Passion Struck                                                                   Beyond The Battlefield: CAPT John Doolittle On Why Anything Is Achievable With Perseverance

Passion Struck Beyond The Battlefield: CAPT John Doolittle On Why Anything Is Achievable With Perseverance

Episode Description

In this episode of Passion Struck, retired Navy SEAL Captain John Doolittle shares his remarkable journey from the US Air Force Academy to the challenging world of the US Navy SEALs. He recounts his experience swimming across the English Channel in honor of a fallen teammate and his involvement in the Tampa Bay Frogman Swim to support the Navy SEAL Foundation. 

Captain Doolittle also discusses the innovative KAATSU device he discovered during his surgery recovery and now works with to help veterans and individuals with chronic injuries. Through his inspiring stories and dedication to serving others, Captain Doolittle exemplifies resilience, perseverance, and the power of intentionality in achieving extraordinary goals.

Click here to get 10% off KAATSU products by entering code passionstruck.

Want to learn the 12 philosophies that the most successful people use to create a limitless life? Order John R. Miles’s new book, Passion StruckTwelve Powerful Principles to Unlock Your Purpose and Ignite Your Most Intentional Life.

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And in case you didn’t already know it, John R. Miles (@John_R_Miles) takes your comments and questions for Momentum Friday right here every week! If you want him to answer your question, register your feedback, or tell your story on one of our upcoming weekly Momentum Friday episodes, drop us a line at Now, let’s dive in!

“Anything is achievable. If you surround yourself with a small team of like-minded individuals, there’s nothing that will stop you.”


Hear the secrets and philosophy of the World’s GREATEST high achievers every Tuesday and Thursday, and tune in each week for an inspirational Momentum Friday solo message.

Listen to the episode on Apple PodcastsSpotifyPodcast AddictPocket CastsStitcherCastboxGoogle PodcastsListen NotesAmazon Music, or on your favorite podcast platform. You can watch the interview on YouTube below.


John Doolittle swimming the English Channel

John Doolittle, a retired Navy SEAL captain, has participated in significant swimming events to honor fallen teammates and support the Navy SEAL Foundation. He swam across the English Channel, a challenging 37.1-mile swim, in memory of a fallen teammate, Neil Roberts. Despite initial doubts, John’s determination and purpose led him to complete the swim in 12.5 hours. 

Additionally, John has been actively involved in the Tampa Bay Frogman Swim for the past 15 years, raising funds for the Navy SEAL Foundation. This annual event has grown in participation and support from the local community, providing crucial assistance to Gold Star families and veterans. John’s commitment to these swims showcases his resilience, dedication, and passion for supporting his fellow service members and their families.

In this episode, you will learn:

  1. Physical and Mental Resilience: The episode highlights the importance of mental toughness and resilience in challenging situations, such as SEAL training, marathon swims, and recovery from injuries.
  2. Purpose-Driven Actions: Captain John Doolittle’s experiences emphasize the power of undertaking challenges for a greater purpose, whether in memory of fallen comrades or supporting charitable causes like the Navy SEAL Foundation.
  3. Leadership and Teamwork: Lessons from SEAL training, such as empowering junior members and focusing on the mission’s intent rather than micromanaging, can be applied to various aspects of life and business.
  4. Innovative Health Solutions: The introduction of the KAATSU device showcases innovative health solutions that can aid in rehabilitation, muscle hypertrophy, and overall fitness, especially for individuals with chronic injuries or older individuals.


The discussion delves into the principles of leadership learned in the SEAL teams and how they can be applied to various aspects of life, including overcoming obstacles and building strong teams.

The episode emphasizes the importance of mindset, purpose-driven actions, and the impact of collective support in achieving extraordinary feats and making a positive difference in the world.

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Inspirational quote by Capt John Doolittle said during his Passion Struck Podcast interview with John R. Miles

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Retired Navy SEAL Captain John Doolittle shared his experience with a revolutionary training method called KAATSU. KAATSU, a Japanese term meaning “increase pressure,” is a pneumatic training system that utilizes elastic pneumatic bands controlled by a compressor to enhance muscle growth and strength.

The Origin Of KAATSU

The founder of KAATSU, Dr. Yoshiaki Sato, conducted extensive research over a 10-year period to understand the effectiveness of this training method. His studies revealed that Kaatsu could stimulate muscle hypertrophy even in individuals over 50 years old, challenging the traditional belief that muscle loss is inevitable with age.

How KAATSU Works

KAATSU involves applying elastic pneumatic bands to limbs, which are inflated during exercise to restrict blood flow. This restriction creates a state of hypoxia in the muscles, triggering a hormonal response that promotes muscle growth. The bands are inflated during exercise, providing a challenging workout experience with minimal weight resistance.

Benefits Of KAATSU Training

Captain John Doolittle, USN Ret. in Afghanistan
  • Muscle Hypertrophy: KAATSU training has been shown to promote muscle growth even in older individuals, combating age-related muscle loss.
  • Improved Strength: By creating a state of hypoxia in the muscles, KAATSU enhances strength gains during workouts.
  • Recovery Acceleration: The pneumatic bands help increase blood flow to the muscles post-exercise, aiding in faster recovery.
  • Low-Impact Training: KAATSU allows for effective workouts with minimal weight resistance, reducing the risk of injury.

Applications Of KAATSU

KAATSU training has found applications in various fields, including:

  • Fitness: Athletes and fitness enthusiasts use KAATSU to enhance muscle growth and strength gains.
  • Rehabilitation: Kaatsu is utilized in rehabilitation settings to aid in muscle recovery and strength-building post-injury or surgery.
  • Aging Population: The elderly benefit from KAATSU training to combat age-related muscle loss and maintain muscle mass.

John Doolittle’s Experience With KAATSU

John Doolittle wearing a Kaatsu device
John Doolittle wearing a KAATSU band

Captain John Doolittle shared how KAATSU played a significant role in his recovery from orthopedic surgeries, reducing his rehabilitation time by half. Inspired by the positive impact of KAATSU on his own recovery, Doolittle delved deeper into the training method and eventually joined Katsu Global, the company behind the innovative technology.

KAATSU has not only transformed Doolittle’s personal fitness journey but has also become a passion for helping wounded veterans, individuals with chronic injuries, and the elderly improve their physical well-being.

KAATSU represents a groundbreaking approach to fitness and rehabilitation. It offers a safe and effective method for muscle growth, strength gains, and overall physical well-being. With its ability to challenge traditional fitness beliefs and provide tangible results, Kaatsu is poised to revolutionize how individuals approach training and recovery.

For more information on KAATSU and its benefits, individuals can explore KAATSU Global’s website and consult with professionals experienced in this innovative training method.


If you enjoyed this interview with Capt. John Doolittle, let him know by clicking on the link below and sending him a quick shout on Instagram:

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Please note that some of the links on this page (books, movies, music, etc.) lead to affiliate programs for which The Passion Struck podcast receives compensation. It’s just one of the ways we keep the lights on around here. Thank you so much for being so supportive!

