Okay, so last month, I wrote an article about the hazards of going into retirement without being prepared. I was planning to get back to my previous article’s Part II when I started receiving messages from a couple of folks who read the retirement article and wanted more information. To me that is much more important than tracking the strategic plan of the Russian hierarchy, they can rest in place just like they are doing in Ukraine.

First and foremost, everyone needs to understand that there are many different challenges out there for folks to take a look at. The one that I signed up for was exactly what I needed to get me back on track, but that’s not to say that it would be right for everyone. I would recommend taking a look at several and then making a decision on what fits best. Just make sure that it is something that pushes your limits because that’s how you can get better.

The Deliberate Discomfort Challenge

The one that I signed up for is called The Deliberate Discomfort Challenge, and it is run by a company called Mission Six Zero (missionsixzero.com). From January to May, they start a new group every month on the 1st Monday, but check their website to make sure. You can find the Challenge page at challenge.deliberatediscomfort.com.

The Challenge is built around the book “Deliberate Discomfort,” written by retired SF officer Jason Van Camp, which gives everyone a great foundation to work from. You will read stories about amazing individuals, and there are videos to accompany the chapters. It’s a great way to see how strong a person can be in some of the worst circumstances.

Each day of the Challenge has activities in the same six focus areas or domains. You must complete each of the six every day to move on. Everyone is required to report on how many they completed that day. The six domains are mental, physical, spiritual, professional, emotional, and social. 

Anyone Can Join

The Challenge is open to anyone who chooses to join; however, there are usually a good number of veterans in the group. Regardless of the backgrounds of the participants, the Challenge was the closest thing to being in a unit that I experienced since hanging up the uniform. You will meet and learn a lot about most of the folks who are going through the same things you are. It is possible to do the Challenge without much or any interaction with others, but you probably won’t gain as much from the experience that way. I finished the Challenge in the beginning of March 2023 and am still in contact with many of the folks I did the Challenge with.

The folks who run the Challenge understand that some of us have physical limitations based upon our time in the military, and they will entertain modifications to some of the physical requirements. I would recommend doing everything you can to get the most out of the work. I had operations on both shoulders to repair torn bicep muscles. Like many of us, I didn’t really do physical therapy following the operations, so I deal with “frozen shoulder” issues, which makes it difficult to do any exercise that requires me to raise my arms above my head. Working on range of motion with the exercise, I was able to break up some of the scar tissue, which makes life a lot easier for me now.

Some of the requirements will probably make you scratch your head and wonder what the heck they are trying to do, but in order to get the full effect out of the Challenge, you need to do it all. You’ll get it eventually, and it will be well worth the time. Just stick with it and keep knocking out the six domains every day.