I want to make myself better tomorrow than I am today.
Sean has served almost 20 years in the United States Marine Corps as a fighter pilot and a test pilot–flying 28 different types of aircraft. He’s a father and husband and has been blessed beyond all he deserves. He’s passionate about fitness and health-taking a holistic approach to fitness and exercise with focus on endurance athletics. You can find him on Twitter at Sean Garick@push_ur_limits and on the web at pushurlimits.com.
Now how do I tell you everything about me in a few short lines? No, I can’t, no way. But I can provide a few highlights and tell you about some of the things which matter most. Let’s start with the amazing…
One of greatest joys in life is watching someone accomplish something they once thought impossible. It’s amazing and life altering- to realize that there really are no limits to what you can do. I love to be a part of that. We live in a world of amazing people. People overcoming every type of obstacle imaginable; some are physical, some emotional, some mental. The people who are doing this have one thing in common- they believe! They may not have always believed, often it was someone else who believed in them first, but they believe now.
“Every great achievement begins with the decision to try.”
I’m constantly in awe of what people are capable of when they believe and apply. Of course, I’m also amazed by what others can’t accomplish because they just don’t believe it’s possible.“I CAN’T” are the words I absolutely hate more than any others! I’ve faced these ‘limitations’ myself. When I first joined the Marine Corps I had a group of buddies who invited me to go for a run with them. Then they told me they were going 10 miles. I quickly declined but inside I was astonished. How can someone run that far? I was firmly convinced that there were two kinds of people in this world: those that could run far and those that couldn’t- and I was squarely in the group that couldn’t. I lived with that until I was in my mid-thirties.
“If we all did the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves”
Then I began to wonder…hmmmm…what if...I wonder if I could add a little distance. I began incrementally with a little, then a little more. I remember the first time I ran 7 miles, then the first time I ran 10. I began to believe. Then eventually the Marine Corps Marathon. Now, remember my mindset at that time– 26.2 miles was paramount to walking on the Moon. I mean, it was that far out there. It was an impossibility and yet, I did it. I had achieved the impossible. Here I was a pretty smart guy, a Marine and a fighter pilot and yet I had lived with a SELF-MADE limit for over 35 years. I had limited myself for absolutely no reason. I had held myself back. I had diminished how full my life could be. I had done this to myself. I vowed never to do it again.
“Do not fear death. Fear an unlived life.”
There are much better examples of this than mine. Just last weekend I met a Marine who told me about the number of screws and metal parts in his right leg- he’d been injured in combat. He and I met while both doing some open water swim training in the bay- training for his Half Ironman that he was doing the very next weekend. Awesome! I am fully convinced now that all limits can be overcome. And more importantly they can be overcome by anyone….anyone who is willing. We have the power in ourselves- the power to limit ourselves or the power to live an unlimited life!
“Whether you think you can or think you can’t. You are probably right.”
I love optimism. I have no room in my life for negative thoughts or negative people. I believe that attitude is contagious. The old saying, “You are either affecting or infecting others” rings very true. Motivation, positive thinking, and encouragement– these things are absolutely crucial to your mental state and your ability to achieve success. And these things have a shelf-life. They are fleeting! The book I read says ‘renew your mind daily’. It takes constant replenishment and that replenishment takes effort. We must work to remain positive and motivated. I love quotes and inspirational sayings- if you follow me on Twitter you already know this. These things replenish me. They renew me and my commitment. Yet another reason that I love Socially_Fit– the constant motivation and encouragement.
Athletes amaze me. I’m addicted to their inner strength. They get it, when the rest of the population doesn’t. “Every damn day!”That motto, that mindset. Regardless of the circumstances, the weather, the mood- they get up and go do their thing. Run, swim, bike, lift, Zumba, Crossfit, it doesn’t matter. That mindset translates into everything else in their life- the ability to push through the pain and to get up when you can’t. Because let’s be honest, life is going to knock us on our ass sometimes. How long we stay there is up to us and is often more a mental battle than a physical one. Every athlete knows it’s better to get up, get going and get it done. Life is always better when we do this rather than just lying there feeling sorry for ourselves. And similarly the day is always better when we get up and get that workout done. Love it.
I am a big believer in well-rounded fitness and truly love all forms of exercise. In training myself to become a better athlete it didn’t take long before I expanded my view to include all the aspects of what healthy really means. The ONLY view that’s acceptable is a holistic view. We’ve all seen that guy in the gym that looks like the Hulk above the waist but is standing on toothpicks! Or the opposite version of the ultracyclist with amazing legs but looks like a 10 year boy above the waist. This imbalance is present in anyone who only focuses on ‘one’ thing. They develop imbalances in muscle strength. Different parts of the body compensate and stress is placed on parts that weren’t made for it. The eventual result is injury. Balance is the key to our health and I believe in holistic view of muscle development with an emphasis on core-related fitness.
But we can expand this holistic concept a little more. For example, great exercise without proper nutrition will result in ceilings on our achievement as well.As I began to move into multi-hour workout sessions and multiple workouts per day,nutrition became a more important part of my life. You cannot train at high levels without making nutrition one of the pillars upon which your fitness is built. Now it’s about focusing on the various aspects of nutrition: pre-workout fueling, fueling during the workout, recover fueling and getting the body ready for the next session- which many times is only a few hours away. I get so tired of eating! Very rarely is eating for enjoyment- it’s about feeding the machine- about fueling the beast- making it better, stronger and ready for the next challenge.
Now, if we dare to expand this concept a little more to account for our life as a whole, it’s easy to understand how all things need to be in balance– God, family, fitness/health, rest/recovery, work/career, seriousness, silliness, leadership, followership, father/mother, son/daughter, etc. If any of these grows too large individually at the expense of the others we will have issues sooner or later. We are made to be multi-dimensional- we can’t achieve our full potential living a one dimensional life. If we fail to achieve balance at any of these levels we will undermine our goals and will not reach our potential. Again, balance is the key.
“To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift”
People often ask me how do I run and bike for hours at a time. What do you think about all that time? Why do you do it? Truthfully, inside me there’s a celebration going on! Every workout, every mile is an expression of gratefulness. There’s so many who would love to be doing what I’m doing and they no longer have the chance. I run because I can. And I run for all those that can’t.
And my favorite feeling? Post-workout, laying on the ground, covered in sweat, too tired to move. The body completely drained of everything it had. You gave it all. There’s nothing left. That feeling of complete and utter satisfaction. The body is empty- but the heart, the heart if full!
I want to make myself better tomorrow than I am today. I want to attain heights I’ve never reached. I want to inspire and help others to do the same. But I’m also at the point where I want it to be about more than just me. I want to do more. That’s why I was very excited to find the Charity Miles app. It’s an app that tracks your cycling and running and then a sponsor will donate to the charity you choose. It’s an awesome example of something that is ‘right’. A way to give and a way to help by doing what you were going to do anyway. There are some great charities and great sponsors. I run and cycle for the Wounded Warrior Project and PROMAX Nutrition donates for me. It’s a great relationship. I would like to find more ways to do similar things like this. If you know any, please let me know.