It finally happened, the cadre caught me. I was 48 hours away from completing my 3 week job interview when the cadre sent me to the medical station for heat exhaustion. It was around 75 degrees and sometime after midnight when I was dropped. My body just couldn’t keep up. 75 is most people’s ideal temperature, but it’s not just the temp that causes heat exhaustion. For me, it was the cumulative effect of exertion, lack of recovery, poor water retention & daytime temps exceeding 100°F. The medic told me I just need to rest and pointed me in the direction of the loser tent. As I was getting off the hospital bed a future best friend was hobbling in to take my place. I’ll never forget the look of pain on his face when the medics pealed off his boots. I remember thinking, at least I’m not as bad off as that jabroni! On my way out the medic said, “the good news is, you can come back in the winter to tryout again”.
The next day Matt and I were in the loser tent and all I could hear was a chorus of excuses by the rest of the crowd. Absolutely no one in that tent was at fault, everyone was a victim of a laundry list of circumstances. I kept thinking to myself, these are not my people.
I looked at the reasons I failed and realized while some factors were out of my control, several were, and it was my fault. I didn’t properly train for the physical exertion. I was in amazing shape and I worked my ass off, but I was in the wrong kind of shape. Matt wasn’t playing the victim card either. I looked at Matt and said, we’re in the wrong tent bro. These aren’t our people and we need to get out of here time meow!
Whenever I find myself in the company of complainers or people with a victim mentality, I always tell myself, you’re in the wrong tent again. I don’t remember a single person in that tent except for Matt. Matt and I both decided to risk it all and try out again. The lesson is simple. If you associate with successful people, you will be successful. If you associate with losers, you will be a loser. Matt is currently in Harvard and still winning at life, and I bet the rest of that tent is still falling short of their true potential.