Quit Your Day Job
Friday, April 19, 2002
Ex-Navy SEAL John McGuire ditched his day job and got back to P.T. basics
Alright, you've had it. Work and play don't mix. No one in the office is interested in cubicle tag, rolling-chair hurdles, or water cooler relays.
They just want to sit there. Maybe check their email and during break talk about Dilbert cartoons and true-to-life scenes from "Office Space," while you're sitting in the corner about to gouge your eye out with a mechanical pencil.
Well, put down the pencil. You're not alone. Plenty of people feel this way. I'm sure you get the "I want more" speech from friends at least once a week. We may whine in our leather-padded swivel chairs on a regular basis, but we don't do anything about it. We eagerly await the weekend, joining the droves of other office-whiners who are also out there on mountain bikes, wakeboards, climbing ropes, and anything else that offers the remote possibility of adrenaline and injury before the next workweek starts back up.
We want extreme. We need extreme, if only to balance out the painful sight of the paid-holiday schedule posted near the company microwave, day after day after…
John McGuire left corporate America for all these reasons. He didn't like the 9 to 5 routine. Nor did he like sitting behind a desk all day. Same as you and me.
But how many of us actually quit our day job?
When I met McGuire recently for lunch, he told me that familiar story: wanting more, being bored at work, needing more of a challenge. He, however, already had a taste of what real life is like.
McGuire doesn't like a lot of down time, you see. He joined the world of cubicles and paperwork after a 10-year stint with the Navy SEALs. The SEALs aren't known for pushing papers.
"I get bored easily," McGuire told me. "I stayed in my corporate job for only two weeks after leaving the SEALs."
So, what does one do after quitting the reliable day job? Well, McGuire did a little research about starting a business, posted a few flyers around the Fan, and signed five people up for a 2-week fitness class that would push, pull, and paddle them into getting fit the only way he knew how: Navy SEAL style.
Oh yeah, and he bought a Hummer.
Now, over three years later, McGuire runs his own company. He started the SEAL Team Physical Training Program with a class of five, then 14, and now he has a regular membership base of over 100. He meets corporate groups for team building, works with youth outreach programs, high schools, and is on his way to becoming one of Richmond's most popular motivational speakers. The Hummer does most of his advertising; the rest is strictly word-of-mouth.
McGuire's program is simple: Sign up for a 2-week intro "class" and learn the basic premise of what SEAL Team P.T. is about. You can attend a morning session, 5:45 a.m. to 6:45 a.m., or evenings, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. His programs are set-up for people who want to get in shape and are willing to work for it. For 2 weeks, you can expect to do more sit-ups, pull ups, push ups, and running than you have ever thought of squeezing into an hour. And, for these 2 weeks, you can expect to be unable to lift your arms. By the end of the program, McGuire allows graduates to become members.
"Most people sign up as Fitness members once they finish the Basic Fitness," says McGuire. "No one wants to start over once they complete the two-week course. Who would want to be that sore all over again?" Basically, McGuire takes your body beyond anything it's remotely used to.
Membership does have its privileges: McGuire takes his crew skiing, sky diving, just about anything to get people outdoors.
But, why go through the pain? McGuire's people see results quickly. He's had members lose weight, start participating in races, triathlons, but mostly Fitness Members are amazed at the type of energy they acquire, and maintain all day at work.
So, why is this extreme? Well, McGuire's passions are somewhat extreme—skydiving, mountain biking, among uncountable others. They are activities most of us do on our days off, if we do them at all. Plus, he stopped the whining, quit his day job, and turned his hobbies into his 9 to 5 gig. Only, his work schedule is a little more like 5 to 9.
If you would like to try the SEAL Team Physical Training program, contact John McGuire at (804) 262-1894 or log on to the SEAL Team P.T. website for more information.