Lessons from David Goggins

I was recently listening to the latest David Goggins episode on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast.

He was promoting his new book, Can't Hurt Me, but also appeared on JRE 10 months ago. I'd really recommend listening to both episodes. In case you don't know who David Goggins is, here are some of his achievements:

  • Ran 100 miles in 18:56:00 for his first ever ultra marathon.
  • Twenty-two days later, ran 3:08 at the Las Vegan marathon -- fast enough to qualify for Boston.
  • Completed Badwater Ultramarathon 2006 and 2007, arguably one of the world's hardest races.
  • Ran 203.5 miles at the 48-hour national championships.
  • Came 1st place in many other races.
  • Broke the world pull-up record with 4,025 in 17 hours. This was after completing over 60,000 pull-ups in training and failing twice before. He suffered third-degree burns to his hands.
  • Is absolutely jacked.

I can really resonate with his message, and his achievements. These things he has achieved require some real grit -- they aren't things you can fake and get away with. These are some of my favorite quotes:

You want to be uncommon amongst uncommon people.

I once posted this to a Telegram group I am in and someone made a comment saying it shouldn't be about deliberately going down a different path because of others. I agree, but I think this quote is more about doing things that others wouldn't even dare to do. Carve out your own lifestyle, consisting of what you want to do.

The only way that you’re ever going to get to the other side of this journey is by suffering. You have to suffer in order to grow.

I can definitely agree with this one. Whilst our achievements and experiences are different, I know that suffering brings on growth. I went through some pretty dark times in 2017, but I stuck at it and came out the other side with more experience and knowledge than anyone else could have given me.

When I ran my first ultra marathon, it started to feel really bad about 15km from the end. I was not prepared for that event, but I had said I would do it and didn't want to let anyone down. It was easy to give up, to say I was too injured or to only finish the first lap. I was running alone for the majority of the event and your brain starts to play games with you. Having completed it, it's almost comical to think back on.

The more things you can do to get outside of that zone that makes you feel good, the stronger your mind is going to get. It starts getting used to doing s**t like this. It’s not fun, but now my mind is used to it.

Again, I can attest to this. I've seen this with running. The more you go out and do it, the less mentally taxing it is to do. You start to think "I've completed 52km, what the hell is Xkm". Plus, it gets physically easier.

I recently took up static apnea and it seems the majority of the battle is mental. You have to accept you're going to get pretty bad contractions and be OK with them. Some people give up as soon as they get a slight urge to breath. I try and stick it out for as long as possible. My CO2 and O2 tables get pretty tough but knowing I've reached longer times keeps you willing to hold on.

We like to live our lives on social media with lies about ourselves about how great we are… Get to the source! Fix the problem.

A while ago I wrote about why I quit Instagram. The problem with social media is that you're curating your public image to suit others. You spend hours looking for the "perfect" photo and then receiving shallow feedback or compliments. You end up doing heroic, stupid workouts or commenting with excuses about why your performance lacked. Instead, we should be looking inside ourselves and chase down our demons.

I deleted my Strava account today. I use Garmin Connect more and would only log into Strava to see if anyone "liked" my posts. Apart from on my blog, I rarely mention my personal achievements publicly.

There are many other quotes from him I really think about. Again, I'd recommend listening to both his JRE episodes or watching the few other interviews that exist on YouTube. I definitely think there is food for thought there.