  1. John Doolittle’s Website
  2. John Doolittle’s Instagram
  3. John Doolittle’s LinkedIn
  4. Tampa Bay Frogman Swim
  5. For more information on KAATSU
  6. Passion Struck Core Value System:
  7. Listen to Passion Struck’s interviews with New York Times bestselling authors Gretchen Rubin and Seth Godin.
  8. Check out Passion Struck’s Episode Starter Packs on Spotify or Passion Struck starter packs to get started with the podcast.
  9. Want to learn the 12 philosophies that the most successful people use to create a limitless life? Pre-order John R. Miles’s new book, Passion Struck, which will be released on February 6, 2024.

Watch my interview with Colonel Robert Adams, MD On Be Your Own Best Advocate

Can’t miss my episode with Navy SEAL Astronaut Capt. ‘Chris’ Cassidy On The Importance In Life Of Being Present

Listen to my interview with William Branum On Why Transition Points Are Vital To Success

Check my interview with Navy SEAL Dan O’Shea On Escaping Afghanistan: How A Navy SEAL Saved A Family Of Fourteen

Catch my episode with Jason Redman On How You Confront The Dragon In Your Mind

About Today’s Guest, CAPT John Doolittle

Passion Struck album cover with CAPT John Doolittle Episode 441 on Leading Through Tough Times

John Doolittle is a name synonymous with resilience and perseverance. A retired Navy SEAL Captain, he has traveled across the country, sharing his profound insights on overcoming adversity in life. With a firm belief that anything is possible, Doolittle inspires audiences with his captivating talks.

Drawing from his extensive military career in the SEAL Teams, Doolittle imparts invaluable lessons on organizational leadership, conflict management, culture, resilience, and trust. However, his passion lies in addressing a crucial issue: preventing stress and burnout. Recognizing the pervasive impact of these challenges on every individual, whether in the workforce or academia, Doolittle delves into their causes and offers strategies for resilience.

In his engaging presentations, Doolittle emphasizes the importance of mindset and action in conquering life’s obstacles. From doing the little things right to fostering a resilient mindset and attitude, he offers practical guidance for teams and organizations. Additionally, he delves into topics such as building trust, developing professional relationships, and navigating challenges, changes, and adversity.

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Coming up next on Passion Struck. Never even thought of doing a marathon swim, let alone across the English Channel, not the easiest of marathon swims. And he said, no, you’ve been through BUDS. I think you got the right mindset. You should be able to do it, but contact the family of one of your buddies, one of your fallen buddies.”
And immediately I thought of Neil Fifi, Neil Roberts, whose nickname was Fifi. I called Patty, his wife, and I said, ” Hey, Patty, I’m thinking of doing something in memory of Neil. ” ” What do you think? ” And she said, ” Well, what are you thinking of doing? ” And I told her, I could hear her slap the table on the other end of the phone. She said, ” Oh my God, you gotta do it. ” He would love that. He would love that. He would have done it with you. And I was like, oh shit. I just screwed myself into this when I can’t get out. Now I’m committed.
“I just told Patty that I’m going to do it.

Welcome to Passion Struck. Hi, I’m your host, John R. Miles and on the show, we decipher the secrets, tips and guidance of the world’s most inspiring people and turn their wisdom into practical advice for you and those around you. Our mission is to help you unlock the power of intentionality so that you can become the best version of yourself. If you’re new to the show, I offer advice and answer listener questions on Fridays.” We have long form interviews the rest of the week with guests ranging from astronauts to authors, CEOs, creators, innovators, scientists, military leaders, visionaries and athletes. Now, let’s go out there and become passion struck.

Hello, everyone. And welcome back to episode 441 of passion struck the number one alternative health podcast. A heartfelt thank you to each and every one of you who return to the show every week, eager to listen, learn and to discover new ways to live better, to be better and to make a meaningful impact in the world. If you’re new to the show, thank you so much for being here, or you simply want to introduce this to a friend or family member. And we so appreciate it when you do that. We have episode starter packs, which are collections of our fans favorite episodes that we put into convenient playlists that give any new listener a great way to get acclimated to everything we do here on the show. Either go to Spotify or to get started. I have a special invitation for you. I’m excited to introduce our new passion struck quiz. It’s a unique opportunity for you to discover where you stand on the passion struck continuum. Are you an orchestrator who’s masterfully balancing various aspects of life with passion and purpose? Or are you a vanquisher conquering challenges and turning obstacles into opportunities? Take the quiz on and find out which one resonates more with your journey to living a passion struck life.

In case you missed it earlier this week, I interviewed Dr. Stephanie Estema, the renowned expert in metabolism and neurology. Dr. Stephanie is known for her groundbreaking work in optimizing human potential.
And she will share her insights on how to harness the power of your body’s biology to achieve peak health and performance. I also wanted to say thank you for your ratings and reviews. And if you love today’s episode or that one with Dr. Stephanie, we would appreciate you giving it a five star review and sharing it with your friends and families. I know we and our guests love to see comments from our listeners.

Today, we dive deep into the life and lessons of my very good friend, Captain John Doolittle, a retired Navy SEAL captain with a story that captures the essence of courage, resilience and unwavering perseverance. John’s journey from the US Air Force Academy to the demanding world of the US Navy SEALs and beyond is a testament to what it means to live a life driven by purpose and passion. Captain Doolittle is not just a military veteran of 25 years who has mastered the art of navigating life’s most turbulent waters, both literally and metaphorically. An accomplished channel swimmer, John has taken the lessons learned in the SEAL teams and applied them to not only swimming vast and treacherous waters, but also to speaking to organizations across the country about overcoming adversity, leading with integrity and building teams rooted in trust from the depths of the ocean to the forefront of leadership development. John’s message is absolutely clear. Anything is possible with resilience and perseverance.

In today’s episode, we explore John’s multifaceted career, his motivations for enduring some of the world’s most challenging military training and what it took for him to swim across the English Channel in honor of a fallen teammate. We’ll delve into the principles that have guided him through life’s adversities and triumphs and how he’s bringing proven leadership skills to organizations and teams around the country. Join us as we uncover the depth of Captain John Doolittle’s experiences from his impactful work with KAATSU Global and the Tampa Bay Frogman swim raising awareness and funds for the Navy SEAL Foundation. Thank you for choosing passion struck and choosing me to be your host and guide on your journey to creating an intentional life. Now let that journey begin. I am absolutely thrilled and honored to have my very good friend, Captain John Doolittle on the podcast today.

Welcome, John. So great for you to finally be here ‘ cause we’ve been talking about this for I think like a year and a half now. John, it’s taken forever, man. I mean, we’re talking like two and a half years we’ve been talking about this. I feel blessed to be here finally. So thanks for having me. Yeah. Well, thank you for giving me so many of your friends to be on the show. I appreciate it. But I figured You had Redmond on, didn’t you? Yes. Yep. And Mac Belts, he’ll be coming on and a bunch of guys. Yeah. Well, thank you for that. And I think we have so much to explore today because you’ve had such an incredible life and career. But I want to start where it all began in Walnut Creek, California. Okay. All right.

