Thursday, December 29, 2016

Scott McIntyre: a case study in transformation

Why I Got Started

It was in high school that I can remember I began starting to put on weight and then it continued into college. I can remember always being the fat kid in my college classes and always wanting to be the one who was in the best shape or look like the bodybuilders in all those magazines I read.
I went to the gym and thought I was eating healthy when in reality I did not have the first clue what I was doing. I was overtraining and eating way too many calories. I was even turned down for my dream job as a firefighter because I was told I was not healthy or fit enough. I eventually did get a job as a firefighter, then my first year on the job I hurt my back and found myself getting winded fairly quickly.

Age: 27 
 270 lbs 
Body Fat:

Age: 30 
 190 lbs 
Body Fat:

Waist: 31"    

I was not in the shape I wanted or needed to be in to be a firefighter. I knew I needed a change in lifestyle and eating habits. At the same time I had started to compete in Firefighter Combat Challenges. This is billed as the "Toughest 2 Minutes in Sports" and believe me it truly is. Being overweight and out of shape was keeping me from getting under the 2 minute mark to finish.

How I Did It
Around the same time I hurt my back and after my first season of competing in the firefighter challenges I started going to my local gym and lifting weights. I did this for a year but was not getting the results I wanted. I was getting frustrated, but as luck would have it I had recently got in contact with an old fitness coach.
After talking with him, we came up with a game plan for me and how I would achieve the weight loss and physical fitness I desired. After 12 weeks I had lost 60 pounds and was weighing in at 205 with 9% body fat. That season in the Combat Challenge I competed in various events and then later at Nationals, as well as being able to run a 1:40 time, 20 seconds under the mark. I was floored. I continued working with my trainer into the off-season and with a goal of competing in my first bodybuilding competition which is something I had always desired. 
I had gained a fair amount of muscle at that point. 15 weeks out from my first show is when I started my pre-contest diet and training routine. I have to say my wife was awesome for me at this point, always supporting me throughout this experience. 15 weeks went fairly quickly and for my first show I was able to come in at 190 pounds and 4%. I won first place in my first bodybuilding show!


5 days per week for 30 minutes in the morning, 4 times per week for 20 minutes after working out. It doesn't matter what time of cardio you do, just do it at a steady pace and a moderate speed.

Suggestions for Others

My suggestion to others is to set short-term goals. Once you reach your first goal, start on the next goal and keep going until you achieve your ultimate goal. The road to success is not easy. People will try and get you to cheat on your diet or stray from your program or any number of other things. But stick with it and if you hit plateau don't give up and break through it.

Also I would say find someone who can be honest with you, either a coach, a workout partner, or someone at home who can help you keep on track. An extra set of eyes is always a good thing because it can become hard for you to see all that you have done when you think there is still so much to do. 
Finally, once you start, stick to it. Once you have invested some time into getting where you want to go, don't stop. You have already put in so much time and effort, keep going until you achieve your goal and if you do the sky is the limit for you!

Thank You:
I want to say thank you to my wife Jenny. Without her by my side this whole time I never would have been able to reach my goal. She was my backbone and helped me stay strong at the times when I was weak and felt like quitting. She always believed in me.

I also want to say thank you to my coach Mike. Mike gave me the tools to help me help myself and get me to the condition I always dreamed of but never believed was possible. He helped make me a champion and I never could have done it without him.

To the guys at the fire hall, thanks for not making it too rough for me over the 15 weeks. Some of that food smelled so good. And I think we should eat it now! scott

Monday, December 19, 2016

Colonel Roy Davis, USAF (Ret), Tacoma FD (ret)

Colonel Roy Davis, USAF, (ret), Tacoma Fire Department (retired II)
Let’s hear it for some of the “old” guys as we head towards the dawn of a new year. Roy Davis served his country as a pilot for the USAF, after which, seeking yet more adventure, joined the Tacoma (WA) Fire Department at the age of 52 in 1994. As the oldest “boot,” Roy felt a need to demonstrate that he could pull his own weight.

The Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge®, known as “The Toughest Two Minutes in Sports” would validate Roy’s competence as a structural firefighter in a very demanding profession. Roy would astound his peers with his performance on the course. His first event was in 1995 in Tampa. A compendium of his accomplishments is in the table below.

Some of his accomplishments included setting the World Record in Deerfield Beach in 1997 for the Over 50 class. This record would stand for nearly 7 years. This concludes a twenty consecutive year run of holding a world record in either the 50+ or 60+ age groups.

His over 60 Record would stand until this year.

For an overview of Roy’s amazing sports career, here are some links that you’ll find inspirational

Roy’s Swimming Career

Go Hard or Go Home

Anyone looking for a suggested workout/training regimen would benefit greatly by looking at Roy’s website.

Roy was an active competitor on the Firefighter Combat Challenge course for 8 years. While we don’t know exactly how many runs he made in the US, but 40 is probably a reasonable estimate.

LOCATION                                                                           PLACE    TIME  DIVISION     RECORD

1995 WORLD CHALLENGE IV  (TAMPA FL)                   4TH            3:03         50+              2:55
1996 WORLD CHALLENGE V  (LAS VEGAS NV)          2ND            2:34         50+              2:30
1997 WORLD CHALLENGE VI  (LAS VEGAS NV)         1ST             2:03*       50+              2:03
1998 WORLD CHALLENGE VII  (KISSIMMEE FL)         1ST             2:02*       50+              2:02
1999 WORLD CHALLENGE VIII  (LAS VEGAS NV)      1ST             1:55*       50+              1:55
2000 WORLD CHALLENGE IX  (LAS VEGAS NV)         1ST             1:53*       50+              1:53
2001 WORLD CHALLENGE X                                                    INJURED
2002 WORLD CHALLENGE XI (DEERFIELD BEACH)  1ST               1:52*      50+/60+      1:52

*= World Record

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Naval Institute Proceedings Fall Enlisted Essay Contest

First Prize Winner – Fall Enlisted Prize Essay Contest Sponsored with Textron Systems//
© December 2016

Naval Institute Proceedings

Never Above, Always Beside
by Sergeant Daniel Glisson, U.S. Marine Corps

I don’t claim to be a great leader. I won’t even say I’m a good one. But I have met a few.

I was lucky enough in my younger years to witness some of the greatest leaders who have ever walked this earth. These leaders embodied our core values of courage, honor, and commitment. Even after going through boot camp—being able to memorize and scream the definitions—I did not truly comprehend these words. I only learned their core concepts when I was taught them in the most intimate possible way.

I only knew you in passing, and never as well as I should have. I do regret that now. Even in brief moments, you taught me many things.

A day in the barracks. As you argued with another Marine, it turned into a fight. You yelled and struck, and in a flash it was over. Seconds later, there was a shaking of hands and a hug. The love between brothers that no one else will ever understand.

That was when you taught me honor.

Months later, in Marjah, Afghanistan. The first time I ever stepped outside into the unknown abyss. Into only the known of danger and torture, where the only thing we had was each other completely surrounded by pain. As you stepped outside, you turned to us with a smile and said, “Here we go.”

That was when you taught me courage.

Soon after. When the scorching sun cooked what lay on the ground, and the beings that walked about. As I was many meters away. A Marine laid on a rooftop made from mud, bleeding. Without hesitation you went to him. Without a beating heart you saved your brother.

That was the day you taught me commitment.

That was the day when I could only aspire to reach the values you taught us.

