By Steve Linn, CEO, Mission Ready
I’d like to thank Bullfrog 13 and Gloria for giving me the opportunity to guest blog this week. Some of you may have heard this message, as it was the topic of our Mission Ready Monday podcast last week. But, we believe by sharing a message about everyday heroes to a broader audience, we may inspire more to celebrate their own everyday heroes.
Today’s message is inspired by a trip to the movies and a visit to the Catskill Mountains in New York state. Last weekend, my wife and I went to see Spider-Man. I’m not going to share too much about the movie, in case you haven’t seen it yet. But, while watching the movie, I began thinking about superheroes like Spider-Man, Superman, Batman and others.
In the movies, and in comic books, Superman, Spider-Man and Wonder Woman save the world every day. They excite kids of all ages with their super powers, costumes and one-liners.
Stan Lee, the creator of some of our favorite comic-book heroes, believes, “now more than ever, we need the heroic deeds of real people from the real world.” When asked, most people will list our soldiers, police, and firefighters as heroes. And they most certainly are.
But heroism is not limited to these uniformed forces. We all know of the true acts of heroism performed by everyday people on Sept. 11, 2001. At times, I wonder if I could have done the same. Stan Lee defines a hero as “someone who is concerned about other people’s well being and will go out of his or her way to help them – even if there is no chance of a reward. That person who helps others simply because it should or must be done, and because it is the right thing to do, is indeed, without a doubt, a real superhero.”
This is where the Catskills come in. Last Saturday was visiting day at the camp where my son, Ryan, is now a counselor’s assistant after having been a camper for the past 8 years. During our visit, we inquired about our neighbor’s son, who is a first year camper. Ryan shared that our neighbor’s son has been struggling all summer. This young boy may not be as “cool” as some of his bunkmates, and therefore gets picked on. So, Ryan decided to talk to the bunk and asked the kids to cut him some slack. Why is this act heroic? After all, isn’t that the job of a counselor? Well, you see, Ryan is not the counselor of that bunk. No one asked him to help, and there was no chance of reward. It was just the simple act of an ordinary person going out of his way to help another. My son is a hero; my son is MY hero.
There are many definitions of a hero. In your quest to be your best you, we hope that today’s message inspires you to be somebody’s hero.
If you’d like to share any thoughts with us check us out on Twitter @getmissionready, like us on Facebook, or send me an email at email@example.com. We are starting a simple Everyday Hero campaign soon. Stay tuned for more details on our Facebook page.
Thanks for being a part of our growing community. Until next time… Be Your Best You!
Achieving Your Peak, the Navy SEAL Way
If I want peak performance, I think about the Triad of Wellness: nutrition, exercise, and sleep. You can find this at www.getmissionready.com. If you eat the right foods, your brain will function properly and then everything else in your body will work optimally. You should maintain your fitness with exercise, and always have a good night’s rest to wake up refreshed. To me, those are the three main areas of focus.
However, with the way we live our lives in this fast-paced society, you can’t always work at your own pace or follow an exact plan. World events, the weather, and information are constantly changing. For example, in the 1980s when I was a U.S. Navy SEAL in a “training pace,” so-to-speak, and we got called for a mission on 24 hours notice and deployed for many months. That meant we weren’t getting much if any sleep that night and many more to follow. Instead, we were preparing to deploy overseas. And the few hours we did try to sleep, our minds were still racing with thoughts of planning and coordination—considering every contingency we could think of.
A lot of the time, when SEALs go on missions, whether they are training or real, they have been up for a very long period of time. It’s not a football or baseball game with a set number of hours or a marathon or triathlon where you know the distance. All our missions were fraught with danger— we lost men in peacetime training, honing skills for war. Unlike the sports you see on television, our “game” can last for days, and instead of tearing an ACL or bruising muscles or breaking bones (which we do routinely), some of our SEALs are severely wounded or killed in action. In sports, the players get a pre-game night’s rest and a hearty meal. In the SEAL business, you just might go to “the game” with no sleep and eating field rations along the way. At the end of “the game” you don’t get interviewed on radio and television along with a victory celebration, but instead you can get orders for a follow-on mission. It happens.