And can you share how your family’s emphasis on adventure and stepping out and creating experiences shaped who you have become? Well, so I grew up in Northern California, Walnut Creek. It’s part of the San Francisco Bay Area. My mom and dad, John and Nora, my sister, Tori, younger sister. And we were swimmers. We did rec swimming and that kind of stuff. And we were big skiers. My dad was a ski patrol. He every winter, so about three weekends out of each month. We’d be up in Lake Tahoe and he was National Ski Patrol, did that for 30 plus years. He also worked for Southwest Bell, Pacific Telephone, and a bunch of other stuff. But where I really got the taste of adventure in my family was in 1978, AT&T reached out to all the phone companies in the whole nation, and they said, ” Hey, the Shah of Iran in Tehran wants to redo his entire communication infrastructure. ” And they asked for contractors to come to Tehran, Iran, for three years at a time. So it was in 1978. My dad comes home, tells my mom, ” Hey, what do you think about moving to Tehran? “My mom says, ” No way in hell are we going to Iran? ” And then my dad takes this piece of paper and he slides it across the dinner table and he said, ” Well, this is what they’re looking to pay me. ” And my mom said, ” Well, when are we going? ” So we ended up going to Tehran. I was eight, nine years old, and that was before the revolution. So the Shah was in power. But while we were there, things started to go south. And I’ll tell you what, you wanna talk about adventure? That was high adventure. It was crazy. What? Getting out of there? Yeah, the whole experience. My dad got out before the hostages were taken, but all the women and children had been evacuated by that time.

So we were back in California when all that was taking place. Wow. Yeah, that was the beginning of my appetite for adventure. Ended up going through high school, played basketball, got hurt, and I was told I’d never run again. So I started swimming. And I swam all through high school. I wasn’t great, but I was good enough that I got noticed by some colleges, and I swam for a guy. We’ll talk about him later, Mr. Mike Troy. Gold medalist, right? Yep, double gold medalist in the 1960 Olympics, a world record holder in the 200 meter fly, and did, I believe it was three tours in Vietnam as a SEAL. Back when the Navy SEALs were a brand new thing after the DUDTs and post-Kennedy getting the SEAL teams going. And I’ll tell you what, Mike used to tell these stories. They were motivating as hell, and they were great learning experiences, but it always resonated with me. That kind of planted the seed for me eventually getting into the teams. Well, you have an interesting route of getting there. Yes, I do. When you and I, you went to the Air Force Academy, I went to the Naval Academy. And ironically, my roommate went in the Air Force. You go in the Navy. So I guess we traded one. Who’s your roommate? Colin Morrison. Oh, okay. Don’t know him. Yeah. And also another one of my company mates, Todd Siobhan, also went into the Air Force. One got out as a colonel, one got out after five. And you were in 91-year group, right? 93. 93. Okay. I knew we were separated by one. So I was in 92-year group.

So let’s back up a little bit. So we’re about the same age. So you remember when Top Gun came out the first time? That’s what I was going to say. That’s what I was going to say. Everyone I knew went to the academy because they wanted to be Top Gun. I was too tall to be to Maverick. I wanted to be Goose, but not get killed, right? I wanted to be Goose. I applied to the Naval Academy. I got turned down. They actually laughed at me on the phone when I told them my SAT scores, my college entrance exam scores. They basically laughed at me. And I told Mike Troy, who was one of my mentors, or behind my dad, Mike, and we’ll come back to him several times. “Just an incredible mentor. And I always tell people, if you don’t have a mentor in your life that’s not friend or family, it’s incredibly important, I think, to have a backboard that you can lean against when things get tough. But anyway, yeah, I went.

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Lost my train of thought. Well, I wanted to do the same thing you wanted to do, but there was no way in heck I wanted to be Goose.” If I was going to have to land on an aircraft carrier, I wanted my hands on the stick. And unfortunately, I have some field of vision issues. And like my junior year, even beginning of my first year as we were preparing to do selection, I would go to the optometrist like every week. And they were so patient with me because if you had on the 2020, I was able to get four out of six.
And then one time I got five out of the six, and you had to get six out of six and do it like a couple of repetitive times. And I kept getting five. They would bring me in and I could just never get the sixth. And so when I knew I couldn’t fly in the front seat, I didn’t want to fly. So then decided I wanted to follow in my father’s footstep, who was UDT class of ‘ 16. And then I played rugby and I ended up getting hurt and got medically disqualified from being able to do it. So my path was a little bit different.

But to go from the Air Force Academy to the Navy, when I was there, I thought that you had to have lineage. Like both the gentlemen I knew, both their fathers were in the Air Force. So I had always had the conclusion that you had to have a father or grandfather who had served in another service, but you proved me totally wrong. Well, I mean, my dad was Air Force. He did a career in the Air Force. During Vietnam, he did four or five years active duty. Then he got out. And ironically, he missed the camaraderie that comes with being in an organization like the military. So we tried to get back in, and he kept getting denied, denied, denied, because they were downsizing as Vietnam was ending, obviously. And eventually, they let him in to the reserves. And so when I got turned down at the Naval Academy, I asked Mike what he thought, and he said, ” Well, you should talk to the swim coach at Navy. ” That also went down in flames. But then he said, ” Hey, if you want to fly, look at the Air Force Academy. ” And I did, and I called the coach there and ironically, they needed a short-distance butterflyer and breast joker. They looked at me in my school grades and my scores, and they said, ” Well, keep taking that test. And if you can scratch the bare bone minimum, we can probably get you in. ” And that’s what happened. So I barely got in.

Wow. So you end up graduating from the Air Force Academy. Must have been pretty interesting when you’re there in a Navy uniform when you’re graduating. I assume that’s how you did it because I mean Because that’s what our guys did. I mean, they were there in their Air Force. Yeah, it’s a little different there. You get in your parade uniform and you have the big parade where everybody throws their hats in the air and that kind of stuff. But you get commissioned right before that. So I put on navy whites with Air Force shoulder boards. I got commission, became an Ensign, 01 Ensign, and then I had to change back into the parade uniform and then go march out for the graduations. May 27th, 1992, Ensign Doolittle graduated with all his Zoomie buddies. But there were actually four of us in that class that went into the Navy. Two of us went, we all wanted to go to BUDS. We all wanted to go to Basic Underwater Demolition School and initially had orders to do that, but the Navy, once they realized there were four Air Force guys going to one BUDS class, they said, ” No way. ” And they only ended up taking two, and I was not one of the two. For the next three years, every six months, I submitted a package to try and change my designator to go into the BUDS training pipeline. And I got denied six times over three years, yeah. And while you were doing those applications, you were a Navy diver. I was a hard hat diver, salvage diver. Yeah, that’s what I was doing in the Navy.

So do you think that ended up helping prepare you even more to then going to BUDS? Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Absolutely. The Navy dive school for the salvage diver is it’s different than anything you do in the SEAL teams, but it definitely prepares you for being comfortable in the water. If there’s one thing if there’s one thing you need to be comfortable at to go into teams, you got to be comfortable in the water. So yeah, absolutely. The hard hat diving school helped with that. Yeah, I think one of the misconceptions about the SEALS is that when you’re diving, I think some people think that you’re going really far under and really a lot of what you’re doing is like right under the surface. Oxygen rebreathers. You stay like 15, 20 feet under the surface and you transit. You know Combat swimmers getting from point A to point B. It’s not about going down.

