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Client Corner: Damian Gilbert part 1

by Shaun Kober
April 22nd 2021

Damian is a friend, colleague and client.

He served his country, and experienced the highs and lows of war that most front-line soldiers share. From being blown up in an Improvised Explosi... More

what does it mean to live life to the fullest train to your potential and perform at your best leave nothing on the table. That's a non negotiable is that I I strive to be better every day because if I'm not on top of my game, how is anybody else gonna follow me down the road? Keep demanding more of yourself to live up to that potential and to stay hungry. Training is progress. You know, when I look at the word training, I think of steps, baby steps to get somewhere that you want to be and that is basically your life journey. It's a mindset in itself, man, it's like, it's not just about I know that for you, a lot of that's about the physical, but we're constantly in training, whether it's growing our skill sets, whether it's growing our physical bodies, whether it's growing our relationships, whatever and all of that is a training ground and that kind of goes back to the mindset that we just talked about, You underestimate yourself and you don't even start, but then once you start, you often surpass what you thought you could do perform at your best mate, that's that's sort of what life is all about. You don't have the knowledge and have the fitness, the healthy ambition and drive that no matter what comes along.

When that next phone call comes, I can just say yes, I don't have to worry, just go and do it, yo what is up guys, welcome to today's episode of the live train, perform podcast? I'm your host, Sean Cobra and in today's episode it's going to be something a little bit different. Anyone that's been listening for a while and knows that I've been running through some coaches corner episodes where I get some of my friends and colleagues onto discuss what they're doing with their clients, the lessons they've learned, the courses they've gone through um and the tools and techniques that they've used with their clients. Today's episode, we have my man Damien Gilbert who is my friend and one of my clients, anyone that's been at Tiger Muay Thai for a while or has been back numerous times will probably know him. Um he was an intern for me at Tiger Muay Thai, was that probably 18 months ago? Also maybe a little bit longer. Yeah, yeah, I think about two years ago. Yeah, about two years ago. Yeah. That's flown man. I know man, I know, great experience.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. So demo is one of my mates, one of my clients and I had a great conversation with him yesterday um just had a quick catch up call um to discuss where he's at what's going on um the things that he's dealing with in his life and as we were having a conversation, it actually reminded me of a conversation that I had with one of my mates um I reached out to one of my mates and I was like okay or a couple of my mates, I was like, hey boys, give me some like give me some like no bullshit feedback and let me know what you guys think about the podcast and what I should be doing. And they're like, you know, the coach's corner episodes awesome. But I'd love to hear some of the success stories from some of your clients and people that you've worked with. And I was like, and as I was talking to you yesterday, demo that light bulb went off and I was like, man, this is fucking powerful stuff. I'd love to have you on to share um what you're going through and the tools and techniques that we've implemented, that you've been able to tweak and adjust to um be your best man to be able to deal with the adverse situations that you've been through in recent years. Yeah, for sure. Uh first of all, thank you for having me man.

It's uh it's been a great development that we've had throughout the years. Great banter. Uh so yeah, you know, like you said when I was a tiger and I was interning for you, it was good to see somebody else like minded, you know, military background and all that and I was at a point in my life where I thought I had all figured out, but obviously I didn't uh what made you, what made you come to that realization though? Yeah. So it was more of this science of the study behind it that when we would talk fitness for example, I thought that was the only way that I could overcome a mental barrier was by working out hard. But we will have conversations where you were like, hey man, maybe you're overtraining, hey, maybe your body needs rest, hey, maybe you're not eating right, Hey, maybe you're not hydrated. So what things like, no, I know this ship, you know, and it was way this guy's onto something because when I was listening and I started implementing the little things, good changes when I would eat how I would feel, I will restrict myself from a lot of things because I thought that was unhealthy and we had this conversation a few months ago, hey, it's good to have that brownie, it's good to have those and I started feeling great.

So I feel like in a way even my sleep change, you know, we've uh when you guys implemented the whole Swiss eight thing, you told me you were an ambassador for them and you started doing work with them. I wanted to see what it was about because in the States veterans are not treated like that. We don't have, we're such a big community, there's so many groups and they failed to tend into the sleep pattern nutrition pattern. It's more about how can I medicate this guy, give him some therapy and keep them in the loop. So when you guys had going on was definitely eye opening implemented on myself, you guys, you know, nerve damage in my legs and when I left Tiger was to get this job and in a way, I always felt like I was missing something, you know, I was missing the lifestyle was missing the bench with the boys. Uh, Afghanistan is a crazy place and when I was here I sat down one day and I realized, you know what, I'm, there's something in my life that's not good. Together, I reach out to you, we started working and just the notes.

