“You only have a certain amount of energy. Use it to promote the things you love.”
Our ‘Best Of’ anthology series isn’t the only annual tradition here at the RRP. Two years ago we started a new one, kicking off January with hard truths and bankable life advice designed to put that holiday excess in the rear view. Arrest the habits that don’t serve you. And calibrate the mind for challenges the new year will undoubtedly bring.
In 2018 and 2019 our new year’s messenger was a former Navy SEAL turned motivational ultra-athlete they call the hardest man alive — David Goggins.
Continuing on this theme, our first guest for 2020 is also a man who overcame unbelievable obstacles to become a Navy SEAL — and later an elite ultramarathoner.
Meet Chadd Wright.
Reared in the mountains of rural northwest Georgia, Chadd grew up obsessed with becoming a SEAL. But when the Navy discovered a rare but asymptomatic cyst on his heart, he was disqualified from entering BUDS. Undaunted, Chadd refused to give up, ultimately tracking down a surgeon willing to perform a procedure deemed too risky by every cardiologist he previously petitioned.
Cyst successfully removed, Chadd went on to realize his SEAL dream, serving over the next decade as a Team Leader on multiple deployments to conflict zones across the world.
He became a SEAL instructor. A Master Training Specialist. Chadd even served a stint as President Obama’s bodyguard. Along the way, he battled PTSD and traumatic brain injury. He faced his wife’s substance abuse issues. And he found God — a faith in part born from a paranormal experience he shares in riveting detail today.
Now retired from the military, Chadd has found new life as an elite ultramarathoner — a spiritual quest for self-knowledge and mind-body mastery that has compelled him to tackle some of the world’s most insane endurance slogs like The Revenant — a 118-mile footrace across south New Zealand with over 52,000 feet of elevation gain that not one person has ever successfully completed.
This conversation begins with Chad’s unique upbringing. His SEAL dream. And the heart condition that nearly derailed it.
We discuss the day-to-day reality of the elite warrior. The supernatural experience and visions that embolden his faith. And the role Christianity plays in his spiritual equation.
We talk about the perils of civilian re-entry. The allure of ultrarunning. His training regimen. The mental strategies deployed to venture beyond his limits. And a project he launched with his brother called 3-of-7.
Chadd shares his perspective on the importance of breaking down big goals into bite size chunks. Why some people quit their dreams. Why others don’t. And what exactly separates the two.
Finally, we talk about why the “stay hard’ mantra isn’t a sustainable life philosophy. The incredible power of spoken word. Disengaging from negativity. And the importance of channeling our limited energy into that which we love.
Chadd’s mantra is simple:
Never give pain a voice. And never, ever die in the chair.
As a hardened warrior turned ultra-athlete, Chadd exudes a familiar energy I’d characterize as Goggins-adjacent. But Chadd is anything but a Goggins stand-in. He’s warmer. A bit more inviting. Perhaps it’s his personable, laconic southern drawl. Or maybe it’s his grounded faith in Christ. If Goggins and Josh LaJaunie had a son, his name just might be Chadd Wright.
One thing is for certain — this guy is extremely authentic. Deeply soulful. And wise well beyond his 31 years.
Packed with mindset tactics, powerful takeaways and inspiration for miles, Chadd’s tale of toil, perseverance and redemption will leave you riveted. Rethinking the ceiling on your own perceived limits. And prepared to tackle any dream you’ve set for the new year ahead.
I fell in love with this man. And this conversation has stayed with me. I sincerely hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Peace + Plants,
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- Connect with Chadd: Facebook | Instagram
- 3-of-7 Project: 3of7project.com | Facebook | Instagram
- Listen: Three of Seven Podcast
- UltraSignup: Chadd Wright Race Results
- Noted: Where dreams go to die: Can anyone finish NZ’s toughest race The Revenant?
- Stuff: The challenge set up to make runners fail and fail again
- Stuff: Southland ultra marthon organisers expect no-one to finish new race
- Military News: Navy vets represent U.S. at the Revenant – One of the toughest footraces in the world
- Suffolk News Herald: Running the Revenant for ‘pure sport’
- Otago Daily Times: US navy officers drop in for workout
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