David Goggins is a man with an indestructible mentality. He created his presence as a soldier, athlete, motivational speaker, and New York Times best-selling author. He is widely known as the only man in the United States Army Force to complete Navy SEAL Training, Army Ranger School, and Air Force Tactical Air Controller Training.
Early life, family, educational background
David Goggins was born on February 17, 1975 in Buffalo, New York, USA to an African American family. The truth about David’s childhood was terrible, but he didn’t take it as a cautionary tale.
His father, Trunnis Goggins, was a difficult man who owned an ice rink called Skateland and a bar called Vermillion Room, led prostitutes all over Canada and had terrible tendencies. David’s mother, Jackie Gardner, was his father’s emotional punching bag. The Future Inspiring Man of the Decade grew up cleaning the toilets of Skateland with his mother and older brother, Trunnis Jr., when he was a kid, because he was afraid of his father’s menacing fists.
When David was about seven or eight years old, his father beat up his mother and dragged her down the stairs by her hair. As his long-suppressed grudge was sinking, David jumped on his father’s back and caused him to sink his claws into the abuser’s face.
His defiance prompted his father to bruise him. The police showed up, but it was clear Trunnis was unpunished. It made the cops chuckle back to their cars. With the help of law enforcement, it was out of the question, the beatings continued for another year until Jackie orchestrated an escape with the help of an old neighbor. They fled to Indiana, where David enrolled in a Catholic school called Annunciation.
David was discriminated against because of his skin color. His family was struggling financially and his mother had three jobs to do it. He was trying to cope with his social anxiety and a learning disability. Both were products of the trauma his father left him. He was hopeless and in a lot of pain.
A disciple of discipline! pic.twitter.com/cDdt6grHm0
— David Goggins (@davidgoggins) December 25, 2020
By the time he entered his junior year, he had messed up and flunked his classes, missing a quarter of school. He embodied the black kid whom all racists detest because he felt he had no purpose. However, there was still an unshakable light within him. He wanted to join the Air Force.
David’s grandfather had a job as a cook in the Air Force. It was with his grandfather’s shared knowledge that David fell in love with becoming a Pararescue jumper. In his first year he took the one week Pararescue Jump Orientation Course (PJOC).
As a result of skipping summer practice for reasons such as holding a grudge against his coaches, David was kicked off the basketball team. Basketball was the only thing that kept him from ruining his life. The expulsion gave him no drive to go to school.
That is, until he scored well below the limit on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test. The ASVAB test is designed to evaluate aspiring soldiers. It determined their concentration, eagerness to learn and work ethic. However, David took the test using the only weapon in his arsenal, cheating. He got 20 answers right out of 99. He had to build a good lifestyle from the beginning. He considered himself worthless until he created his own Accountability Mirror. Gradually he worked on everything. He came up with his own strategies to study for the ASVAB test. He failed the test a second time, but on his third attempt he passed the minimum standard to join the Air Force.
David was nineteen years old when he entered Air Force boot camp. He weighed 175 lbs (79 kg) and his height was up to 6’2”.
He didn’t expect them to test his water confidence during Pararescue training. Lying in the water sucked the life out of him and when they discovered he had sickle cell disease they put him on medical leave with only four weeks of training left. How the trait would affect him remained undetermined and he was already losing too much time. He had to choose between repeating hell for ten weeks or being taken out of training. He eventually joined the Tactical Air Control Party (TAC-P) and was discharged four years later, being unable to join a Pararescue unit, weighing in at 135 kg.
Too much shame dawned on David. After working as a security guard at St. Vincent’s Hospital, he got a job at Ecolab. When he was twenty-four, he sprayed repellents on cockroaches and hated every minute of it. He was overweight and aimless.
A dejected force shadowed him until one fateful day a Discovery Channel show “Class 224” beckoned him to face his fears. He wanted to get his act together. He called recruiting agencies to become a Navy SEAL, but he had to re-hire the ASVAB. Only he had to get a higher score to join the Navy. He also had to lose 48 kg in three months. Despair enveloped him again. In those trying times, he was reminded how Apollo Creed looked at the ruthless Rocky. Bloodied and bruised, Rocky didn’t give up. After that, David finally formed his conviction. He pushed himself out of the seemingly comfortable routine he had once drifted into.
The news that he was starting Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training was enough for David.
But despite the enthusiasm, his wife Pam gave him an ultimatum: continue his BUD/S education or stay in their marriage. David chose to live a better life and so he continued with the BUD/S. In 2001 he triumphed and finished training as best in his class after three attempts. He was deployed to Iraq and served there with his SEAL team.
Army Ranger School
David read about other branches in the Army and the Army Ranger School was superlative in teaching leadership. He wanted to “go to extremes,” so he challenged himself and signed up for it. He graduated from Army Ranger School and was named Enlisted Honor Man.
On his first attempt to run, he couldn’t even reach his goal at six kilometers. He only survived 400 meters. But everything changed for him the moment he committed to transcendence.
After all that training he went through, he competed in at least 60 races. He is an ultramarathon runner, triathlete and ultratriathlon runner. He was placed in the top three in most of his races. He once held the Guinness World Record of 4,030 pullups in 17 hours.
Every step David managed to take was a sign of how he broke through his limits. He went ahead and influenced others to do the same. With a rock solid mindset, he became a motivational speaker for those who have experienced trauma and couldn’t get out of it. His book “Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds” described his sincerity and shared his hardships with those who stumble.
He was once in their shoes. In his words, he was burning with passion and empathy, making the world a better place and leaving no one behind as the people in his life stood by him through thick and thin.
David’s net worth is estimated to be around $2.5 million while his fiancé, Jennifer Kish, has a reported net worth of around $15.5-22 million. He amassed more than $240,000 by serving in the military. He earns $107,000 a year from his motivational speaking. His self-help book was distributed on December 4, 2018 and had generated more than 900,000 sales in its first four months of release.