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Just Goggins it

| Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Since middle school, when I was complaining about a mountain of work I had or an upcoming sports practice, my dad would smirk at me and say, “Just Goggins it.” This response would always irk me because I was hoping for a response that sympathized with my situation. At the time, those three words did not carry much meaning for me. I may have known some of the story of David Goggins, a retired Navy seal, but I never completely understood the message until I began learning more about the man on my own. 

David Goggins is an absolute legend. He was raised with an abusive father and escaped his home to a small town in Indiana with his mother at just eight years old. Goggins was one of few African Americans in his town and commonly faced racism and bullying at his school. Since birth, any glimmer of confidence or hope had been shot down by those around him. He had a severe stutter and thought lowly of himself. In school, he struggled with classes due to severe learning disabilities. After high school, Goggins joined the Air Force, working as a Tactical Air Control Party officer for five years. After his contract finished, Goggins began spraying for cockroaches at an Ecolab. After work, he would come home and eat an entire box of mini donuts to reward himself for his efforts. His weight was up to 300 pounds and his future prospects were looking bleak. But then an idea began to form in his head.

While evaluating his life, Goggins believed there must be something better for him to do. He then dreamed up an image in his head. He envisioned himself walking across the stage as he was officially named a Navy SEAL. With that dream in mind, his life changed for good. In three months, he lost 100 pounds with an excruciatingly difficult training and diet regimen. He joined the Navy and on his third attempt, Goggins passed BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/ SEAL) training to become a SEAL. After passing training, his legend only grew larger. In 2005, Goggins decided to run an ultramarathon (100 miles) to raise money for the families of his friends who had recently passed away in Afghanistan. However, in order to qualify for the fundraiser, Goggins had to run 100 miles in 24 hours to prove he was capable of going the distance. He had not run in months and was about to try the impossible. On race day, Goggins reached mile 70 and appeared incapable of continuing. He was peeing blood and his ankles were swollen to the size of baseballs. His wife implored him to stop, but he attempted to keep going by walking. Around 10 miles later, his wife told him he wasn’t going to finish within the 24 hour limit. Upon hearing he would fail, Goggins ran and never stopped, finishing the 100 miles and needing an immediate trip to the hospital afterwards. Goggins continued running ultramarathons and eventually broke the world record for pull ups at 4,030. A man who was once afraid of his own shadow and did everything in his power to avoid uncomfortable situations was now the toughest man in the world.

For most, when reading about Goggins, the most memorable aspects of his story are his physical accomplishments. While his world record endurance is a marvel to behold, I believe what makes him so special is his mental fortitude. When he speaks about his story, Goggins always highlights the switch in his mindset as the deciding factor in his transformation. He was never talented. However, he simply refused to be stopped from reaching his goals in life. People thought he was crazy, but he did not care. Whether he had blood running down his leg and 30 miles to go or 100 pounds to lose before SEAL training, Goggins would put his entire self into achieving his dream. This is a lesson we can all learn from and apply to our lives. No matter what your purpose is in life, developing your mind to be unwavering and focused on your respective goals is a must to reach your potential as a human being. This extends from career to character. Determining what you ought to do and then doing it seems like the easiest task in the world. However, we all know how difficult it is in everyday life. With that in mind, I challenge you to improve your mental fortitude everyday. Set goals for yourself and achieve them. Whether it’s getting in shape or being a great friend, envision the future you want and just make it happen. No matter what people say or how daunting the path seems, have a vision for your life and “Just Goggins it.”

Mikey Colgan is a sophomore from Boston, Massachusetts, studying finance and ACMS. He is an avid college basketball fan and resides in Morrissey Hall. He can be reached at [email protected] or @Mikeycolgs15 on Twitter.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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