Here is a previous post from a year ago to celebrate the anniversaary of the capture of Osama bin Laden and acknowledge the heroics and commitment of the Navy SEALS.
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It’s not too much of a stretch to find a connection between running and the recent capture and killing of Osama bin Laden.
Well, in terms of bin Laden, one can say he was always running away. But reading up on the Navy SEALs, I guess it comes as no surprise that running is a big part of the mental and physical training that enabled them to carry out that mission. Timed 4-mile runs in soft sand and runs in the mountains carrying 40-pound packs are among the training regimens you can read about in this Wall Street Journal article.
I especially like the part where author Eric Greitens (a former SEAL) discusses the types of individuals that typically don’t survive SEAL training: "the weight-lifting meatheads who think that the size of their biceps is an indication of their strength, the kids covered in tattoos announcing to the world how tough they are, the preening leaders who don't want to get dirty, and the look-at-me former athletes who have always been told they are stars but have never been pushed beyond the envelope of their talent to the core of their character. In short, those who fail are the ones who focus on show.”
Sure, I may be biased, but I would think long distance runners would have an advantage in SEAL training over other types by their ability to repeatedly encounter and endure mental and physical fatigue in their quest to achieve the desired goal. “The vicious beauty of Hell Week’” says the author, “is that you either survive or fail, you endure or you quit, you do—or you do not.” Sound like that last marathon you ran?
Another connection to running and the bin Laden capture has to be General David Petraeus, the top American commander in Afghanistan. It was announced recently that Petraeus would soon replace Leon Panetta as C.I.A. director when Panetta becomes Defense Secretary. Petraeus has been a serious runner most of his life, according to this article from Runner's World. I especially like the part when he discusses bringing in a new guy to his command. “I take him out for a run," says Petraeus. “I'll go out hard, then ramp it up around five miles to try to waste him. I want to know how he'll react and respond to the challenge, what his strength of character is.” Gotta love it!