The basic notes, when you were asking me how my sleep was, how my pattern is, what am I doing in my stretching. And so all these little things started adding up and I was like, hey, there are, you know Sean knows the ship it and most people that know me know that I've been a coach, but also, you know, my job is I'm a security specialist, I'm no longer a coach, there's levels to this and you took it to a point where I was like, okay, this is going to change my day to day life. This guy is putting the word to study not just me but athletes, uh, people that are overweight people that are recuperating from surgeries. Uh, other veterans, other guys have experienced combat in a way, he's been through combat himself. So let's try this out and man, I went from three hours of sleep to fucking 8, 7. Uh, my nutrition changed, don't restrict myself.

Like I used to, you know, I enjoy that pizza, I enjoy that beer sometimes, but it all comes down to discipline. You know, you could have all the tools you in front of you, but if you're not disciplined, that's when the mentoring comes in. That's what the coaching I think comes in. If you have somebody that's going to be straightforward to you and tells you, hey man, you're messing up right here, try this. You gotta put your ego aside and say, you know what he's right? So Yeah, But that's the that's the accountability thing, man, I had a I had an online client call last night, so for those listening, I'm recording this, we're recording this on the 9th of April Friday. Um, and had a client called last night, man. And you know, I said to the I said to the girl, I've been working together for a couple of blocks, so I normally do three-month coaching blocks. And I said to her, you know, like, do you trust me? And she goes, yes, I do. She said I wouldn't work with you if I didn't trust you. And I was like, all right? So what I'm going to say to you now is we need to go through a reverse diet, we need to put on muscle, we need to get your metabolism firing.

What's going to happen here is blah blah blah because she was, you know, she's a she's an amateur kickboxer and you know, she's super lean all the time, man, she's fucking 16% body fat. And I'm like, we need to get your body fat percentage art, man, like, You know, that's not a healthy place to be eating 1200 calories, Blah Blah Blah. So, you know, it's that trust, it's that accountability. And I said, I can give you all these tools, I can tell you how to do these things, but I need you to fucking by and that's the big thing man. Now, before we I want to dive into everything, you just said there man, because that is all important stuff and um it's definitely something that I want to share with my audience. But before we do that, let's give let's give my audience a little bit of an introduction to you as well. So we've spoken about seven minutes already and we haven't talked about who you are, what you're doing. So yes, you were a coach, you have been a coach for a period of time prior to that, You were a soldier in the US Army, um and you've dealt with your own demons. You've suffered from PTSD um you've been seeing a therapist, you were blown up in Iraq and you know, would cause, you know, a heap of damage to your body and your systems and things like that, can you talk to me about um some of those things like what happened in Iraq, um the aftermath of that, how that affected you and then kind of your transition into your coaching um role and then as you said from there, moving back into um being a weapon with a weapon back in Afghanistan again.

Yeah. So uh You know we moved from South America. I was born and raised in Ecuador and we moved here when I was about 13, something like that. My dad's from the states And he was in the service. I figured 18 years old, my grades are not all that great and you know, you do what I mean, rebellious 18 year old without a clear path would do. And I joined the military uh short thereafter man, I was I found myself in fact in freaking Sauder City Iraq. I was like oh this is you know, I had a good childhood man, I left a really good comfortable life to expose myself and really see what I'm about. And uh you know, fast forward into the explosion. We were just sitting in the tank one time doing Tanko P I was a tanker. We were attached to an infantry unit and we were I think a few hours into our guard. We were patrolling this area and we're just parked And you know when something stops and then you get that spider the 6th sense is telling you we're just about to go down and I remember it so vividly because I was listening to me and mrs jones on one year on one ear piece and then the other one, I had my radio and I was staring at my lieutenant's me man.