So I always love to hear about different experiences from BUDS, and a friend of mine, one of my classmates, Chris Cassidy, told me the story that when he was going through BUDS, he and his guys were told to clean the office of some of the instructors. And this was right before Hell Week started. And he said, we go into this office, and with all of us who go in to clean it, probably only take us about half an hour, but they allocated like three, four hours for it. And he goes, when we walk in, just like this book is sitting, here’s a book that says, ” Hell week schedule. ” And some of the guys who are with them said, ” Oh my God, there’s the book. It’s right there. “And Chris is like, ” No, you don’t want to pick that up. There’s something to this. This is a trap. “But the two people pick it up, they end up photocopying it, and they spend the whole night reading it, going through it. And before Hell Week even started, both of them quit. And Chris said the lesson that he really learned from that is that sometimes it’s better not to know the hardships that you’re going to face than to have them laid out right there in front of you because that’s what they psych themselves out. I agree with that. I agree with that. And I think that applies to a lot of life. Approaching difficult times one step at a time in BUDS in Hell Week. They say don’t think of it as a day at a time or even evolution at a time. And then evolution might last one to three hours. But to think of it as one step at a time. If you can make it to right there, well, you can probably make that next step. And to just think about those really difficult times in life when things get tough, just you know what they say, how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Not thinking about the whole overarching picture. Yeah. Because it can get overwhelming. I mean, we’ve talked about this in the past, yeah.

Well, in the teams, you served in an actual, you were in SEAL Team 2, and you did deployments. You also served at much higher levels. One of the things I like to talk about in my book is this concept called Gardner Leadership. And the person who really taught me this was General Stan McChrystal. And what Stan talks about, and I think it’s very applicable to a SEAL team, is that from his perspective, he could be the head of SOCOM or whatever detachment is giving you your mission. But if you are a SEAL and you’re deployed 5,000 miles away from where your boss is, your boss has got to think of it that they’re giving you the training, they’re giving you the operational awareness of what you need to do on this mission, but yet they have to be hands-off because they can’t be there in the moment that you’re in conflict to micromanage everything you’re doing. Yeah.

Do you think that’s true and how do you apply that to the civilian world or? Yeah, in my current role, I love talking about commander’s intent, and that’s something we learned about in the team. It’s a military concept, but it’s very much leveraged in Special Operations Command, where you take a very senior person in an organization, and you talk to the most junior person in an organization, the whole organization, about what the overall intent is of what we’re trying to achieve. And you tell them what you want done, but not how to get it done. You’ve got to rely on historical perspective and their experience to really accomplish whatever that mission is. There’s a great quote. His name’s Rit Slabinsky, Slab, Medal of Honor recipient. He would be a great guy to have on your show as well. But Slab, I used to say all the time, ” You’re never too junior to have the best idea in the room, and you’re never too senior to be wrong. You’re never too junior to have the best idea in the room. You’re never too senior to be wrong. ” And that’s beautiful because it empowers everyone in an organization to achieve something great.

And when you look at and yeah, okay, I was in the SEAL teams. I did that for 25 years. But when you look at any small group of like-minded personalities and like-minded people trying to achieve some overarching goal end state, if you can tell them not at all how you want it done, but tell them what the end state is and let them navigate between those swim lanes, it’s amazing what they’ll come up with. And oftentimes, when you empower those junior guys in an organization, they’ll crush it. They’ll crush it when they feel like they’re being under that traditional military model, that hierarchical where, ” Hey, you will do what I tell you to do when I tell you to do it. ” That doesn’t work a lot of the times. That’s certainly the case in special operations. It’s funny, you know Admiral Mence? I do, yes. And I was talking to him about you, and he goes, ” When people see Doolittle, ” he goes, ” That’s what everyone pictures a SEAL looking like. ” He goes, ” When they see me, ” he goes, ” I have no physical ability at all.” So he goes, ” John makes it look easy. ” And he goes, ” I had to work like 10 times harder than he did to do anything. ” Oh, man. He’s a great American, great leader. He did a friend of mine’s retirement just a couple of weeks ago.

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Oh, that’s great. Well, when I think of SEALs and I think when a lot of people do, you oftentimes think of physical endurance and the physical aspects of it. But I think way beyond that is the mental toughness aspect of it. Can you share a technique or a practice that you learned in the teams that helped you maintain mental resilience in times of extreme challenge? Yeah. Before you go to initial training, everything in a young alpha male’s head is all about physical. And once you get there and you realize everybody’s just in incredible shape, and I don’t want to say everybody’s the same, but in my opinion, the thing that distinguishes guys that leave on their own accord, that ring the bell and quit, and the people that stay, it’s their mindset. It is absolutely their mindset. For me, personally, it was that perspective that I might get kicked out. I might get medically dropped if I get injured or something horrible might happen. But I will not, no matter what, quit. And that’s where my mind was. Now everybody treats it a little bit different, but it is definitely more mental than physical. And when you go through an experience that live with a lot of friends and teammates, you walk away from that experience, at least I did, realizing that there’s really nothing you can’t do as long as you surround yourself with the right people. What you learn at BUDS, though, is you cannot do it by yourself. Absolutely not. Impossible. No. Absolutely not. Really a band of brothers, for sure.

Yeah. Well, a lot of SEAL missions are shrouded in secrecy. As they should be. As they should be. And you’re going into very dangerous, oftentimes unknown situations. Can you describe at all what goes on behind the background, like when you’re typically preparing for a mission, what aspects do you focus on that people might not expect? Well, this can apply to a lot of things in life.
The mission planning, that was one of the things that kind of surprised me, was how distributed across the organization it was. I mean, you might be the senior enlisted in a task unit. You might be the senior officer in a task unit. But you’re not necessarily doing any more work than anyone else in that task unit. Everybody’s working hard to prepare for what that mission is. So if you think about a small program manager in a small team, if you wanted to take the special operations model and apply it to that team, you give everybody high levels of responsibility, even those most junior guys. And that surprised me. I really thought the officers and the senior enlisted kind of shaped all the mission planning, and that’s not at all the case. That’s not how it works.

Without giving away too much, the way we insert an infill to a target, that might be all the point man’s responsibility to figure all that out. And unless one of the leadership in the organization sees a major issue with it, they go with it. They trust him. And that has applications throughout life, especially if you’re working in the business world, right? Right. I mean Yeah. Absolutely. I love that. Yeah My father was a preacher. Really? Yeah. And I always asked him, especially because he was in Cambodia, and I’m like, ” How did you feel about being in that position? ” He goes, ” I didn’t think about it. ” He goes, ” You don’t think about it. You’ve got a job you’re trained to do. If you don’t do it well, that people are going to get hurt. They’re relying on you. ” And so he goes, ” I just went into it trying to do the best job I possibly could, and I just felt the rest of it would take care of itself because everyone else was entrusting me, then I’m going to get it right so that they could concentrate on their jobs. Is he still around? He is. He’s 86 now. Awesome. Awesome. You should get your dad and my dad. Go all have a beer. That’d be great.

