Thursday, January 14, 2010

Jim's Fitness Journey: Part III

Teammates, more fitness inspiration from Jim K, a sensational athlete -- and great communicator -- from Greece. He's a charter member of Team Perfect! Did you take the challenge I made the last time Jim blogged, to sign up for the weekly fitness challenges on our Perfect Fitness Facebook fan page? Check it out! AMM

One year before enlisting for my obligatory military service, I purchased a book by Dockery which got me into all round fitness, running, lifting weights, swimming & calisthenics. It felt really good! This triggered me to do some further searching on Navy SEALs and I decided to attempt Stew Smith’s “BUD/S warning order” (picture above is of one of Stew Smith's books). I would have a free weights session at the gym and then get back home for a one hour session of calisthenics (not recommended to anyone since it can cause serious injuries due to severe muscle strain).

Those Navy SEAL fitness books managed to boost my endurance and fitness levels to a point that I’d never thought of I was capable of achieving. Before I started doing the workouts in those books I had considered myself to be fit because I could lift some serious weights even though I wasn’t bulky at all. This showed how wrong I was, free weights didn’t offer the functional strength “SEAL fitness” did!

I couldn’t join the special forces because of terrible eye sight (I’ve had eye surgery recently) so I said to myself “if you can’t join them at least why not be as fit as these guys are?” I stopped lifting weights and got into the advanced level of "BUD/S warning order" with all my heart, always keeping up with the pace, just driven only by my personal will to become “SEAL fit” .

Excessive running (6-7 minutes/mile) almost daily, swimming almost one hour each day, and calisthenics had managed to reduce my body fat to a level I had never imagined. Yes, I’d exercise about 3 hours a day and there was a short period that I’d suffer from serious stomach cramps because of those workouts’ intensity. Those cramps were probably the hardest pain I’ve ever endured so far, it felt as if someone was cutting through my stomach with a knife and they lasted for about 2 weeks. But even this couldn’t keep away from exercising, and I kept saying to myself to be patient and that they’d go away when my body got accustomed to this physical exertion, and they did. Today I can recognize the symptoms and prevent this from occurring but I was determined to reach the fitness levels Navy SEALs had set and there was nothing that could stop me.

My military service (in Greece) was rather frustrating for me because I had reached the fitness levels set by Navy SEALs and I was determined to stay there. I did a daily workout on my own and in fact people were giving me strange looks because I was the only one in the camp who would exercise voluntarily. I recall a competition between our company and another one where I was asked to compete against x-special forces guy on pushups, he kept yelling and shouting that he’d beat me easily but in fact he dropped face first into the ground and I kept on going for an extra twenty reps before being stopped by the cadets who had the roles of referees (I could keep pushing out more reps though). By the way, that guy never talked to me again!

Part IV: Maintaining Navy SEAL fitness level after military service

Jim K

1 comment:

Joe G. said...

Jim is a great leader! An inspiration from the other side of the pond.