Navy SEAL PT Day 2: Gloves Aren’t a Frivolous Style Detail

21 Jun

Our team showed up early to do a crash course of the name game: 24 out of 26 came to Day 2. Two dozen names to remember and under pressure, plus by surprise. Would we succeed?

Lisa, 47, is the oldest member of SEAL PT Course 25 and she's a 9/11 survivor. CLICK to WATCH her reaction to the experience of Instructor Jack Walston's rigorous course, thus far!

{Navy SEAL PT Day 2: Gloves Aren’t a Frivolous Style Detail}

Instructor Jack Walston’s first surprise was intercepting us early and having us run sprints up and down a hill, which was followed by doing walking push-ups up and down the same hill.

Where as in running going down hill — if done right — is a nice break where gravity aids the effort, doing push-ups down hill and walking on your hands to get to the next rep is extremely brutal.

I‘m doing this SEAL PT Course to raise $16,500 so Cooking With The Troops can host two morale boosting BBQs for wounded soldiers and their families! CLICK to DONATE

After having climbed the hill with these walking push-ups, I turn around and began the trek back down. Up was hard, but down left me eating grass a couple times as my shaky arms collapsed in transitioning my body weight from one arm to the next.

When we reached the line — those who beat me there were passing the time with jumping jacks — it was time for inch-worms back up and down the hill. (Inch worms are progressing sit ups.)

Here is where I regained my dignity by making it up and back as the third finisher — and was promptly rewarded with doing squat thrusts until everyone made it back … and, my golly, my team certainly inched along for what seemed like an eternity.

Instructor Jack Walston’s intention seemed to be burning out our quads and shoulders — progressing split-leg lounges combined with squat thrusts was a real doozy, and, as you guessed it, up and down that darn hill!

The surprise element is really what gets me in this course. I had anticipated that we would be filling up two-10 pound bags of sand to carry on our backs before we officially began the day.

Cradling my bruised and dirty hands because that's about all they could do was hang weakly from my arms for a couple hours post-this morning's PT.

So this meant that I left our name-game meet-up, running in a column glove-less, thinking that I wanted to get to the pit and dig right in and filling my gloves with sand in the process would not make for a pleasant rest of the morning.

I should have known that anticipation is the kiss of death in which Instructor Jack Walston delights in.

I ended up bare-handing the whole workout across grass, sticks, stones, dirt, pavement.

That might not sound like a big-deal, but conservatively half the morning was spent on the ground with our hands bearing our weight … which created a perfect storm of pain — muscle fatigue turned into muscle burn, plus the palms searing from my 140+pounds embedding gravel and dirt into every push-up, squat thrust, eight-count body builder, etc.

That mental game I fought hard with, then just mitigated by splitting my weight between my knees and hands in modified push-ups, the only reps which offered a shared-burden option.

(Still no cake-walk, as proven by my running spandex which had perfect knee-cap circles of skin left behind. I could only laugh at the silver lining: my showering process shortened — no need to exfoliate the knees!)

Long story short: we spent a lot of time in the muck of Central Park’s knobby hills and pathways — Instructor Walston would casually remark throughout the morning: “Man, I hope you’re watching for dog poop.”

He might have used a word other than “poop” but the reality remains the same, as does the notion that most of us realistically could not see it in time, if there was any. I also had relative indifference to such a petty concern in the midst of the physical stress at hand.

Perhaps, though he was hoping to freak out this fashionista with the thought of germ-riddled dirt.

What’s the Take-Away?

“The only easy day was yesterday”.

Ultimately, what I learned in my track & field career is that sometimes the fastest people never make it to the collegiate or Olympic level — not because their talent or physical prowess lacks, rather it comes down to desire and mental endurance.

The same is true here in this SEAL PT Course, as it is true for those who make it to BUDs.

My shirt is hanging limp because it is soaking wet -- hence my faint smile & red face!

If I have the posh ability to spend 22 hours recovering between sessions and still struggle to maintain a respectable level of exertion, it is little wonder that the wash-out rate for BUDs/SEAL training is what it is.

For Instructor Walston’s class of 200, only about 8 percent graduated.

He’s counting on our class of 26 to dwindle to a mere 16 graduates. And, I believe him, but I won’t be among them.

In true SEAL fashion, Instructor Walston said that each day is going to get worse and this is just the beginning — ie. “The only easy day was yesterday”.

Remember to Join the Team

I might be one of the few crazy ones to take on such a grueling week “for fun” but you certainly can join my effort of raising support for Cooking With The Troops.

During the recovery process from my Traumatic Brain Injury, it was such an amazing comfort and boost to my morale to feel normal — even just for the simple joy of having my favorite chap stick on my lips.

I can imagine that for these troops, dealing with hospital life is just the beginning — then comes being far away from home and the emotional and pyschology complications of recovery and dealing with the injury.

To give these troops a bit of soul comfort, Cooking With The Troops will be hosting two BBQs in the coming months — once the funds are raised — and they will take place at Walter Reid and in Ramstein, Germany.

My goal is to raise $16,500, which is the total cost for both the BBQs, domestic and abroad. Here’s how you can contribute:

$10:  covers the costs of napkins for a typical event
$20:  covers the costs to feed a meal to a wounded warrior or family member at a European event
$50:  covers the cost of disposable plates for an event
$100:  covers the cost of drinks for a typical event
$250:  covers the cost for all paper goods at an event
$500:  covers most or all of the cost of meats for a typical barbecue
$1,000:  covers most or all of the cost of airfare to send a guest chef to a European event

It’s like a neighborhood block party! So what are you signing up for? How will you contribute to our troops?


PS ~ When Instructor Walston randomly grabbed one of us, we won the “name game” the second time around, thanks to Ann who nailed all 23 of our names — much to our relief!



4 Responses to “Navy SEAL PT Day 2: Gloves Aren’t a Frivolous Style Detail”

  1. Maggie Goff June 21, 2011 at 2:16 PM #

    The links for donating are not working. 😦


    • Thrifty Vintage Chic June 21, 2011 at 2:29 PM #

      Updated & corrected! Thank you!!!


      • Houston PT Lifer June 21, 2011 at 5:44 PM #

        Instr. Walston has a wicked sense of humor. If your class decides on doing run cadences when you run in a group, I highly recommend the theme song from “Spongebob Squarepants.” You appear to have accepted that this is a mental game more than anything. Fantastic. You’re gonna do well. Now, go out and have fun with it.


        • Thrifty Vintage Chic June 21, 2011 at 9:41 PM #

          that’s awesome!! I never thought about cadences … and I don’t actually know any! Thanks for the support … and I am remembering to smile even in those moments when it feels the worst!!


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