So having been in the DEP for almost a year now, I’ve had many trial and errors and I’ve compiled 3 general ‘tips’ for enduring your endeavors as a Poolee, and eventually Recruit. Also take into consideration that I have participated in handful of sports for many years so I will be drawing from those experiences as well, but mostly from the past 11months.
#1: Find a purpose in what you are striving to earn, and know your ‘Why’.
“I am becoming a Marine because… ____ !” Why are you doing this? Every Marine/ Poolee has their own reason(s) for being called in this direction. Keep in mind, not everyone can do this. So when you ship out to boot camp everything will be stripped from you. Your name, appearance, identity, voice, hair, etc. Your @$$ belongs to them. The only thing you will have with you in the beginning that’ll last until the end will be your “why”. It will be your lighthouse in a dark sea, the only thing you can hold on to when in the dark. As the saying goes: “Knowing is half the battle.” So when you sign on that dotted line and you know why you did, you have a direction and a purpose. It will guide your training, thoughts, emotions, and actions. The end result is a rewarding one. It’s easy to get home if you know at least the direction in which it lies.
#2: Fortify your strengths, and strengthen your weaknesses.
What are you good at? What is one thing you are currently excelling in physically or mentally? Let’s say you’re killer at pull ups, and can crank out a max of 25 any day but your crunches are 70 and your 3 mile is 25min. You’re strong in your pull ups, and that is the tip of your spear. Use your strength to your advantage in your workouts. Use your pull as an active rest within your workouts, have pull up focused workouts to fortify it, and be confident that it is one less thing to worry about. Thus allowing you to give greater focus on your other 2 “weak” points. The last thing anyone wants after arriving at boot camp is thinking that they don’t have any “strength’s”. There will be others that have strengths that supersede your weaknesses and maybe your strengths as well. But better to have your strong points where you can easily find comfort in the midst of struggle than to not have any at all. It’s like having a home game vs visitor’s game. Let the fight go to where you are familiar.
#3: STAY COMMITTED to YOUR decisions, but FLEXIBLE in the approach.
There is no definite way to living a life and achieving a particular goal. Every Poolee experiences their own struggles and faults on their way to becoming a Marine. Some begin at a young age to deciding on wanting to become a Marine. Others decide because of a spontaneous life event. Your story is unique and yours alone, but you need to commit to it. So knowing that there isn’t only one way to becoming a Marine, you must also know that flexibility is a must. Obstacles arise and complications occur, but there should be no excuses as to why you “can’t” do something. Instead, make a ‘reason’ why you did tenaciously earn your title. Find what it is that’s wanted and pursue it tenaciously and relentlessly. Never quit and never give up. You will eventually realize that life is merely about tolerance, desire, and tenacity. How much pain can you take? How bad do you want it? How long can you hold on? Refuse failure, tolerate the pain, and overcome adversity.
If you want it bad enough you’ll find a way, if you don’t you’ll find an excuse.
Adapt, Achieve, and Overcome.
Bonus tip: Think positive!
No “I can’t, I’ll try, attempt, maybe” or hesitation. Hesitation kills. Commit and execute. “I can, I must, I will, I need to.” Do not get to basic or go through your life wasting it striving to just survive, strive to thrive in adversity. Merely satisfying the minimum is not what a Marine does, don’t waste your time.
Semper Fidelis Brother’s and Sister’s.