Never Quit, Mind, Body and Spirit

Updated: December 25, 2015


Lately I have been asked questions about getting in shape to make it to the next level and the short answer is never quit, mind, body and spirit.

Specifically this is asked as it applies to Special Forces Selection and Training. Many times in an effort to get in shape, to be in shape, is not the real solution to being ready. Most training of this nature is designed to break you down and test your gut. Trainers want to know if you are made of the right stuff! They want to know if you will quit under fire, or when things get rough. When you are in the best shape of your life and mentally prepared, most people could walk in and pass the test or otherwise meet the requirements. The question is can you meet the standards when you are at a low physical ebb, tired, worn out and working around injuries. This is the mark of a warrior. A man or woman who can push the limits of mental and physical thresholds, under extreme physical stress and poor environmental conditions, these are the fighters. My simple answer is just do it, no matter what. There is an old quote, “A turtle would never progress, if he didn’t stick his neck out”. This is all about taking risks to seek improvements.

Never QuitI believe if your mind set is right, you can accomplish your goals, no matter how physically or mentally demanding. If you don’t risk, you won’t grow and improve. You will continue the status quo and just doing the minimum to get by. Think about challenging yourself beyond your normal limits and succeeding. The rewards are lifelong.
Many men have desired to become more than they are and have failed. This is due to not the lack mental tenacity and will to win. When all else fails and your body seems to let you down, you must find the mental toughness and guts to get to finish. When I graduated Special Forces Selection and Training, it made me feel like there was nothing I could not accomplish after that. The rest of the guys and all of the team guys, have that common thread of risk taking and pushing yourself, when your mind is telling you to quit. Brave men take risks when they do not know the outcome. Overcoming fear of the unknown takes a special breed. This is not by luck or blind faith, but by choice.
There will be times in your life when you feel like throwing in the towel, just giving up. This is the idea behind rigorous training programs. The idea is to break you, both physically and mentally. When you have nothing left in the tank, this is where the rubber meets the road. This is the time to survive and pull through, separating you from the pack. If you want to be the best, prepare to sacrifice. You will sacrifice family time, personal pleasures, rest when you are tired, ignoring pain, injuries and other life pleasures including personal freedom. Replace excuses with risk taking. Once the pain has subsided and injuries healed, then you will know the price of success. If you want to be elite, you must pay your elite dues. There is no other way. The man that doesn’t quit under fire or when he is down or tired, will forever be content with his successes and failures, knowing he has and will give a 100% or his mind, body and spirit. Drive On!

James “Smokey” West