So I want to now jump from the SEALs to your swimming prowess because you not only swam in college. And ironically, my roommate, in College, was also a swimmer. He was a butterflyer. But you did something pretty remarkable. As far as I know, you are the only Navy SEAL who’s ever swim the English Channel. Is that accurate? I think there’s another guy that’s done it now. That’s done it now. But at the time, you were the only one, and that’s what, 33 kilometers, something like that? It’s 21 miles as the crow flies. But what happens with the channel is you go through two tidal shifts. So your track across the channel ends up looking like a big S. So 21 miles is the crow flies, but our track for my swim was 37.1 miles, but you’re not swimming that far because if you’re swimming one knot this way and the current’s going five knots this way, you understand? You’re being pushed and pulled by the tides and currents, so you really rely on your pilot vessel. And that was an incredible experience. I was at the school, Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey. It was early 2004. A lot of my friends and teammates were over in Afghanistan, and at that point, Iraq. So we had both things going on then. And it was a really busy time in the military, for sure. But I was struggling with that because all my buddies are getting after it, doing these great things. And I’m at school at a postgrad when you’re an officer, they encourage you to go get your post-grad degree, that whole thing. And one night, I called up Mike Troy again. They said, ” Hey, Mike, this school thing really sucks, and I’m struggling with it, and something’s not right with me. I feel off. ” Without skipping a beat, man.

He’s no longer with us, but I know he’s laughing right now. Without skipping a beat, he goes, ” John, swim to the English Channel and do it for one of your buddies that died. ” And I was like, ” Mike, I was like a 200-meter breast joker when you were my coach. I’ve never done a marathon swim. I’ve never even thought of doing a marathon swim, let alone across the English Channel, not the easiest of marathon swims. ” And he said, ” No, you’ve been through BUDS. I think you got the right mindset. You should be able to do it, but contact the family of one of your buddies, one of your fallen buddies. ” And immediately I thought of Neil, Fifi, Neil Roberts, his nickname was Fifi. And so I called Patty, his wife, and I said, ” Hey, Patty, I’m thinking of doing something in memory of Neil. What do you think? ” And she said, ” Well, what are you thinking of doing? ” And I told her, and I could hear her slap the table on the other end of the phone. She’s like, ” Oh my God, you gotta do it. ” He would love that. He would love that.
He would have done it with you. And I was like, ” Oh, shit. ” I just screwed myself into this when I can’t get out. Now I’m committed. I just told Patty that I’m gonna do it. So then I went to go do my first swim in Monterey, no wetsuit. ‘ Cause to do the channel, for it to count with the Channel Swimming Association, you can’t wear any neoprene. So you got to be in a Speedo, and you can have a swim cap, and you can have earplugs. That’s it.

No fens. No, God, no. No fens. The only rule is you can’t touch the boat and you can’t be wearing any neoprene. You put some Vaseline on or something under your armpits. So I go in Monterey and I get in the water to do my first training swim for an English channel. How long do you think I lasted? Maybe you did a mile. Five minutes. Five minutes. Five minutes. At five minutes, I was jackhammering. ‘ Cause you were so cold. In the water temp in Monterey, that time of year, 58, 59 degrees, but that’s the same temperature it is in the summer over in Dover, England. So I was like, ” Ooh, man. ” But what I learned about myself and about human physiology is your body has an amazing ability to adapt. And so the first day I lasted five minutes, the next day, I lasted seven. And by the end of the week, I was in the water for 10 minutes. The next week, 15 minutes. And later on, a few months later, I wanna say it was about six months of doing that, or a little more, I worked my way up to what they call an immersion swim up in San Francisco. You gotta last for 10 hours in water under 60 degrees Fahrenheit. So I did that. And long story longer, did it in memory of Neil and to raise money for the UDT SEAL Association and the Navy SEAL Foundation to help Gold Star families.

And yeah, long story longer, eventually made it. How long did it end up taking you to do the swim? 12 and a half hours. A little under 12, it’s 12 hours, 24. When you finish that, you go to Dover. So you swim Dover to Calais or near Calais, France, and then you finish it, and you get back on the boat, and the boat brings you back to Dover, and you go to the White Horse Pub. And the White Horse Pub, if you complete the swim, you get a free pint of Guinness. Oh, that’s your reward. That’s your reward. You get to write your name on the ceiling tiles or on the walls. But there’s a payphone, or there was, and I went out there, called Patty, and oof, it was powerful. It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. Man, I mean, it’s an amazing thing to say, ” You’ve done it, ” but to do it in honor of a teammate is quite a remarkable honor for him and his family.

One of the things Mike told me before I started training for this, he said, ” Yeah, John, it’s hard. It’s going to be hard. It’s going to be one of the hardest things you’ve ever done. But if you’re doing it for a purpose greater than yourself, you will be able to achieve it. If you do something for a greater good or a greater purpose than just this, then you’d be able to accomplish it. And he was exactly right, ‘ cause we were halfway across, and the tides were going, the currents are going one way, the winds had picked up, and we’re going the other way. So now we didn’t have swells, we had that washing machine chop, and everything was starting to fall apart. My stroke count was slowing down, which you never want to have happen. My shoulder was just aching. I was cramping. I was hitting jellyfish. All this stuff. And my dad was in the support crew on the pilot boat, and they all could see that I was struggling, and I didn’t know it, but they had snuck on board a three by five American flag. And it was like 15, 18 knots of wind, and I breathe to my right, and I look up, and they’re holding in the wind, this American flag. And I just remember thinking, ” Holy smokes, John, get out of your own head. This isn’t about you, man. It’s about Neil. It’s about all the guys like Neil that we’re going to lose going forward in this long war. And I’ll tell ya, it was like a light switch. All of a sudden, nothing hurt anymore, and we were able to finish it. That’s incredible.

And I just released an episode this week that we’re doing this with this Gurkha soldier named Harry Buddha Magar. The guy from Nepal. Yes. And this gentleman, unfortunately, lost both his legs above the knee from an IED in Afghanistan. And remarkably, he was the first person with that situation who’s ever climbed Everest. And just to hear his whole story, he got similar to you trying to get into the SEALs. He kept getting denied because the Nepali government doesn’t want a fatality. They don’t want someone to fail. And so he had to actually climb Mount Blanc and another mountain just to prove to him that he could do it. But as I was interviewing him, I said, ” How often did you want to give up? ” He said, ” Almost every hour of every single day. ” He goes, ” Because it was so hard. ” He goes, ” To your point, ” he goes, ” I wasn’t doing it for myself. I was doing it to prove to other people with disabilities so they could see me and realize in their own mind that anything is possible if they set their mind to it. “I was telling Katie about I listened to the first 10 minutes of it last night when you told me. And so I haven’t finished it yet. But when I told Katie, bilateral amputee, both above the knee, first person in history to summit on Mount Everest, she didn’t believe me at first. We had to look it up. She’s like, ” Oh my gosh, that’s amazing. ” I’m really grateful you’re able to get him on the show. That’s an amazing story. Well, I happened to, I don’t know where I heard about him. I think it might have been Corey saw a video about it and said, ” You gotta get this guy on the show. ” yeah And I’d never, it was such a remarkable accomplishment. I just thought his story was worth telling to inspire other people.