Lance Corporal Joshua Twigg, U.S. Marine Corps, was killed in action on 2 September 2010, the day that he ran onto a rooftop to save another Marine. Walter Winchell once wrote that in a marriage one must be “never above you, never below you, always beside you.” Leadership in combat is far more personal and intimate than marriage. When a Marine says “never above” it refers to the love all infantrymen have for each other regardless of rank or billet, officer or enlisted. Even though it is clear who is in charge, real Marines would give themselves in entirety for another. If you hold yourself above someone, or think of yourself as more valuable, you would not sacrifice yourself for them. A round from a machine gun went through Lance Corporal Twigg’s heart as he ascended the stairwell. After being shot he still made it to the lieutenant and jumped off the rooftop carrying him.

Lance Corporal Twigg epitomized “never above,” just as Corporal John C. Bishop did. Corporal Bishop told me several times, “I have never met a man worth his own weight who would hold himself above another.” Bishop was an experienced corporal, with a bit more than four years in the Marine Corps at the time. His first deployment, one of several, was the push into Fallujah, Iraq, our most kinetic engagement of the century. But he never held it over you, and never claimed to be a better man or Marine because of it. The man was the embodiment of silent professionalism, and unless you asked him about his experience you’d never know. Corporal Bishop was killed in action 8 September 2010. I will always remember how he taught me you must be a good man before you can be a good Marine. I later passed that on to the recruits of Parris Island whom I helped to develop and train.

Marines Don’t Fight for Glory

Napoleon so ignorantly declared that “a soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon.” He was wrong. A leader will inspire, not manipulate. The truth is, warriors won’t fight for any amount of colored cloth or shiny metal, but they will gladly and without hesitation die for each other. The love among them drives them to accomplish amazing feats that could be described only as miracles, except unlike miracles, they occur over and over. Shiny medals and badges will never make a person great, or make them a leader.

A leader never seeks glory. Glory must be distinguished from pride, because if you do your job well, you should be proud. Glory invites attention-seeking behavior that often is seen as: “Look at me; I am so great.”

Leaders understand that Marines don’t fight for glory: they fight for other Marines. The greatest warriors I have ever met never boasted or bragged. They rarely talked about themselves. A sergeant once told me that “the empty ammo can rattles the loudest.” The best combat-experienced leaders I have met were followed not because of their experience, but because of their values. I generally did not even know about their combat experience until further on in our professional relationship. I have served with a few horrible leaders with vast combat experience. These failed leaders cited all the things they had done, but it never made them better people or better leaders.

Combat experience, in itself, has little to do with great leadership. A particular staff noncommissioned officer I knew—who had never deployed outside the United States—proved to be the very embodiment of leadership. The Marines in his section at the time were very experienced noncommissioned officers, most of whom had several tremendously kinetic combat deployments. Those Marines would have followed him in a bayonet rush into hell, not because he was a staff sergeant, but because he was a leader.
Undeniable Truths

During World War I, Major John Whittlesey’s battalion of 554 men followed him into the Argonne Forest after being cut off from the rest of the 77th Infantry Division. With the odds stacked against them, they fought valiantly and successfully repelled the Germans. Only 194 of those men were able to walk out of the forest. Major Whittlesey’s leadership resulted in victory in a battle no one thought could be won. For this he was awarded the Medal of Honor.

Unable to handle the loss of his men, Major Whittlesey later killed himself on 26 November 1921 on a ship en route to Havana. He experienced in full measure the unbearable yet undeniable truth about leadership, which is that your Marines and Sailors will die, and it is your own orders that sent them to their deaths. However strong or experienced people may be, we must never allow them to forget they are human, especially the leaders themselves.

Leadership has many aspects. It can’t be reduced to a few words, or even captured in one essay. I don’t think our language has the capacity to define leadership. Even through all my Marine training, the core concept behind leadership never dawned on me. When I finally realized what true leadership is, it came at a great cost. These are things that Marines such as John Bishop and Joshua Twigg taught me.

