Author’s Note: I’m starting a new series where I will be posting every week a letter to David Goggins. This is a reflection of the work I have been doing to improve my mind and my physical body. I know this is a deviation from what this website has been, but it reflects where I am in my life right now. I’ve been wanting to rekindle this blog, and, at this time in my life, this is what sparks my passion and joy. I hope you enjoy it as well.
Dear David Goggins,
I was driving home from work listening to your podcast with Joe Rogan. I am NOT a Joe Rogan fan, but I was listening to it anyway. I started to think about how you changed my life. A running dialogue started up in my mind . . . “Thank you David Goggins. You have literally changed my life.” Then you started talking about motivation. You were talking about how motivation is kindling. Of course, I have heard you say this before–in your book, in other interviews. So, I wanted to write you today to say, you didn’t change my life. I did. You didn’t work 12 hours and then come home and run two miles because that was your plan, and you committed to sticking to it. You didn’t then stay up two more hours so you could make lunches for your family because you committed to eating healthy. You didn’t lose these 50+ pounds for me. I did.
I wanted to tell you that in that moment in the car, I had this transformation in my hardening mind. I thought you might be proud. The truth is, I would like for you to see that I started making that change in my thinking and be proud. I know that means I have so much more work to do because you would probably tell me not care if you are proud or not. I will get there. My mind and body didn’t get weak in a day, and it won’t get strong and hard in a day. But I work on it everyday.
So, I guess, it really is thank you. You were definitely the kindling that lit the spark. It is funny how it happened.
In January 2018, I was 39, overweight, out of shape, and really unhappy. I told myself that I would NOT turn 40 this way. But I didn’t do anything about it. I kept telling myself that I would start tomorrow. Then my husband’s work offered this program to help people lose weight and they paid for it! I was in. The day I got all the materials for the program, my husband was diagnosed with Stage IV throat cancer. I felt like the universe was laughing at me. But I tried to stick with the plan. It helped me feel like I had control in an uncontrollable situation. Despite my best intentions, the changes were not long lasting.
What ensued was the worst summer of my life. There were many moments when I thought my husband would die. There were countless tears and yelling sessions where I cursed the universe for my “bad luck.” During the course of this, I turned 40 still fat, unhappy, and really out of shape. On my birthday, I made another promise: This is the year I will change, but I didn’t. Nothing changed. My husband is cancer free right now, and that nightmare is slowing down. He is only being checked by the doctor every three months. But I did nothing.
On New Year’s 2019, I promised myself again. And, again, I did nothing. Until one day I was watching a youtube video, and a food video popped up. I watched it, and it lit some kindling. I was already a long time vegan–a junk food vegan. However, I started reading. I have done other vegan diet plans before with varying amounts of success. I decided to start Eat to Live. I immediately felt better and had so much energy. What was I supposed to do with all this energy? I started going to the gym, but honestly, I had no idea what to do at the gym. I was just playing.
I’ve always been a big audiobook and podcast listener. I have a 27 minute commute to work each way, and I love listening to my reading material. After I started Eat to Live, I got really into listening to Rich Roll’s podcast. I have to admit, I skipped over yours many times. I thought, “he isn’t a vegan, he is an athlete, he is a military guy. That isn’t for me.” Then one day, your podcast with Rich Roll autoplayed. I listened. I’m glad I did. I immediately started googling and checking out your story. However, I resisted buying your audiobook. I didn’t need that. Then I heard someone mention you on another podcast, and they suggested the audiobook. Well the universe didn’t have to hit me in the head twice. So I bought it. But I didn’t listen to it.
Then, my 17-year-old daughter listened to it (She is also an audiobook fan). She liked it, but I didn’t see any big, life changes. Obviously, it did nothing for her. Then, she came in my room and told me that when the semester ended, she was going to start going to the gym. This child has never done physical exercise a day in her life. She avoids it like the plague. I was like, “holy heck, what just happened?” So I listened to the book. That, my friend, is how you became my kindling.
So I say again, thank you for being my kindling. Thank me for changing my life.