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What enables a person to swim seven miles in frigid, white-capped ocean waters at the start of a mission?

To carry a 250lb man up three flights of stairs while taking enemy fire, or exhaust six sleepless days and nights running around with a fractured right leg?

What allows a person to bust through a door knowing full well there is someone with an assault rifle on the other side trying to harm him?

How is it possible to endure continuous physical abuse and confinement in a three-by-three-foot concrete box without food for more than a week and finish with a smile?

Or not only survive exhausting days and nights of sub-zero temperatures during a blinding blizzard, but thrive, coming out harder and stronger?

What makes one voluntarily return time and time again to a war zone?

Essentially, what makes a Navy SEAL?

I have been asked numerous times what part of SEAL training is physical and what part is mental, and my answer is always the same. It’s 100% physical and 100% mental.

Those of us who have served in the teams are hesitant to list our trials. I cite the above examples to validate that what I have to offer comes from very real and current experiences. It comes from someone who has been there, done that, and truly survived.

Only 1 out of 1,000 who want to become a SEAL get the shot to attend BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL Training), and of those less than 20 percent will make it to graduation.

The guys who thought it would be cool to be a SEAL because they saw them in the movies or wanted to use it to pick up chicks last about two days. The ones that make it endure the toughest military training in the world and possess these common traits: persistence, dedication, and tenacity.

Quite simply, these people are hard.

But, it’s much more than that. The real successes and achievements attributed to SEALs are because of how we’ve trained and conditioned our bodies and minds. It’s the ability to see the real world and react to any situation without hesitation, and make split second decisions that could have big ramifications.

As a Navy SEAL, achieving and maintaining maximum physical fitness is a basic job requirement. I’ve consumed the better part of my life working hard to stay at peak physical levels for mission success.

From my physical toughness test to tips for expanding your comfort zone, head on over to Patriot Headquarters to see if you have the guts to challenge your limits and train like a Navy SEAL.

Be a survivor… not a statistic,

Cade Courtley

Former Navy SEAL / 4Patriots Contributor

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