Going back to swimming, English Channel isn’t the only thing … We’re staying in swimming. We’re staying and swimming. English Channel isn’t the only thing that you have done that is supporting the Navy SEAL Foundation and Fallen SEALs. I have seen you now two years in a row swim here in Tampa Bay in January. You do the Frogman swim. And that is something that’s in what it’s like 14th year? Yep. Well, 15 years. We just had our 15th one. So let’s go back a little bit. 15 years ago, I was stationed at Special Operations Command Headquarters, SOCOM headquarters. And we heard about a SEAL, and he doesn’t mind me telling this story, so I’ll tell you his name, Dan Knaussen. And Dan in Afghanistan, they were landing on a hilltop. They were inserting from a rotary wing insertion. And the point man missed a pressure plate IED, improvised explosive device, and Dan stepped on it. And the IED went low order, meaning the whole daisy chain of explosives did not go off. Luckily, thank God. But the pressure plate primer charge did go off, blew both Dan’s legs off above the knees. So we heard about that, of course, immediately at SOCOM, and Naya medevaced him, and he was at Walter Reed. And we were hearing through the grapevine that this was before our foundations had a lot of money to help wounded guys to help Gold Star families and all that. So we heard his family was in the Hurt Locker financially a little bit. And so some of us here locally and a lot of these guys, Dan O’Shea was one of them.
And a lot of us got together and we said, ” Well, what can we do to support this guy? ” And somebody, I think it might have been Rory, came up with, ” Why don’t oh, I know who. It was Terry Tomlin. Rest in peace, Terry. That guy was great. But Terry said, let’s swim across the bay. And I was like, wait a minute, the Tampa Bay is like 26 miles across. What are you talking about? No, we’ll do a shorter version. Eh, 5K, three and a half mile-ish. There’s a place we can swim across. And so we did it.

We ended up having a little party afterwards at the American Legion on the Tampa side. There were about, I don’t know, 25 of us, maybe 30 tops that showed up that morning. It was cold. It was in the ‘ 30s. And at the end, we consolidated all these handwritten IOU notes on bar napkins, little wads of cash, pocket lint checks. And we put them all on a table at the American Legion.
And we started counting up. And we were hoping to make about $3,000 to give Dan’s family to just help out with something, anything. And it ended up being about $30,000. And at that point, we’re like, ” Whoa, wait a minute. We’re onto something here because we didn’t even try and we made $30,000 for this guy. ” And so now jump forward a few years. And instead of doing the swim for an individual, we decided to do it in support of the Navy Seal Foundation to help with Gold Star families and surviving spouses and surviving kids that are struggling with A, B, or C. And each year, the Swim has made more and more money for the foundation. And the foundation’s got a lot of money to help guys now.

But if you think about what happens when we lose somebody, when a family loses their husband or their father, the entire family needs to get to the memorial service. The entire family needs hotel rooms. There’s rental cars. There’s per diem costs. Then there’s the burial, which is often at a different time. All the travel costs that comes with that. And the kids, their college education, the SEAL Foundation covers that. A lot of times, the spouse had not been working, just been raising the family, but now the spouse needs to go back to work. The foundation helps with that. And it just spiderwebs and so many ways that they can help these families. That’s why we do the swim. And it’s incredibly successful. It’s one of my favorite things to be part of, man. It’s really cool. Well, this year, when I was there, it was a tough year because right at the time that this was happening, there were two SEALs in the Gulf who had gone missing, presumed fatalities. But I also, every single year, you swim for a different family.
And it’s typically a family who is there present. And this year, I got to see and meet the parents of Sandy. His mom and his father, yeah. And his father was a fighter pilot himself. I didn’t know that. Yeah, he flew F-4s. I mean, just to see how impactful it was for them and the power of hope and remembrance that it brought them made me, I mean, just internalize the whole reason why everyone does it. And I think what’s remarkable now is that the vast majority of people who swim it aren’t Navy SEALs. They’re civilians who are now trying to help or veterans. It is such a cool way for the Tampa, St. Petersburg Clearwater Region community to come together to support this effort. Because at that memorial ceremony, when the sun’s coming up that morning and the reading of the names of all the Naval Special Warfare operators we’ve lost since 9/11, when that memorial service is happening, we’re surrounded by the local community on the beach.

And it is incredible. I mean, you’ve experienced it. Every time I talk to somebody about this, I encourage them, even if they don’t volunteer, even if they don’t swim, even if they don’t go to the after party, go see the memorial ceremony and the reading of the names. It’s so powerful, and it’s just information. It needs to be shared. And I’ll keep doing this thing till I can’t walk anymore. Hell, I’ll keep doing it after I can’t walk. Where are we going now? The life of a SEAL, I think any of us who served, we end up later on having a whole bunch of injuries. And if I have it right, you’ve had a dozen plus surgeries yourself. Yeah, 13 orthopedic surgeries. So you’re stationed at SOCOM, which is the Special Operation Command here in McDill. And at the time, you are now having to get shoulder surgery if I have it right. And you had had to have this. Shoulder surgery, yeah, rotator cuff. In the past.
And it took you about a year to recover from it the first time. But you’re going through this now the second time and you’re introduced to this device. I know where you’re going now. Yes. And so at the same time, you’re contemplating getting out of the service, but knowing you, you want to do something that’s going to help people. And so you end up starting to use this device, which we’re going to talk about, and it ends up cutting your recovery time in about half, if I understand it correctly. You got it right. It’s like you’ve done research on this. And you start realizing that this thing has got applications that be helping a lot of people, especially people who’ve lost limbs, who are in severe chronic pain, like a lot of veterans are in, and even the elderly who suffer falls and other things. So can you tell us about this path? I think I just did some sugar coating on it, but.

Well, first of all, thanks for even going down this road because I’ve been out for six and a half years, and I’ve been working with this company, KAATSU, the whole time. KAATSU is a Japanese word. It stands for increase ka. And if you think a shiatsu, atsu, pressure. Increase pressure, KAATSU. And there’s another word, shiatsu. Shiatsu. So KAATSU is like pressure on. Shiatsu’s pressure off. Jitsu. What KAATSU is its pneumatic, elastic pneumatic bands controlled by a little pneumatic compressor. And when I was going through rehab over at SOCOM from one of my surgeries, they would put these devices, in this case, on my arms. And during the inflation phase, it looks like a tourniquet, but it’s not a tourniquet. It’s an elastic pneumatic band. And all it does is it pools the blood in the limb. So if I had it on my legs right now during the pressure phase, I would feel all this tingling in my legs. It would all be engorged with blood, and you’re slowing down that venous return. But when you start moving the leg when it’s in that state or same with your arms, not only does it feel much harder than it actually is, but you’re tricking the body. You’re tricking the biomechanics in the body.

