How Military Fitness Changed My Life

How Military Fitness Changed My Life

Tyler, the fifteen year-old son of a friend of mine, asked me a question for a school project,"How has military fitness changed/affected your life?" Leave it to the next generation to come up with the best questions. Tyler, this is for you pal...

...the short answer is military fitness shaped who I am today, and I don't just mean literally regarding my appearance, I mean my attitude, which is a factor of ten times more important than anything else in life. In SEAL team training, before we fired a single shot at the range or pulled a grenade pin or jumped from a plane or swam out of a sub, our instructors reminded us repeatedly that those privileges - and yes jumping from a plane or operating from a submarine or shooting a weapon ARE privileges - are reserved for those who have proven they have weapon's "platform" to not just handle these tasks but excel at them under the most adverse conditions. The weapon's platform the instructors are referring too is our body. Anyone can complete the aforementioned tasks but can they excel at them when the chips are not in your favor - the difference is not just having a body that is up to the physical punishment of these tasks but they have a command and control system (our brain) that can think under pressure and a compass (your attitude) that will not waiver when the going gets tough.

That's what "military" fitness has done for me - it's taught me a critical relationship: the body obeys the brain - not the other way around. (Incidentally, this was not learned overnight - actually it was learned through many sleepless nights - thank you Hellweek instructors among many others!) Once you learn that you are in charge of your Body - your weapon's platform - then you've just increased your chances at mission success - it's not about how fancy your gear is, it's about knowing your capabilities and knowing that limitations are set by you, not by anyone else. Military fitness is the cornerstone to SEAL Team - so much so, that platoons use a slogan daily to remind everyone why we conduct Physical Training (military fitness) - it is: "The platoon that PTs together, stays together!" Point being is that the more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war.

Military fitness is what drives me today to build Perfect Fitness, because you don't need to go through SEAL training or for that matter any military training to benefit from "military" fitness. You see, there are only three things in life you can control: your brain, body and attitude (I'm assuming you're lucky enough to control your brain and body - i.e. not mentally or physically impaired). Learn to control these three things and you'll possess the tools to not only handle anything life throws at you and you'll be able to define your life. It won't happen overnight, but every moment you're learning to take control of our body - getting fit - is a moment you're succeeding, and this success, which is hard fought and takes time, will permeate through other elements of your life. Stick with it, and you'll find your attitude improves, your brain functions better and your body has more energy and is better conditioned to be what I call your Life Experience Vehicle - your experiences in life are directly dependent on how conditioned your body is to experience whatever it is you choose to experience.

So whether you choose to experience SEAL training or bagging a 14,000 foot mountain peak or SCUBA diving with whale sharks, knocking out some Perfect Pushups is a great way to start learning how to take control of your body - do this, and I promise you, you'll have the tools to take control of your life!



Alden Mills, creator of the Perfect Pushup, is CEO of Perfect Fitness, based in CA. Massachusetts born, Alden went to the Naval Academy where he went on to become a Navy SEAL. After retiring in 2000, he earned his MBA at Carnegie Mellon. His ultimate mission is to inspire everyone to pursue their own dreams. For more from Alden, check out

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