As a former Commanding Officer of SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team TWO, our team participated in the most mentally and physically challenging and complex missions in special operations. We operated SEAL Delivery Vehicles (SDV) using submarines as a host platform. Any time you’re working with submarines, you at the least double the complexity of the mission set, not to mention that the maritime environment is the most difficult to master.
SDV and submarine missions are very long. SDVs are wet submersibles, which mean the SEALs operating them are actually in a dive status breathing SCUBA. Despite wet and dry suits providing thermal protection, it can get really cold. Piloting and navigating the SDV is also a mental exercise because you’re potentially driving for six hours or more. For a pilot flying a plane, he usually has a visible horizon and can look out the windows and see the land or ocean below and at night see the starts. In an SDV, you’re underwater, on dive status, driving a relatively slow moving vehicle with absolutely no horizon, with nothing but instruments in front of you.
And that is what Navy SEAL trains to do. In our basic training you learn how to mentally push through all forms of adversity. We accepted difficult challenges on a routine basis as the norm and that included lack of sleep. We performed optimally in all our mission sets because we were in great physical shape and our training gave us a mindset and discipline to power through the most difficult of circumstances. Most of us ate really well and a lot too. The disrupter at home was the fact that, even when we were not deployed on a training exercise or in a combat zone, two or three times a week you’re still working nights planning, coordinating, and executing training missions with the discipline and diligence you would in war. You train the way you will fight. So, you go back and forth between working days and nights, and you do this throughout a career. Meanwhile, your body is always trying to catch up on sleep.
When I was first in this business in the early 70s and 80s, we didn’t have a lot of administrative, technical, and combat service support, so we had to do everything. We had less sleep. Now, SEAL teams have a lot of support troops and technicians that help them do things that we used to do on our own. The SEAL operators of today are able to get some more sleep than we did, which is the better for them.
I was trained to do all parts of the “peak performance triad” over the years: be in the best shape you can be—i.e., have good strength and endurance, eat well, and get good quality sleep when I could get it. I would always try to do this to my best ability. There are other components to peak performance like training, discipline, and mental focus. We’ll talk about them in a future blog. But for now, if you focus on the triad, you’ll be able to achieve peak performance, too.
Introducing Dr. Catherine Darley
Hello, glad to meet you. I am Dr. Catherine Darley, naturopathic sleep specialist. I have a deep passion for helping people sleep well using natural medicine.
Every aspect of our daytime quality of life and performance is impacted by how well we sleep. In many ways, our sleep health lays the foundation for a good life, along with diet and exercise.
A little about naturopathic medicine:
In naturopathic medicine we are guided by several principles, the first one being Vix Medicatrix Naturae. This is our inherent natural ability to heal, which we can support and restore using natural medicine. My favorite principle is Docere which means teach. Over the next months I’m looking forward to teaching some ways to shape your actions to support healthy sleep. Another principle is to Treat the Whole Person. Wellness comes when each aspect of health is attended to – physical, emotional, dietary, genetic, environmental, lifestyle and other factors. You’ll see that we address all of these aspects over time.
In my work I use what is called the Therapeutic Order. This is a system of using the therapies that will be effective with the least amount of side effects. For instance, for someone with insomnia, we’d first use behavioral changes to improve sleep, and then use natural supplements if necessary. Not until these methods had been exhausted would we use other medications. What’s great about this approach is that it empowers patients with the know-how and skills to care for themselves, and minimizes medications that can cause unwanted side effects.
As a young college student I was fascinated by sleep. Looking at the many ways I could be in the sleep field, becoming the first naturopathic sleep specialist just made sense. Sleep is so basic to our health and well-being that it makes the most sense to approach it in a natural way.
Now I work in my clinic to help people of all age sleep well using naturopathic medicine. Getting the word out about sleep is important to me. So, I regularly speak to corporate and school groups about the role sleep has in our performance and success. It is clearly established that there is a high cost of sleep disorders for both employees and corporations. It’s a pleasure to work with corporations to improve the sleep of employees, which improves their health, their productivity, and the corporate bottom line.
