There were a group of six Navy Seal candidates being trained at my local pool yesterday by a former Marine drill instructor.
They would do calisthenics by the side of the pool while being sprayed with cold water from a hose, then jump into the pool to swim 100 meters, and then run barefoot outside in their wet bathing suits into the 39 degree air to lie down in six inches of 42 degree water in a wading pool for a two minutes. They kept repeating this cycle the entire time I was there, and were still doing it when I left.
All six of the guys looked quite fit, and I didn't hear any of them complain. And these guys are just Seal candidates, who will go to San Diego with a number of similar guys, all of whom will try to make it through Hell Week in order to become Navy Seals. Less than ten percent of them will qualify.
Thank goodness there are guys like these to defend our country.
I'd like to be able to say that when I was young I would have been able to endure that kind of training, and that kind of cold.
As I said: I'd like to be able to say it.
I chatted with a police officer there who was a friend of the drill instructor. Evidently the instructor holds the world record (for heavyweights) for the number of pull-ups done in a 24 hour period: 2101. Those are real pull ups, too: all the way down with no kipping up.
This is not a number I can really relate to.
But neither can I relate to lying in 42 degree water for a couple minutes.