I grew up in South Dakota and played many forms of sports, from running track and pole-vaulting to football and stints in basketball and wrestling. I didn’t care for organized sports and drifted toward things like snowboarding and skydiving. For much of my youth, I was the gangly skinny kid. As a football player in 8th grade, I weighed less than everyone in my grade and all of the 7th graders.I countered this with a pile of books on training and nutrition and by throwing myself into strength training. I eventually started coaching others. I was fascinated with the concept of strength, was bored of school, and wanted to truly test myself. I enlisted in the Navy, with the goal of joining a special operations force.One problem – I didn’t know how to swim. I tried teaching myself, but the nearest swimming pool was 90 miles away. In the Navy’s SWCC pipeline, I passed the swim on my screen test on my last try by 7 seconds. Months of beatdowns later, two weeks from graduating, I failed a timed swim by one minute and was rolled out of training into a BUD/S development program.Here, for the first time, I had a real performance coach who provided training following a deliberate practice model. I could soon pass the same swim by over 10 minutes. After four months in the BUD/S program, I re-joined my SWCC class and graduated after a total of 2.5 years in the selection pipeline.
As a SWCC, I spent many of my deployments training other SOF personnel in austere environments. I learned to coach by focusing on movement quality, deliberate practice and the stress inoculation concepts that we used in the rest of our training. From the SOF environment, I learned the value of the mind in strength, and the benefits of training with a team of like-minded people. I brought these lessons into the coaching model when Jon and I co-founded Ethos.
Strength lives in the mind. It matters much less where you start than where you’re going.
+ Our minds and bodies are capable of much more than we often assume.
+ The people around you and your environment play a major role in how you live and think.
+ Effort alone is not enough. You need a system.
Experience / Qualifications
Precision Nutrition Level 2 Coach. NSCA-CPT. USN SWCC. Department of State Worldwide Personal Protective Service Security Specialist. Consultant to SOF and paramilitary units. Published in the Journal of Strategic Security on research involving detecting deception.