Built Not Born: David Goggins In The Beginning

Built Not Born: David Goggins In The Beginning

To understand David Goggins, one must understand where he came from.

A former Navy SEAL, Goggins displayed a storied military career and has pushed his body to limits that few people can even fathom.

Many fitness fans and even professional athletes and marathon runners believe Goggins pushes it too far. They believe he sets an unhealthy and unrealistic standard for not just his fans, but for anyone looking to get into endurance sports.

“I laugh to myself, because the only people who ask me questions like that are people who aren’t pushing themselves at all,” he told The New York Post in 2019.

David Goggins Roller Rink Kids Rollerblading

Goggins often points out that his childhood was not ideal. That he should have been “a statistic” and another tragic case of lost youth in America.

He was a disco kid growing up in Buffalo. The roller rink belonged to his father. On top of this, his father was a horrible abuser as well. David, when he was 6-years-old, and his elder brother were made to spend evenings at the rink, cleaning shoes, removing gum from the floors, and clearing the rancid restrooms of marijuana smoke. He would pass out on an office couch at midnight; his father kept a loaded gun under the couch's cushions. You get the picture. Not a pristine situation coming up.

In addition, his dad beat his mother and him while operating an illegal prostitution ring as a side business. Goggins and his mother managed to flee when he was only 8-years-old with the aid of a neighbor. His brother chose to stay behind and remain in the house with his father.

Goggins and his mother moved to a remote area in the great state of Indiana.

With his family broken, Goggins strayed and experienced toxic levels of stress and anxiety, much more treatable situations nowadays that saw little attention 20 years ago.

He was about to drop out of high school by the end of his junior year but made the decision to change his life at that point. A gritty, sudden, rip-off-the-bandaid decision that David Goggins would begin to make consistently from then on throughout his life in whatever endeavor he chose to pursue.

A turning point.

Goggins started getting dressed well for school and ironing his clothes. Additionally, he started studying more diligently in order to achieve his single objective of joining the Air Force.

After high school, he joined the military, but four years later he was honorably discharged and began work as an exterminator, retrieving dead rats from traps at fast food spots.

Then one fateful day, he stumbled onto a TV program about the brutal training that Navy SEALs go through.

“The longer I watched, the more certain I became that there were answers buried in all that suffering,” Goggins writes.

His obsession with joining the Navy SEALs grew. One major issue was that men who enrolled were only allowed to weigh 191 pounds, while Goggins had grown to about 300.

Recruiters literally made fun of him and mocked his weight amongst themselves.

Finally, he discovered one who would accept him provided he could shed 106 pounds before the three-month enlistment cutoff date.

Goggins had a lightbulb moment while pursuing this seemingly unattainable objective.

“I first realized that not all physical and mental limitations are real, and that I had a habit of giving up way too soon,” he wrote.

Goggins decided to challenge himself to the limit. In an effort to discover his own boundaries, he started leading a solitary life, forgoing conveniences and occasionally making sacrifices in his interpersonal ties.

He is currently married, working as a motivational speaker and wildland firefighter after retiring from the military. His accomplishments include completing the Badwater, a 135-mile trek through Death Valley, California, three times, as well as more than 60 other ultra-endurance competitions.

Additionally, he once claimed the Guinness World Record for the most pull-ups performed in a 24-hour period with a total of 4,030 in 2013 - a feat that nearly killed him, literally.

David Goggins is Changing Mindsets - Man with Hoodie

Here are some Goggins Tips and Tricks for improving your mindset:

Clearly visualize yourself

Goggins was forced to take a long, hard look at himself when he learned he was in risk of failing high school. He wrote his objectives and shortcomings on Post-it notes and stuck them all over the bathroom mirror. Being brutally honest is what David Goggins advises: If you're obese, say so. then gradually concentrate on improving yourself.