Sleep health is a quality of life issue.
I hope by reading this blog that you are inspired to take your sleep seriously, and do what needs to be done to get the sleep you need to succeed. When we sleep well, every aspect of our life benefits – our physical health, our mental health, motivation, and relationships. Over the coming months, I’m excited to share with you the ways healthy sleep improves our performance, how sleep impacts common health conditions, essential sleep skills, and other topics.
Remember, sleep health is a quality of life issue, and accept nothing but a good night’s rest.
Sleep and Peak Performance
Sleep is an essential part of being healthy and achieving what I call “peak performance.” But, in order to feel like you can tackle anything in a day (and I’ve had some tough days as a Navy SEAL), you need to have good sleep habits. An important part of the process is getting into a good sleep routine.
It’s tough when you’re very busy, and you’re also trying to do a bunch of things at once. You just don’t want stop everything at a certain time every night. It’s hard for me to end my night at 9 o’clock and prepare for bed. This means I can’t watch any TV. I find old habits are really hard to break. I love watching the news, and I consider myself a news junkie. However, TV is actually the last thing you should do before you go to bed, and especially watching the news, because too many images are flashed at you. When you go to sleep, one of the things your body and your brain does is to reorder the day. If you’ve been watching a lot of TV, right before bedtime, you probably will have about 2,000 images or more flashed at you; that’s very disruptive.
Here are a few things I’ve learned to do to help me prepare for peak performance the next day. I turn off the TV, and read a little bit before bed. I find that drinking Chamomile tea, which is a calmative, helps me to relax. Chamomile is known to relieve restlessness, tension and feelings of anxiety. I also try to cut back on my daily coffee intake. In his book, the “Caffeine Blues” Stephen Cherniske discusses caffeine’s half-life and its cumulative effect; if you drink a 12-ounce coffee in the morning that’s 260 mg of caffeine. 6 to 12 hours later you will still have 130 mg of caffeine in your system. If you drink two big mugs a day and perhaps an afternoon pick-me-up, you have added another 520 mg of caffeine in your system, all working at different half-lives. Research shows that the cumulative effect of caffeine throughout the day is detrimental to sleep. I love the taste of a rich bold cup of coffee, but I try to watch my caffeine intake every day and so should you. Lastly, I take the Mission Ready formula, Sleep Ready, to help my body rest.
You’ll hear a lot more about sleep and better health, as we have a new expert joining the Bullfrog 13 & Friends team. We’re excited to announce our newest member to the community, Catherine Darley, ND, who specializes exclusively in helping people of all ages sleep well. Dr. Darley’s philosophy is how optimal sleep can make your life better in every way. Stay tuned for Dr. Darley’s first blog post later this week.
The past 40 years have taught me a great deal about how to achieve peak performance. As a U.S. Navy SEAL, I had to be at my best day or night – the SEAL teams I served with depended on it. However, each one of us, in our own way, military or civilian citizen, is an everyday warrior, with a busy life and challenges in the road ahead. The first step to conquering your day is to wake up with a clear mind and a sound body, and the attitude that you can accomplish anything! It all begins with sleep and the routine you put in place. You’re an every day warrior, what do you do to help you sleep and to reach peak performance?
Meet Lori Tubbs
Hi, I’m Lori Tubbs, a registered dietitian and certified specialist in sports dietetics. I’m thrilled to be blogging for Bullfrog 13 & Friends, and really looking forward to sharing my life’s work with you. My philosophy and personal passion are to bring both fitness and nutrition to the forefront of any lifestyle change for better health.
For the past 14 years, I’ve been working as a military nutritionist and public health educator for many commands within the U. S. Navy. I have seen, firsthand, the hard work many endure on aircraft carriers, submarines and within the special operations community. Regardless of what military community one works with, anyone serving in the military, especially over the past eleven years, deserves a long lasting quality of life for the sacrifices made for this country. With the culture of physical conditioning and operational readiness, military members need to have the energy to sustain the pressures of the military and manage personal and family-related goals and objectives.
