The day started at 5 AM with the boys not knowing what to expect. They loaded onto the bus with their cell phones expecting to take a nap on the way to the first destination. Former Navy SEAL trainer, Mike Getka, arrived and had them get off the bus while giving up their cell phones, which was possibly the hardest thing they have done in a long time. The boys quickly overcame their cell phone separation when Mike had them doing some basic training in the JHS parking lot. They could not finish until they all completed the training as a team. When they realized that they would be there all day unless they listened and completed the task, they finally finished and reboarded the bus to leave.
We arrived an hour later at the FIT obstacle course in Fellsmere. The boys were divided into 4 teams to complete 4 various mental or physical courses. These training facilities are utilized by various SWAT and other law enforcement agencies to train their staff. It was an extremely cold morning as we needed to break the ice off of one of the safety pads so the boys would have a soft landing if they fell. When one of the boys was at the top of an obstacle and said that “I could die if I fall off of this”, they realized this course was no joke and they needed to focus. Each team was also timed and told that the losing teams would have extra training at the end. This helped to motivate them even more. The mental challenges had them working as a team to figure out how to transport “an injured” college from one area to another or to get the whole team over an obstacle. It was very difficult to watch and not interject and let the boys figure out how to complete the tasks, but in the end they all did it. Along the way we had a second SEAL trainer, Jeff Samuel, pull a few boys aside to complete additional training drills to make sure no one left this course without being completely challenged to their fullest potential. Food was provided when all of the teams completed their tasks, and we reloaded to the next unknown destination, which we told them would be even more difficult than the last.
After a 40-minute bus trip, we arrived at the Navy SEAL Museum for the boys to complete their obstacle course and spend some time exploring the facility. The team then moved to the beach where they again completed some additional training and of course, entered the water for their grand finale. Many of the boys told us all day that there was no way they would go in the ocean, but once they were on the beach they could not wait to get into the water. The boys changed and headed back to JHS where the families were waiting with a potluck dinner. The best part was when the boys were reunited with their cell phones.
It was a great day for the boys to work together as a team and spend the day together without being on their phones. It was amazing to watch them on the bus actually talking to each other and allowing their necks to straighten while they looked forward and not down for a change.