It’s almost like a biohack where the body thinks you’re working really hard, but all you’re really doing is instead of moving 100 pounds, you might be moving five pounds, but you’re getting that hormonal response as if you’re moving 100 pounds. So it’s a great tool for rehab. That’s how I got introduced to it. They’d have me do these exercises with incredibly low resistance, low weight, but it was really difficult. And what I found is, in my case, they used it on me for two different surgeries. In both cases, my rehab time was pretty quick. And yeah, I fell in love with it. And a few years later, I was getting out. I ended up traveling to Tokyo, Japan, and I met the founder, Dr. Yoshiaki Sato. And I got trained by him. And then I met the CEO for KAATSU Global.
And long story longer, I’ve been working there ever since. But the thing I really enjoy about it is helping and you touched on it is helping the wounded ill-injured teammates, especially in the veteran space. There’s something to be said when somebody has chronic injuries, orthopedic injuries or otherwise, or they have a lot of osteoarthritis, and they can’t go to the gym and lift heavy anymore because they get that massive inflammation response, or they get injured and then they’re down for a while.
This is a way to with very low weight, so the risk of injury is very low. But this is a way to get that workout without going heavy. And if you saw pictures of my back, you’d understand why I will never be able to go heavy ever again, but I can still get good workouts from this stuff.

And I want to explore this a little bit more. I mean, yeah we are an alternative health podcast, so yeah yeah something this fits right in. And I know you’ve got one of these with you. My understanding of this, if I have it correctly, is the person who discovered this actually studied people over a 10-year period to understand the usefulness of it. And I think I’ve heard you talk that there are people up until 104 years old who have used this in a safe manner. So the other thing I understand about this is it’s got a couple different modes.

One, as I understand it, is it’s like a constant mode and another one is a re circling mode where it gives you some You call it the KAATSU Cycle mode. Okay, so why don’t you go through this? Well, first of all, sarcopenia is the muscle loss that happens after, as you get older and older, you lose more and more muscle mass. And it used to be considered a medical truth that once you got over 55 years old, you were going to start losing muscle mass. What Dr. Sato showed and he showed it with people up to 104 years old with MRI cross-sectional measurements and whatnot. If you pool the blood in a limb and then you exercise that limb, very simple exercises, you can actually get muscle hypertrophy even into your 80s, 90s, and in that extreme case, 104 years old.

That has taken a lot of the fitness industry and turned it on its head a little bit, especially for people that are in their 50s and older. Because when you talk to guys, especially we see this as ex-military guys all the time. Guys just don’t want to go to the gym and go heavy anymore because if I go to the gym and I do some deadlifts, just like back in the day, 225 deadlift was nothing. If I do a 135 deadlift and I’m wrong in my form in any way, I’m down for a month, if not longer. This is a way where you can still get that, but maybe just do the bar, or maybe no bar at all, and just do those movements. And this is what it looks like. This is our Bluetooth version where the compressor’s actually connected to the band. But these bands, they’re not tourniquets. They stretch and they give and they move with the limb. Now, there’s a lot of, I’ll call them, competitor products, and they use repurposed surgical tourniquets. And that would be a much wider than this, over double the width of this, and they’re rigid in their cuffs. Now, those are designed to fully occlude blood flow, and then you back it off a little bit, and you can get muscle hypertrophy from that.
That’s true, but you can only do that on young, healthy people. You would never do that on somebody that has compromised vascular system or cardiac issues. This, on the other hand, is actually a cardiac rehab device in Tokyo.

We just recently registered it as a class one medical device here in the US, and we’re working with the VA and a lot of medical organizations for the cardiac rehab piece of this. And for those who are not watching but are listening, it’s about what, 18 inches long? Yes. Give or take? Yeah. So this is an armband. It’s about 18 inches long, just over an inch wide. It has a pneumatic bladder in it. This one is controlled by your smartphone, so it has the actual compressor on here. The other versions, you wear the compression device on your shorts or on your sweats, and then there’s a tube that connects to the band. A lot of the military organizations like that one better because you can untether. The band will hold the pressure when it’s untethered and then you’re waterproof in that mode and you can do aggressive movements like jiu-jitsu and things like that. I like this version when I’m like in the kitchen making coffee and working around the house.

But that folds into something else that is really what got me started with this company. It’s less about having people add something new. It’s more about taking whatever your life, how you live your life already activity-wise, and folding this into your existing life. If somebody never goes to the gym, they should never go to the gym with this. They just fold this in to what they already do for activity anyway. I could talk about this all day long. So going back. To Harry Buddha Magar. I know one of the things that those who have lost limbs, it could be from diabetes, it could be from a motorcycle accident, it could be from combat. They end up getting phantom pain where they almost feel like their limb is still there. How would this help someone in that situation? So we have many cases of this decreasing residual limb pain. Now, full disclosure, when I say residual limb pain, I’m talking more at the actual area where the limb had been severed and then sewn closed. So those nerve endings around, I don’t like to call it a stump, but that residual limb ending, a lot of people have pain at that point. This helps alleviate that pain by simulating when you exercise, what do you do? You’re dilating and relaxing blood vessels over and over when you’re exercising. Well, you can do that with this in the passive state. So if you think about an amputee and they have a lot of discomfort in that limb, if they can exercise that residual limb, then it feels much better, nine times out of 10.

Some guys don’t like it. I mean, I’ll be honest. Some guys, especially if they’ve had any nerve ablation done, this can actually not work on many of those guys. But nine times out of 10, guys love it. Now, we also have had people with what you’re talking about, phantom limb pain, having that decrease with this. But we haven’t done studies on that. I can’t say that we got to do some further research on that. But anecdotally, yes. I think what it is, more than anything, is a distraction technique for the brain. I think the brain gets into these pain pathways get so engrossed or embedded in the brain. If you can distract those pain pathways, then you can help decrease that pain. Paraplegics and quadriplegics that are dealing with what type of nerve pain is that called? I can’t remember off the top. I’m having a mind blank, but we work with plenty of paralyzed veterans and otherwise, and it’s a way to improve systemic circulation in that person. So we have somebody right here in Tampa. He’s a total quad. He was shot through and through his C3. So he’s a complete quadriplegic from his neck down, but neuropathic pain. So his neuropathic pain, even though he has no feeling or traditional feeling and no muscular control over his legs, he’s still before bed. He still has neuropathic pain. This seems to decrease it in those guys. I’m not going to say it makes it go away, but he does say when he’s using this before bed, he’s able to come off those meds to help put him to sleep. Okay. Well, I mean, that’s great.

And I think the other big use case is, I know when my grandparents were older, my parents now, we’re always worried about them falling because slip on ice or slip any way, you end up damaging a hip or something like that. It’s the repercussions that come from that downstream. And to me, this is a great way for people to use a device like this without having to go to the gym if that’s not a resource or they don’t have the strength at that point to do it. Yeah, frailty is a big issue as people get into their 70s and 80s. I mean, both my parents use this on a religious basis every single day, and they swear by it. And if you saw my mom and dad I mean, yes, they look like sorry, mom. You don’t look like you’re in your 80s. You look like you’re in your 60s. But their muscle tone, they both still ski. They both still hike. It’s that eliminating frailty as you age is incredibly powerful.