And next you know my eyes are shutting and we just elevate fun and I was sitting down so the impact was all in my head and my body just absorbed everything. And I could see just compacted man, your spawn would have just like boom compacted so I can see there's nothing but dust R. L. T. Was trying to get his crap together our gunner, we were wondering if everybody was okay, there's a hole right here. So the driver and I stared at each other like what? And uh we start engaging uh other, you know it was a Bradley next start engaging to the people that were, you know, causing harm to us. We get back and back then. This was in 2008. We need it by the way bro, By the way, you don't have to be so politically correct. I'm not sure how many episodes. Yeah, fucking started wasting some countries. I know a lot of americans, they just switched off after I said that, but they, you know, they sent us back.

My junk was swelled up, you know My bug was huge man, my feet were purple in a good way to do it in a good way. No, not blessed. And uh my knees were purple, everything was hurting, man, and I'm just worried, I'm 19 years old, you know, I don't have any Children, I'm like, man, this is it. So we went right back to work, they gave me a bunch of pain killers and I think that's where it all started to change for me because we were just taking them, you know, sometimes I wasn't even in pain and I was just taking them because that should feel good and I was away from my family, you know, I was just a kid and it felt good, my buddies were doing it too, so we all were masking what just happened, the fact that we had to shoot at people and the fact that we just got blown the suck up and the pain, We got back to Germany, we did about 12 months, 13 months I think in Iraq. We got back to Germany man, I had to have surgery on my stuff and buck, man.

It was whole bunch of stitches, of course, the ones performing the surgery where all women except for one dude, I'm like, it's really cold in here, it's like, can you add another inch since we're there already? And you know, uh we go back to the barracks, I recover and we started drinking a whole lot and that deployment, we also lost a few really good guys really close to us and uh Mhm. You know, we would just drink it away and we'll think we'll miss them and we're remembering them by drinking by getting drunk by making fun of what happened and the fact that we're back. It's 1/6 sense of humor that in a way helps you mask well what happened? 100% man, like as any fucking soldier listening to this and knows exactly what we're talking about. Some of the conversations that you have on deployment, Like you could not have them around civilian people.

Like they just be like, what the fund is? one 100%, you know what, now that my father passed, which we'll get to that in a minute. But I still have that sense of humor when people are my boys here at work are talking and I'd like to talk about their dad. I'm like, well you have of that. Like I can't do that with everyone. Um So yeah, and I was drinking popping pills, I got out of the military and I continue to do that, right, continue to drink, continue to pop pills uh continued because it became like somewhat of a coping mechanism for you. Exactly. I would never want to be alone. So, all my relationships failed at that time because I would never want to be alone. Uh a lot of it were my, you know, I don't know if it's survival's guilt. A lot of it had to do with insecurities and I started working out again, started training and you know, started, you know doing a little bit of uh ju jitsu here and there. My tie here and there.

I've always been active, always been involved in those sports. So it helped mentally. But there was something missing, you know, became a police officer shortly after I did that for about two years and my feet will just go purple. I was always in pain. They will take me to the V. A. Go check my circulation to check my cardiovascular everything, everything. That's, that's veterans affairs for people that don't know. Yes. It's just veterans for and at one point they were trying to give me absolutely anything they gave me Viagra dude. And uh, they said this is going to help with the circulation, you know, so your feet are going to be good at that. Stop taking all that man. I quit. That's when I went to Thailand for the first time. I went to Tiger, had a few fights for a tiger. That's what I meant, Joey. And you know, great people. Uh, you know, she was always super welcome and super nice. They allow me to say that was there for about uh, I think four or five months, uh, went back home, spend some time in Australia.

I went to Canberra whenever I tell people I was in Australia, they get mad at me. So why don't you go to Canberra. Uh, you guys have the museum there, right? The war museum was, its beautiful excitement. Yeah, it was beautiful. That's why I went there, my best friend was there. So I went to visit him and then he took me there because I was like this ship um took a bus to Sydney, beautiful country man, You guys, you guys are awesome, a lot more nicer than a lot of other people around the world. So I make it back home, became a trainer. I was working at this gym called phoenix uh fitness and martial arts and I was just coaching, coaching, coaching and uh my problems were still not taken care of, right, Mind you, this has been years, this has almost been nine years after my deployment and I would constantly have triggers, I would constantly have things that I would mask and my sleep was all jacked up and I would always tell people it's just the way this, you know, it's just, that was so freaking wrong.