Give All of Yourself

Expect your Marines to do the same. Love your Marines genuinely, correct their deficiencies, and hold them accountable for their mistakes. Foster their development both as men and Marines, both professionally and morally. Never hold yourself above anyone or believe your value is greater. Speak with humility, and never justify or qualify yourself by citing previous endeavors. Walk courageously into the arms of death, and embrace the unknown with a smile and no hesitation. Bleed beside your Marines; your blood is no different. Accept that Marines die, and when they do, teach your Marines how to accept it by standing tall and remaining strong, while embracing and acknowledging your own humanity. You must be ethical, educated, and moral before you can be a leader. Genuinely care about the well-being of your Marines, even more so than your own.

Remember you are never above, but you are always beside, your Marines.

[Sergeant Glisson joined the Marine Corps in 2009. He deployed with 2nd Battalion 9th Marines to Marjah and Sangin, Afghanistan, in 2010 and 2011. He currently serves with 3rd Battalion 2nd Marines deployed to Camp Schwab, Okinawa, Japan. ]

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

World Challenge XXVI (2017) Venue

There is absolutely no benefit in keeping it a secret. There is no special "behind the scene" story here folks.

When we met with the prospective host, they asked for a 40 day period to finalize the contract. Now, I totally appreciate the need to request leave during the month of December. We are partial to the last full week in October. But, that decision is the host's to make.

The 40 days have now expired and we are expecting some direction momentarily.

I do believe that early in 2017 we'll be able to announce venues and dates for 2018 and 2019. That should help everyone.

In the meantime, the moment we know something, you'll be the next to know. We'll do a Newsletter and post it on our website and Facebook page.

Paul O. Davis, Ph.D.
Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge®
"The Toughtest Two Minutes in Sports" tm

In Recognition- an Honor Richly Deserved: Ted Overcash

From time to time, we like to remind all of our athletes that it’s not just about records and medals, but the ethos of the struggle. And, one guy who’s got the scars to prove it is Ted Overcash of Minooka, IL.

Ted is a survivor. Sometimes, people have bad luck. Ted has seen his share, but like the Eveready Bunny, this guy just keeps coming back. We name the trophy for the most points for the GNC after Ted for good reason. Over his career spanning almost the entire existence of the Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge, Ted was a constant presence despite a plethora of what should have been disabling medical conditions. To his credit, Ted has run as an individual in 63 events and another 15 Relay/Tandem races.

Ted’s contributions to inspiration were recently recognized with the opening of the Minooka Fire Department‘s new Fitness Center.

Kudos to Dennis Keiser for the contribution of a Total Body Trainer. And, nothing could be more fitting than the recognition of the life accomplishments of now 71-year old Ted who graced us with his presence at WCXXV this year, running on a Relay Team.

Ted on the Keiser Total Body Trainer, donated by Dennis Keiser

Friday, December 2, 2016

From Seth Godin

Seth Godin is an insightful marketing genius who puts out daily nuggets of wisdom. You can subscribe to his newsletter. This one from yesterday needed to be distributed widely:

Which kind of truth?

Organic chemistry doesn't care if you believe in it. Neither does the War of 1812.

Truth is real, it's measurable and it happened. Truth is not in the eye of the beholder.

There are facts that don't change if the observer doesn't believe: The age of the Eiffel Tower. The temperature in Death Valley. The number of people in the elevator.

On the other hand, there are outcomes that vary quite a bit if we believe: The results of the next sales call. Our response to medical treatment. The enjoyment of music...

If you believe that this wine tastes better than that one, it probably will. If you believe you're going to have a great day at work, it will surely help. Placebos work.

We make two mistakes, all the time. First, we believe that some things are facts (as in true), when in fact, belief has a huge effect on what's going to happen. In the contest between nature and nurture, nurture has far more power than we give it credit for. In countless ways, our friends and parents matter more than our genes do.

At the same time, sometimes we get carried away. We work to amplify our beliefs by willfully confusing ourselves about whether the truth is flexible. It makes belief a lot more compelling (but a lot less useful) if we start to confuse it with truth.

But belief is too important and too powerful to be a suspect compatriot of the scientific/historical sort of truth.

We can believe because it gives us joy and strength and the ability to do amazing things. That's enough.