Hello, fellow Americans. This is Retd. Senior Chief Petty Officer, Eric S. Brawley signing in. I served as a Navy Seal for 20 years and worked my way up the ranks to the post of Senior Chief Petty Officer. For those of you who are unaware of the full extent of the term Seal, it refers to the United States, Sea, Air and Land teams that represent the principal special operations force of the US Navy. Navy Seal training is perhaps the most extreme and rigorous training protocol in the US military and selection is extremely selective. The dropout rate is very frequently close to 80%, so only the most committed, disciplined, thick skinned individual’s end up making it into the Navy Seals.
After spending all those years in the Seals and being part of the wars and the deaths, getting back to ‘normal’ life can be extremely daunting. Honestly, it did take me a while to get back to a so-called normal life. It was difficult and at times extremely frustrating, but with the help of my wife, children and family at large, today I am on a different page and find it a lot easier to deal with the duties of day to day life. Although it may seem strange to the outsider, it was retiring from space as physically, mentally and emotionally challenging as the military does have it’s special kind of withdrawal. For me the only other thing, apart from family, that helped me to settle back in was my training and exercise that I stick to religiously to this day.
If nothing else, years in the army will change your internal clock and habits forever. I wake up at the first sign of sunlight and begin my day with a run. There is no thought or motivation required and while that might sound almost robotic, developing a habit to that level has its pros. Exercise and training are as much a part of me as eating food or brushing my teeth. However, ever since my retirement, I have changed my entire approach to exercise and today I incorporate much more than just cardio, or weight training. I have built my make shift, monkey bars, climbing wall, rings and training ground in my very own backyard. I have to admit, although it is a little over the top, it does bother me because I never really did anything in half measures.
Through this blog, which my wife suggested I do, I want to influence all you guys about the benefits of leading a disciplined, healthy and active lifestyle. I see the youth of today, too focused on spending time indoors, or behind a screen or at the mall, and I wish to inspire them to change their habits and experience greater health and well-being. Please feel free to write to me, if you have any questions at all.
Here’s to you greater health and fitness,