Yeah, that's it, bro. That's a that's a great point that I want to pause on for a moment because you know, a lot of people do live with pain and they have poor sleep and they have poor nutrition and they just feel, you know, lethargic all the time. They have these energy spikes and energy crashes and they just learn to live with it. They're just like, oh that's just how it is and thats they've resigned to the fact that they can't do anything about it. But you know, we'll dive into the tools that you've used to get you to the position that you're at now um and how you utilize them and how use progressive overload with those tools and tweak them very soon. But it's going to pause there for a second and say that, you know, if people are living in pain and they are living, you know, with like a compromised state of health or quality of life, then there's always something you can do about it. 100% man. Uh most people see me look able body, you know, I got all my limbs, My pain is through my knees down constant 24/7, but I feel like a lot of that also was bad because it changed me mentally, it made me more selfish and made me uh not aware of who I was becoming?

And I was really just a ship hit man. I was an asshole mass disguised as a nice guy. And a lot of it had to do with unresolved trauma. I'll miss my friends and when I miss my friends, I would drink it all the way I will blame everybody else but me um, failure, friendships failing in relationships, it was always their fault. It was never my fault, my fucked up head at the moment. So um can I can I ask you a question on that? So when you're going through you had your friendship circles and then, you know, you had obviously your relationships, romantic relationships, et cetera, um did you find that the same things kept coming up again and again and again and then you drift away from those people and then you find new people and the same things would happen over time, Does that keep happening? 100%. Yeah, man, the reason I ask is because one of my first episodes that I did was on accountability and I spoke about this and I was like, you know, if the same things keep coming up in your life and you're blaming other people for that, like have a look at what the common denominator is, its funding, you know the problem exactly, and we don't want to admit that, you know, I think our ego takes over our ego just, it's crazy because I know a lot of good friendships that I could have had in a lot of relationships that I could have had, it, maybe not, you know, I'm a firm believer that things happen for a reason, which is when we started working together, how it progressed to my father's death, I was ready, you know?

Uh So yeah, after that man, I quit dye job at the gym yeah, the person that I was dating at the time, her and I said, hey this is go to Thailand just a bucket we moved um I went back to, you know, I never lost touch with Joey, I was always in touch with her and she told me like, hey, you know, Shawn's working here, he's also a veteran, you guys get along great, I'll get you to the link up. Obviously before that I was in Chiang mai Bangkok and traveling a bit and then when I met you, we sat down and had a little talk man, it was great because it was something different. It was like being back in my element but out in the civilian world, because I wasn't being told what I wanted to hear, I was more told a bro, you're sucking search your certs are pocket basic because if I can basic, I would start you off as an intern, you will come to classes every friday, which is a coaching development that you started doing, I got to meet people, you know, I was talking to joy Peter, Tommy sands all the coaches, so you know what I mean, everybody there, everybody, a tiger that's still there and it was good, you know, even highly came along and it was good leo, you know, so it was then I started noticing, man, this, this is our life, these guys are all putting in a lot of money and effort into their career.

My career has always been security, you know, I did this to try to help other people, but also when it comes to the selfishness is to keep my mind off from all the bullshit that I've dealt with sodom, deal with. Um so it was, it was a hard pill to swallow, but at the same time it was a blessing man because I started going there and started going to work. I started shadowing all the trainers. Um I told you about my feet and stuff. You were like, have you tried this? They haven't tried that everybody had a little bit of uh input in what I could do. So I started taking care of my nutrition a lot more. Uh huh. The things that I would eat the juices that I drink, eight, you know, we talked to, you know, beat man, beats are good for you. You're in your late twenties, you know, your circulation that uh yeah, that's blood vessels is like projects not Yeah. So all these things that uh any coach or most coaches out there were not two other clients because a lot of personal trainers think they're also nutritionists, which they're not uh I was finding out that there were people a lot more qualified for this, you know, And at the same time when I said, fucking listen, shut up and listen, it took me to a whole different level.