With respect to nutrition, people are all different with varying backgrounds and they have unique food likes and dislikes. Because people come from various environments, there is no one size fits all approach. It always helps for me to understand the motivation behind the lifestyle changes. Often the best advice is to look at food as a fuel, its fuel for the engine. You need high-octane fuel to perform as a weapon’s platform whether it is an aircraft carrier, F-18 jet or the human body. Changing eating habits for a lifetime can be challenging. It takes time and effort for a behavior to become long lasting.
It is an honor to be among a group as quality-driven as the Bullfrog 13 and Friends community. I’m excited to discuss my ideas and I hope you will share the challenges you may be facing with nutrition and lifestyle changes.
Welcome to Bullfrog 13 & Friends! Navy SEALs call the longest-serving SEAL on active duty the honorific title of “Bullfrog.” In 2006 Bullfrog 12 retired with 40 years service and I became Bullfrog 13. In 2009, I retired with over 39 years service, and with a lifelong passion and knowledge for natural medicine, started on a journey to create a nutraceutical company. We’ve built this blog for the Mission Ready community to learn and engage with different personalities and experts. Our guest bloggers specialize in the areas of nutrition, health and sleep. Here’s a little more about me, and how Mission Ready came to fruition.
As I reflect on my years as a U.S. Navy SEAL, I’m proud of the teams in which I’ve served and the work we’ve accomplished. At the same time, I realize I spent at least 10-years with very little REM sleep at all. My sleep was very disturbed for a number of factors and it’s kind of hard to pinpoint exactly why. I guess I drank a lot of coffee and that disrupts sleep, and if you have too many drinks before you go to bed that will disrupt sleep too. But, I also had a little PTSD left over from my experience in Lebanon, saving someone’s life and then getting burned over 75% of my body. Sometimes when you relive this kind of experience, it puts you in a bad place, but you just deal with it. As a US Navy SEAL, I was also working long hours. And, when you continuously work night operations and throw in the night training missions, you don’t really have any real circadian rhythms anymore (despite the fact that I’m a drummer and I do have rhythm). If you throw this all together it equals interrupted sleep.
Here’s how I broke the pattern … Jim McKay, “Skip” and I went through SEAL training together in 1971, and we had been lifelong friends ever since. So, about the time I was getting ready to retire from the US Navy, we had been discussing a number of things and began talking about the possibility of going into the nutraceutical business. Jim had the same problems sleeping as I did, but his was from big business. The one thing I’ve always known is that if you don’t sleep well, you can’t heal well. So, one of our first formulas we thought about was one to target those problems adults have — trouble with sleep. So, at Mission Ready we’re going to address sleep as our first issue.
And, here we are today, a company called Mission Ready, founded by former U.S. Navy SEALs, and an organization that also gives a portion of its profits back to the military community. We will help you WIN and have fun while doing it.
Other folks you’ll meet here at Bullfrog 13 & Friends include:
Lori Tubbs: Lori is a military nutritionist and a public health educator. She’s also a registered dietitian, and a certified specialist in sports dietetics. Lori will share her nutrition best practices with you.
Gloria Altherr: Gloria is the CMO of Mission Ready, Inc. and brings over two decades of marketing experience. As a busy mother of three children, she balances work and family carefully and shares her stories about the balance for a healthy, but busy lifestyle.
Dr. Kevin Pett: Dr. Pett is licensed as a Doctor of Oriental Medicine (DOM) in the state of New Mexico. He’s been in private practice since 2001, and maintains a Clinical practice of Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine in Leesburg, Virginia. Dr. Pett will share his strong and passionate interest in the study and use of natural botanical substances for health and wellness solutions. He is my personal doctor and was the first and only doctor to ever tell me: “I will heal you.” And, he did.
We’re excited to share our knowledge about health, sleep and nutrition challenges, and welcome your opinions and feedback. Thank you for stopping by Bullfrog 13 & Friends, and please feel free to invite your friends to visit our community and to join in the discussion too.