Carl Brashear — Image obtained from

The diver’s face was drenched with sweat. Each step forward more difficult than the last. He marched onward. Three more steps. Then two. Then one.

12 steps total before he collapsed into a chair. Exhausted but triumphant. The diver successfully conquered perhaps the most difficult obstacle of his life. And his life was full of difficult obstacles.

Carl Brashear

Navy diver Carl Brashear successfully proved he could complete the required 12 steps, unaided, on dry land while dressed in 300 pounds of full dive gear.

What made Carl’s accomplishment shocking to the audience, was that he succeeded despite recently enduring the amputation…

Image courtesy of

His approach to war is what gained him favor among the Marine Corps grunts under his command. And though it at times stalled his ascension, he would eventually preside over the U.S. military as Secretary of Defense.

In his book, Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead, four-star General (Ret.) Jim Mattis focuses on the lessons he learned along the path to becoming the larger-than-life figure he is today.

These are a few of the most important.

Lesson 1: You are not a victim. You can change your circumstance.

When Mattis was a young, self-described mediocre student at Central Washington State College, he was thrown in the local jail on the weekends after…



“You’re tough as nails.”

The familiar words are an echo in my thoughts. Then they grow louder. Louder still. My mind begins to scream.

I don’t know why I chose this mantra. It sounds silly when I write it down. But something about it feels like the gritty motivation I need when doing physically challenging things.

I yell the words out loud.

Any weak thoughts that had attempted to break through my subconscious and into my prefrontal cortex have failed.

Not because they aren’t correct. I do want to stop. I wanted to stop miles ago. But because I won’t let those thoughts influence my goals.

Telling thoughts of quitting to stop gives me power over them…


On June 28, 2005, Lieutenant Michael Murphy moved into the open below a mountain ridge in Afghanistan’s Kunar province.

Murphy led a four-man reconnaissance team of Navy SEALs that included Marcus Luttrell, Danny Dietz, and Matthew Axelson. The group was dispatched as part of the counter-insurgency mission, Operation Red Wings.

After successful infiltration of the area, a local shepherd and his son stumbled upon the SEALs’ location. To kill unarmed non-combatants would violate the laws of engagement. To release them would nearly guarantee they would alert the Taliban to their presence.

They released the shepherds.

It is believed that, as…

I sailed through mile six feeling the unmistakable high of running far.

The magic of being “out there” washed over me.

With twenty miles to go, I felt invincible.

Four years ago, I never would have guessed I’d be running a marathon.

In fact, I told myself I would never run a full marathon after completing my first half marathon on the dusty backroads of Modesto, CA.

Not Quite “Born” to Run

That interest began with reading Born to Run by Christopher McDougal. His epic journey from perpetually injured and barely capable of running a 5K to completing a 50-mile ultra race in the sweltering…

The power of the checklist is not just ticking boxes.

To me the checklist is gospel.

It is the system that I use to organize my life. From my daily tasks at work to cleaning the house to accomplishing my goals.

It’s the simplest yet most effective tool I have at my disposal while attempting to work two jobs and running a growing website.

It’s not a perfect system. It’s not pretty. And there isn’t much record to refer back to overtime.

But what it lacks in attractiveness it makes up for in simplicity.

There is no special ingredient. No…

This article was originally published at

If you are used to going to a gym every day for your workout you might be feeling lost during quarantine. With a change in approach to your fitness and some affordable pieces of equipment, you don’t have to sacrifice your progress.

Maybe you don’t want to fully outfit a gym in your garage. Or, you might not have space in your apartment to purchase a large piece of equipment. That’s okay. All is far from lost.

Now is a great time to take a Rocky-style approach to your training and lean into…

At twenty-years-old, I was working as a janitor and skating my way through community college.

Despite having a lot of ambition I still had not figured out where or how to direct it. During a conversation with my dad about my future, he challenged me to pick a career that interested me and go after it.

No more wasting time. No more excuses. Just pick something and see it through to the end. It was the challenge I needed to finally start moving forward.

I set my sights high on a competitive government career. …

With COVID-19 forcing us to do our part by staying inside, why not use this time to challenge yourself to something you can do from home?



All of us have a story to tell. Whether it’s something you’ve already been through or a journey you are currently on, your story could help others. And we want to publish it on The Road of Trials.

The Road of Trials is dedicated to becoming a source of inspiration and a collective of hard-won strategies for achievement, mental fortitude, and leadership. …

I started The Road of Trials to document my journey of becoming stronger inside and out. To build mental toughness by challenging my mind and body. The goal of this publication is to share stories to inspire others to do the same and provide strategies to help along the way.

What is the road of trials?

The road of trials is the crux of the hero’s journey. It is the path the ordinary person walks, confronted by obstacles that must be overcome. That is how transformation happens. That is how the ordinary person becomes extraordinary. There are no quick tips or easy paths to personal success…

Buck Stewart

I run The Road of Trials, a publication dedicated to inspiring action and providing hard-won strategies for achievement, mental fortitude, and leadership.

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