And to your point, that is a way if you do fall, if you do slip and fall, muscle tone in the body is just going to help in a variety of ways with that fall, if not help keep you from even falling in the first place. Well, thank you for sharing that, John. I want to go back to swimming here for a second. Okay. And I’m going to introduce this topic through this lens. I know you love to speak. You’ve been donating your time a lot to universities to try to inspire the up-and-coming next generation. But I happened to go on LinkedIn one day, and I see this conference announcement, and here you are headlining, and they had these two, I don’t know, average people speaking with you, Michael Phelps .. my aquatic childhood hero. And I know that this speaking is something that you love to do, and it’s something that’s become very important to you.

Can you talk about I know one of the things you like to talk about is burnout and how to avoid it. I was hoping you might be able to share that, and then I’ll ask you a couple of other questions about some of the things you like to cover. So I do enjoy the public speaking, which surprises me because in the military, I hated getting up in front of large groups and selling our mission. Anytime we wanted to try and get a mission, the officer would get up and brief all the senior leadership. And it always was, I always felt like I was getting sniped from the crowd. And so I avoided that stuff. I didn’t enjoy it. I tried to do one-on-ones with the senior leadership to get missions and that kind of stuff. And then I got out and I got asked to go speak at a local high school. And I didn’t really want to do it. And I went and I did. It was a Veterans Day thing and 11th hour of the 11th month of the 11th… Armistice day. And I look out in the crowd and these kids are hanging on every single word. And then I opened it up for questions after I spoke. I only talked for 15 minutes. And after a half hour to principal had to cut it off. It was so much fun. It was so much fun. And what I learned is there’s so much from my life that I’ve learned in my time in the military and my time after the military and business.

There’s so many lessons that I’ve learned that I love sharing with people, especially when they’re younger, that college age, seniors in high school, college, or young professionals just starting in the business world. I love talking to those guys because there’s so many lessons that I learned the hard way that very simply can be avoided with doing the little things right. I love talking about that, right? When you’re at a service academy and it doesn’t make sense why you got to do all these little things the exact right way or you get the BUDS and you have to sharpen your knife a certain way or tie your shoes. All those little things, they don’t necessarily make sense until one day you’re in a combat zone and you have tragedy and somebody dies and you peel it all back and you look at what happened and then you realize, ” Oh, jeez, yeah we missed a little thing. “Those types of stories resonate with young Americans. That’s what I love to do is there’s things that I’ve done in the military and there’s stories I like to tell and then take the operational piece of whatever the story was and then fold it into these kids ‘ lives and how it can help them. And it works for small businesses and project management teams and that kind of stuff as well.

And I think going back to that story with Harry and him trying to show that anything’s possible, I think your journey of doing the English Channel and even becoming a SEAL is also a testament that if you put your mind to something and you have passion and perseverance and you’re intentional about how you’re approaching it, you can accomplish things that you never in your life thought you could accomplish. Is there something you would like to talk to the audience about that? Yeah. Just that. My website says, ” Anything is achievable. ” And I think that applies to about anything at life. Anything you put your mind to, especially if you surround yourself with a small team of like-minded individuals, there’s nothing that will stop you. And I love talking with people about that. The final thing I wanted to ask you is looking ahead, what are some of the next challenges or goals that you’re passionate about pursuing? And if there’s one you want to talk about, how are you thinking about tackling it? I love talking with people about the work they do and the passions they have in life. And if you can have both of those intersect some way, you have found personal gold. And that’s what I’m doing with KAATSU.

So my passion journey and my hope for the future is that injured, wounded first responders, military veterans, especially that population in our country that’s dealing with stress and burnout and mental health and behavioral health issues. If you can get them exercising again, or you can get them feeling better about themselves, that’s gold. And I’m so grateful that the organization that I’m working with is doing exactly that. My goal is anybody that’s wounded, ill, injured, or can’t go to the gym because they can’t lift heavy weights anymore, I want to get em KAATSU. And that’s what I’m going to do. Okay, well, John, if someone is interested in learning more about you, wanting to hear where you’re speaking, wants to hire you to speak, things like that, where’s the best place for them to go? and a friend of mine told me about making a website with my name in it, so that’s what I did. Yeah, so the backstory of this is John’s talking to me about, I’m in the process of designing this website. This is the name I’m going for. I’ve bought the domains for my kids because I think if you can find them, you should get them because they’re so valuable. Because no matter who you are, it’s never too late to brand yourself. And I’m going through that and I called John up. I’m like, ” Why aren’t you just using your own name? ” He goes, ” Well, I checked it like six months ago and it wasn’t available. ” I’m like, ” Well, you better go right now because you can buy it for $9.99. ” And I guess you listened to me because you have it. Yeah. Well, thank you. Yeah. Thank you. Well, John, it was such an honor to finally get you on the show. And we just packed a little bit about who you are, but what a remarkable story. And thank you so much. As I’ve gotten to know you, you are an inspiration to so many.
And I think what I’ve always admired is you go out of the way, you go out of your way to make other people feel special and to try to help people. And I think that’s why you have developed such a big following. Well, thanks, John. And thank you for what you’ve done with this passion project. And this podcast is you’re changing a lot of lives in a positive way, and that’s gold. And while we can’t sit here and say that you’re saving lives, I will tell you that I think that is happening.

So thank you very much for what you’re doing. Well, I mean, thank you. That means a lot. And I am just so happy we could finally bring this to the world. And hopefully, I can get you to do more podcasts with me because I think people would love hearing you and I banter and talk to guests. Let’s do it. Anytime you want. You live right down the street. There you go. Well, thank you audience for tuning in today and so glad we could get this final episode with John out to you. So thank you again, John. Thanks, John. Thanks for having me, man. Awesome.

I am so honored that we were able to do that interview with my friend Captain John Doolittle. And he and I have honestly been talking about this for the past two years. All things John Doolittle will be in the show notes at Please use our website links if you purchase any of the books from the guests that we feature here on the show. Videos are on YouTube at both our main channel at John R Miles and our clips channel at passion struck clips. Please go subscribe and join over 250,000 other subscribers. Advertiser deals and discount codes are in one convenient place at passion Please consider supporting those who support the show. You can find me on all the social platforms at John R Miles and you can sign up for our weekly newsletter live intentionally at passion

You’re about to hear a preview of the Passion Struck podcast interview that I did with Gabby Bernstein, who will share the transformative wisdom from her latest book, Happy Days. We discuss how to heal from your past, embrace the power of self love and learn how to step into a life of joy and peace. So tune in and get ready to unlock your happiest days yet. We cannot heal what we’re not willing to see. Having the bravery and the courage to become conscious and aware of the physical experiences, the thoughts, the energy, the sensations that are keeping us out of alignment with true nature, which is joy. Having the courage to be the witness of those experiences that are blocking us is the first step to healing because you cannot heal what you’re not willing to see. So having the bravery to begin to look at your life and maybe even simply say, is this it? There has to be a better way. That willingness opens the door for more recovery to be revealed. Remember, we rise by lifting others. So share the show with those that you love and care about. And in the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show so that you can live what you listen. Until next time, go out there and become passion-struck.

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