Record your victories

Goggins was about to give out at mile 80 of his first 100-mile run. That is when he used his "cookie jar," a mental archive of his previous triumphs, both significant and insignificant. If you're feeling defeated, he advises, remember what you're capable of by drawing strength from a previous victory, such as shedding pounds or making the winning shot.


Multitasking “has created a nation of half-asses,” the author writes. To cut out wasted time, Goggins suggests breaking your day into 15 or 30-minute blocks, including meals, exercise and rest. Work on just one thing at a time and “pursue it relentlessly,” he writes.

Dissecting Failure

Goggins tried to beat the record for the most pull-ups performed in a 24-hour period in 2012 (4,020). After coming up short a couple times, he made an unflinchingly honest “After Action Report,” examining everything from pull-ups per minute to the protection he wore on his hands. In January 2013, he broke the record with 4,030 pull-ups. By analyzing your failures, you condition your mind for the next attempt, David Goggins writes. “This life is all a f - - king mind game . . . Own it!”

Harness your Resentment

Goggins experienced the famed Hell Week—5 1/2 days of runs, swims, and training drills—while pursuing his dream of becoming a Navy SEAL. After a few days, Goggins and his squad started to wane, and the instructors were watching for any indications of weakness. Goggins insisted that his squad put in more effort to disprove their oppressors rather than allow them to prevail. “If your coach doesn’t give you time in the games, dominate practice,” he writes. “[If it’s a boss,] “get to work before them. Leave after they go home.”

As you can see, adopting the Goggins Mindset is not for the faint of heart, but for anyone wanting to make the most of their one shot at life. We share these values at Kōru Performance and want to join you on your fitness journey.

Kōru Performance Products featured on Global Triathlon Network (GTN) the Ironman World Championships in St. George, Utah

So, are you ready to push your endurance to the limit?

Start with our suite of Kōru flagship products, available individually or as a bundle with our Starter Kit.

Starting with our flagship product, the Endurance Lotion. Use Endurance in training to push your limits and also on race day to drive you towards your next PR! Apply daily as part of your pre-workout and pre-race routine for high performance results.

Also, a pro tip for any 4x4x48 challengers, stay hydrated. You must drink enough water throughout your endeavor. Make sure to plan for water breaks to keep your body functioning at its best. Also, don't forget to stretch after finishing to aid in your body's recovery.

Speaking of recovery, we developed another product as part of our core three, the Recovery Lotion. Skip the ice routine and recover on the go using our optimized muscle relaxant cream to soothe chronic pain. Our vitamin D lotion and menthol-infused formula is a natural remedy for muscle aches, leg cramps and joint pain, leaving the body revitalized and ready to perform. Administer daily.

Getting active in any form, whether it be walking, doing pushups, swimming, or riding a bike, is highly beneficial to your health and general well-being. If you are unable to run, especially for the duration of this challenge, walk. The enjoyment of the challenge and simply being outdoors are enough to take on the David Goggins 4x4x48.

Of course, your skin will likely take some heat during the Goggins 4x4x48. And quite frankly, a daily skin routine is optimal for your health regardless of your physical activity. As part of our core three, we offer our own Body Butter, clinically tested and proven by our Kōru team.

Most moisturizers on the market are filled with harsh chemicals to increase margins for big corporations. Our stuff was made by fitness athletes and long-distance runners. We urge you to stop using the generic moisturizers that could possibly affect your skin’s ability to effectively absorb the Koru Performance products and make sure your skin is in optimal condition.

As a bonus, we’ve included 4,000 IU of transdermal Vitamin D to provide an immunity boost, enhance sleep quality and support brain function. Vitamin D lotion is more important now than ever before for health and wellness. We recommend daily application of the Body Butter.

In conclusion, David Goggins is a warrior. His story speaks for itself and offers a rebirth and rise greater than most Hollywood stories.

All three of our core items are available as a bundle, the Starter Kit. Help support our mission as outdoor athletes and join the Koru family today! We are always available for questions or comments.

*All quotes and historical information courtesy David Goggins and the NY Post, 2019

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