(Author left, and assault team engaging targets with Mark 19 in extreme cold weather environment)

Since I first started my physical training program(s) at 13 years old, I never took intentional periods off for rest: not a month, not a week, not a day. There certainly were days where it was not possible to train, otherwise I was putting in the time daily.

Even trapped in the in-law’s house for Thanksgiving or Christmas (yes Christmas!!), doomed to endless hours of eating and watching mindless football, I would customarily bail out to hit the neighborhood streets for a solid run, punctuated by an eventual vault over the fence at the elementary school for pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups, bar-dips at the playground jungle gym.

Back home at the Unit, a typical week would look like this:

Early morning arrival for PT consisting of either a five mile run in under 40 minutes, an eight-mile ruck march with Selection standard wight of ~50 pounds, or a run down range to complete the formidable obstacle courses our engineers built for us. Coupled with a decent bout of stretching, these events covered all four pillars of combat physical training.

In the late morning, the squadron stopped training at ~1030hrs for PT, which for me consisted of either a two-thousand meter swim, or weight lifting, which in general rotated between push and pull exercises; push one day, pull the next day. That was a one hour event followed by a mad dash to the chow hall in the last half hour prior to 1300hrs.

After work, I liked to calm down with a turn on the stair climber or stationary bike, or a bout on the rock climbing wall.

Several events I would engage in to focus on individual pillars included work upstairs in the boxing ring: heavy bag work, speed-bag work, and sparing among the pure-of-heart fighters that fancied the challenge. I had the good (or bad?) fortune of routine boxing, kick-boxing bouts with American Bad-ass Dr. Dale M. Comstock, Josh Collins, Jim “Smokey” West, and Gracie Jujitsu brothers Royce and Rorion Gracie.