David Goggins was a 300-pound exterminator recovering from the trauma of beatings by his father — a pimping owner of a roller-skating rink who made young David sanitize skates and scrape gum off the floor until midnight.
Then David watched, with milkshake in hand, a Navy SEALS reality show and made a decision to be a SEAL. When he showed up at the office, the recruiter scowled at his obesity. He would have to lose 100 pounds in three-months, the cutoff to get training. David decided to redirect his childhood pain into the arduous physicality of SEAL training.
The pursuit of that impossible goal is what made David Goggins the person he is today. He’s arguably America’s fittest man, the only serviceman to complete not only the Navy SEALs but also Army Rangers and U.S. Air Force Tactical Air Control Party. He now runs consecutive ultra-marathons and is a motivational speaker.
David Goggins credits the voice inside his head, God’s voice, with training him.
Just as the Apostle Paul went into the Arabian desert for three years and was trained by Jesus himself, God’s voice led David through SEAL training.
“Even though people may not believe it because I cuss (which I think is hilarious), I believe in God big time,” David says on a YouTube video. “I’ve had this voice in my head since I was a young boy. What trained me was that voice. This voice in my head guided me to the spot where I’m at today.”
David Goggins, now 46, grew up in Williamsville, New York, where he was regularly subjected to racist taunts. His late-night work at Skateland started at age six, where he aired out the bathrooms from marijuana smoke and collapsed around midnight on a couch where his dad hid a loaded pistol.
David’s father, Trunnis, ran a side hustle of hookers, with whom he would indulge himself, cheating on mom. He was a brutal monster who regularly beat David and his mother until they escaped, with the help of a neighbor, to rural Indiana. The toxic upbringing left him poorly adjusted, and he drifted through school hovering slightly above a failing grade point average.
In his junior year, he decided to join the Air Force and amped up his studies to graduate and get in. He completed a 4-year stint but dropped out of Pararescue training because he was afraid of water. He was not fearless but would eventually learn how to turn his fears into energy to perform herculean feats.
After an honorable discharge from the Air Force, David picked up work in a pest control business, removing rats from fast food joints afterhours. Low self-esteem and a life adrift contributed to an easy slide towards obesity. Gorging on unhealthy food and a sedentary lifestyle contributed to his weight problem.
That’s when he watched a program about SEALs and decided quixotically to join.
The recruiter didn’t mince words. He was way overweight, and there weren’t a lot of African Americans who passed the SEAL training. He would need to lose about 100 pounds in three months to get in. He was almost too old to try out for the program, so three months was the cutoff. The recruiter probably thought he’d never see David again.
David decided to prove him wrong.
“I realized that not all physical and mental limitations are real,” David writes in his inspirational memoir “Can’t Hurt Me.” “I realized I had a habit of giving up way too soon.” Read the rest: David Goggins, once obese, Navy SEAL