Friday, June 10, 2011

From great reading, comes great inspiration

Don't you think that is an accurate statement?

Me, personally, I think it is absolutely perfect. A good book should inspire you to want to learn more, to read more, maybe even do more. It doesn't even have to be a book, it could be a well-written article in a newspaper, in a magazine, or online maybe in a blog.

I once read an article on diamond computer chips. Yeah, okay, I'm a geek by day and this was fascinating. Beyond the use of diamonds to make computer chips it inspired me to go out and learn more about nanotechnology. I even invested in a nanotechnology fund. Hey! I know a good thing when I see it.

I read a fiction book where the heroine was a glass artist. The details and descriptions were so wonderful I had to go look into what exactly glass-blowing was. It intrigued me so much that I signed up to take a class. I have since taken three classes. Gotta love art!

Right now I am reading the book Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10 by Marcus Luttrell and Patrick Robinson. I'm only halfway through the book and just getting to what I know will be the worst and best part of the story, but this book is inspirational.

Navy SEALS are amazing human beings who put their lives on the line for us, for our country. It's what they do. Not only do they do it, but they want to do it. You see, these guys literally go through hell to become a SEAL. Not that every military person doesn't, but these guys go through something beyond your wildest dreams. At least beyond my dreams.

Some of the strongest men entertain the idea of being a Navy SEAL and they may even get a shot at it, but it's not strength that makes a man a SEAL, it's determination and endurance. Determination to succeeed and achieve something not everyone can, and endurance to get through hell just so you can go through it all over again in the real world when they are fighting to save our freedoms. They have to want this beyond anything they have ever wanted in their entire lives.

What Marcus Luttrell describes in his book is only bits and pieces of the real deal, of that I am sure. But what he does describe is enlightening and inspiring. Just to get indoctrined into the SEAL training program these guys have to achieve the following:

1. Run 1.5 miles (while wearing boots and long pants) in 11 minutes, 30 seconds
2. Swim 500 yards (breast stroke or side stroke) in 12 minutes, 30 seconds
3. Minimum of 42 push-ups in 2 minutes
4. Minimum of 50 sit-ups in 2 minutes
5. Minimum of 6 dead-hang pull-ups

This is just the beginning. It gets a heck of a lot worse from there. And that only gives you a taste of the physical stamina required. It doesn't even touch on the strategic and tactical skills that have to be learned, retained, and tested. Without those skills you can't be a SEAL.

I'm not suggesting that I'm inspired to go out and be a Navy SEAL, because let's face it, I don't have the right equipment. I do, however, have the personality to set myself some goals and achieve them.

Since I've already achieved my goal of running 3 road races this year before I messed up my knee, I'm thinking I might set new goals for myself. Yeah, no, I cannot do all of those 5 points a potential SEAL has to complete, but I can shoot for some of them. After my knee heals.


Old Fa** from Florida June 10, 2011 at 11:43 AM  

Great article! A well written piece that only begins to describe what very few of us do to assure that we all have the freedoms we have long enjoyed.

Denise June 10, 2011 at 12:00 PM  

Thank you.
I hope some people who read this are inspired to read Marcus Luttrell's and SEAL Team 10's story.
I know I want to thank him and all of them for what they do.

UK March 13, 2012 at 10:28 PM  

This book was unreal. Never have I read a nonfiction book before where I felt the events in it could not possibly be true. What Marcus Luttrell and his comrades went through was amazing. It is written so well that I felt I was with him on the Hindu Kush in Afghanistan. This man and his SEALS team are heroes and we are lucky to live in a country where these people are on our side.

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