL.
What is your WHY?
In a recent email I received from the Sealfit organization, they emphasized the importance of “knowing your why”. They said that many members who fail, do so because they do not have a clear and profound reason for doing something so challenging. And once hour 25 comes along and your sleep deprived, shivering in the cold and physically exhausted only to realize that you’re just halfway through, not having a clear “why” will send most people packing. I don’t want this to happen to me so I have thought deeply about why I’m doing this.
My answer has evolved over the past weeks and will likely continue to as I approach the event. Of course, I think about my wife, my brother, my parents, family, friends and students and I gain a tremendous amount of motivation. The email also stated that we need to have our “why” ready to fire off at the request of any instructor and it needs to be quick or risk additional work. My first “WHY” idea was simple: “One day I will die, but today I am alive so I’m going to live fully”. I like this idea and I say it during some of my more difficult training sessions. So here is my most recent idea that I believe will serve me well when I’m suffering in hell with my fellow Kokoro teammates: “What I’m doing right now is the best way to express gratitude for the life that I have been given”. This statement unites my love for family, friends, students and life and puts everything into perspective.
To summarize, this is going to be the biggest challenge I have ever been a part of. I completed the Sealfit Comprehensive course in 2014. This was a 5 day event that was extremely difficult…but at least we got about 5 hours of sleep every night. Kokoro will basically be everything we did in those 5 days but crammed into 50 straight hours.