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Apex Predator animals eat, rest, and move.  They grow to maturity, defend their turf, kill to survive.  They don’t train… they live.  They are – in every sense of the word – professional.   They exist to do what they do – and they live as long as they can do it.

Today’s world gives many easy ways – too many really.

I urge those on their path – the professional path – to stop training and DO.  Pour everything into doing the things that make you better at what you are.  Stop thinking of “workouts” and exercise reps.  Rather, accomplish tasks and missions.  If the task is getting strong, get strong.  If the mission is rough terrain movement, then move.

It’s not about killing.  It is about surviving – surviving and making yourself more than you were yesterday – and preparing for being better than that tomorrow.  Climbing the mountain, foot by foot.

Make yourself that entity.

Hard feet, strong back.  Steadfast perseverance.  Mentally indomitable.  Top of the food chain.

Hard to kill…..

G. H. Bristol

3 thoughts on “HARD TO KILL

Michael Burke

To this I would add the ‘why.’ Why am I doing this particular exercise? I often ask Marines why they workout the way they do. The honest ones will say they do it to look good naked: “Curls for the girls.” I ask them in what situation would they expect do something resembling a bench press. I ask them if curls would help them drag a wounded comrade out of a kill zone.

Another one of my go-to questions: “why do we PT?” My short answer has always been to make ourselves harder to kill. Then I tell the Marines to consider what things they have to do to make themselves that way.

A thought just occurred to me about exercise “routines” and what George says above. The internet is filled with WODs, WOWs, and other catchy acronyms. I propose we occasionally post a workout we could call Mission Oriented Exercise (MOE). It would be a good way to illustrate “doing” over “training.” Just thinking out loud here.

As an aside about mission oriented training, the other day I helped my father-in-law, Stan, move nearly 300 cinder blocks loading them on a bobcat and stacking them behind a tool shed. I thought to myself I’d pick up the pace by moving the heavy blocks as quickly as I could out of the bucket as we unloaded. For every brick the “old man” moved, I moved three. I thought I was the younger, stronger, bull until about lunch time when I was a train wreck. We took a couple hours off and went back to other projects but I was pretty much a wet bag of smashed ass. Stan kept puttering around at the pace he had maintained all morning.

Stan later joked with Heather that I had not paced myself for an entire day’s work. He said to me: “Nowadays I just have a job and do it. It gets done when it gets done.”


    George H. Bristol Post author

    Mike –


    I spoke with Chip yesterday. The unit I work with did our “re-integrator” (a nice name for a pretty tough session) over the last two days. I guess I am Stan in that crew – and I did what I had to do. But today – as we get ready to head overseas and downrange – I am like warmed over meat loaf. Ibuprofen is a good snack though – and we have a 22 hour movement ahead.

    MIke, I know you like to make fun of my Bristol-isms. But at that risk, I will refer to my oft-said, “every day you have to pay the man….”

    See you all when I get back….


Paul L. Quandt

This post puts me in mind of the story of the old bull and the young bull.

If you don’t know/remember that one, I will tell it upon request.



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