Push ’em Out!


Christmas 2014 8Once a week I get my butt kicked.

Officially—it’s called “Bootcamp”—but, seriously…it’s an hour and a half of pure hell and I can think of many names more appropriate (and inappropriate) for this insanity.

The rules are this: Lunge, squat, jump (try not to cry or chum) and never put the weights down.  Finish the class! In the back of my mind I count the minutes off in incremental segments and dream about throwing my weights at the instructor.

I’m almost…almost, to the point where I’m considering adding in a second torture session a week—now that I can walk by Wednesday, a vast improvement of the groaning cowboy shuffle I displayed until Saturdays in weeks past.

It Pays to be a Winner

My trainer is Meghan.  She is very mean in the best of ways.

Sometimes when I get out of the shower and see myself naked I decide I might like her a teeny tiny little bit because my abs are emerging from a long winters rest, but mostly I hate her.

It’s a complicated relationship.

I saw a cross on her ankle and told her my husband was a pastor and that we started the church around the corner.  I thought I might get a little extra grace.

Class went an extra fifteen minutes that day.  Now, I avoid all eye-contact.

“It May, or May Not, Pay to be a Winner”

Yes, bootcamp sucks—WAAAH WAAH!

But then my son comes home and mentions he’s been invited to a Leadership Retreat for a selected few members of his football team.  He says it involves military drills and I have to dry-clean his suit.


Last Friday after school Kyle changed into his freshly pressed suit and tie and joined his team for Mass.  The boys were then bussed over to Marbella Country Club for a nice dinner.  They returned to the school and climbed into their sleeping bags.  Lights out at 11:00pm.

At 2:00am the boys were awakened to a blasting Bose speaker spewing out unpleasant military chants.  In minutes, they were dressed in a t-shirt with their last name and SEAL cargo pants.

The boys boarded a bus and were driven down to the beach in Encinatas.  It was 33 degrees when they were dumped off on the coast in the middle of the night.  For the next nine hours they were put through NAVY  SEAL training.  They swam, ran, carried logs, sandbags and each other for endless miles, in the dark, in the dirt, all the while getting hosed in the face and freezing—that is until the sun came out and then they were burning up.

‘We’re Not Going to Stop Until We Get at Least One Quitter”

Some of the boys puked.  Others cried.  At one point or another they all lost it.

“Nothing Lasts Forever”

My son Kyle had quarter finals this last week.  He studied every night until past midnight.  He also had a bad cold.  The kid was run down going in to this gig and yet somehow he pushed through every mental and physical barrier imaginable.  Not bad for a sixteen-year-old!

“You Don’t Have to Like It, You Just Have to Do It’

He also kept a smile on his face for most of the time—except for when he was paired with three skinny receivers and they dumped a log fully on his shoulders.  He might have frowned then.

“It’s All Mind Over Matter, If I Don’t Mind, Then it Doesn’t Matter”

Kyle came out on the other side—sunburned, sand burned, nipples chafed and unable to eat for almost twenty-four hours.  He now has bronchitis and double pink eye.  The doctor found sand deep in his ears.

‘On Your Backs, on Your Bellies, on Your Backs, on Your Bellies. Feet!”

But he made it.  And he says he’s glad he did it.  It taught him something valuable about himself.

He can do hard things—and survive.

My little weekly boot camp pales in comparison to the hell Kyle endured last weekend–but it’s hard for me.

Winston Churchill said, “If you are going through hell, keep going.”

My dad used to say, “keep on, keeping on.” Same thing–less profound

Am I willing to do the hard stuff?  Am I willing to endure more than I think I can in order to grasp hold of the extraordinary intangibles of a life well lived: courage, endurance and fortitude—characteristics that will set me apart from the pack.

‘There Are Two Ways to Do Something … the Right Way, and Again’

Often, I’m forced into the hard.  It’s not something I usually sign up for.

But what about when I’m invited to do something bigger and more strenuous than I believe is possible?  Something God sized…

Do I say yes?

Kyle’s training made me think about the hard things I’m not forced into but invited into.

The little nudges from God to tackle really big things—the whispers to take a big risk, or fall down and get back up again.  The knot in the back of my throat saying to engage, speak up, forgive, or step up.

I believe the best things in life aren’t easy—which is why only a few experience the view from the top.  80% of SEAL training volunteers don’t make it over the course of six months.

Most people quit.

I refuse to be one of them.

I don’t think God invites us to live a comfortable life—he’s asking us (like Kyle) to get sand in our ears and get messy.

‘Anybody Want to Quit?”

“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”
― Randy PauschThe Last Lecture

What hard thing has God put before you right now? 

This is the training Kyle went through–although not his school. J Serra’s video is not yet available.


Sources: 10 Inspirational SEAL Quotes


  1. Paola Padovan says:

    That’s how I feel every time I take my crazy exercise class, but I push through and just get it done! Love it Sam!!!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    So Timely…. Thank you Sam for writing this. 🙂 hugs

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