It made me realize I've been this past few years, I've been a damaged fucking human beings and I'm not gonna blame the army. I'm not gonna blame my friends that are dead. My friends have committed suicide. I'm not gonna blame my field relationships. But let's start little by little working on me because everybody's going around me has left and it's you know, at one point like you said it's mom, hey, I'm the funding problems here and you know, being a tiger also gives you an avenue of approach to a whole bunch of people. I got the chance to meet so many us dividers, even work with them and that's when I started to become a lot more grateful. You know, I started getting paid um I was also going to pay for my disability, my life was comfortable and my relationship was not at that time my relationship was, we had a little age gap but I was the problem, you know, it was me dealing with that military mindset that when you're gone, Jody steps in uh huh.

It was just a bad mindset to half man because now that I look back on all this ship and it took me to say you know what I need to work with someone that knows this ship. And I reached out to you when I got here to Afghanistan, Even when I left Thailand bro, you were so when I told you, hey I got this job opportunity is what I gotta do for it, I stopped doing all the bullsh it I was doing and you and a lot of the other coaches were giving me tips, hey this is how you're gonna improve your run, hey this is going to improve your pushups. Hey this is gonna improve yourself because I needed to do all these things before coming to work, you know, and I got to work, man, I smoked, it was like ship these motherfucker's, know what they're talking about. All right. Uh I got to Afghanistan and I got a hold of you and that's what this game bro, I've been following you for so long. I've known you for all these years and we've had a balanced life and friendship, you know, for New Year's Eve when we were interested and we went out, you know, after the amazing, I've never forget that New Year's Eve.

It was really great. That was dude, I was, I was, I think about that all the time man. For those listening. Um my mate Tristan came over tristan rows of blind tiger yoga, one of my best mates, awesome dude. I've had him on the podcast as well, um which I'll link in the show notes. Um and you know, he talked about suicide and he's gone through PTSD and he actually ran the yoga course that I went back to Australia to do last year to teach veterans how to um utilize, you know, the methods and the principles of yoga and meditation to deal with PTSD, which is what he did. Um but he was over here, that christmas, New Year's period for a month and he guessed coached and uh cover the yoga class at Tiger. Um and myself yourself and him were all veterans and we had New Year's Eve and we all um went out with a group of people went to surf house which was awesome man. And I remember we were like we were getting on it bro, we had like a good shine to us and we all went down to the beach man and you know, we got one of those, what do they call the fire lanterns? We all, we all we lit a fire lantern man and do like I just remember is this significant moment right that we all shared together?

I thought was fucking beautiful man. Like we lit a fire lantern, you released yours, Tristan released his, I released mine and it was like, you know this is dedicated to the boys that we lost, this is dedicated to the life of you know, the people that are no longer with us and it was kind of like a um like a it was a crazy moment man. It was like it was kind of like relief, right? You released a fire lantern and floated off into the sky and you know, we all had tears in our eyes, We're all fucking embraced, we gave each other a hug and you know, I'm getting emotional thinking about it. Yeah, like it was really cool to see the fire lantern kick off into the sky and it was like, you know, we're releasing that trauma that we've dealt with in the past and you know and then we went back and celebrate the life of you know our mates, our colleagues, our friends, the people that have been taken too soon and you know that was that was a fucking powerful night for me man. It's something that always comes up. Yeah it was definitely a fucking beautiful experience man. And what was crazy about it is that we're three different people from three different parts of life and your guy served for the Australian army as the U.

S. Army and it shows that you can have that love for your country. But that bond is the same because we know what we board, Most people are anti war. So are we we know about life and gone, you know? Um and when I say about the V. A. You know they just like Medicaid people, they also have very good outlets for veterans. Like you mentioned earlier, I've been in therapy after with the same therapist for about 10 years man and she's been great. Um I just feel like the yoga aspect with what Kristen's doing, it's different. You know, it helps you it helps you relax, it helps you clear your mind helps you understand yourself and if we can implement that in the States would be even better. I'm sure there's groups that do it but we have so many uh then kate. Remember kate, the yoga coach as well. You know. Uh It was good to be around like minded people, not just the military way, but in a way where it was just positive and then cat came along to, you know, all these people that we got to work with, I always took a little bit of them and even cat now with what she does joy, okay, everybody that's still in this fitness industry and the mindset and it's turned into more of a health environment instead of such a let me look this way, let me feel this way.

That's a lot better, you know? Yeah, it's far less about the training program, nutrition. It's more about, you know, the holistic approach of how do all of these things fit together and then how can we tweak and adjust them? Yeah, that's awesome. And we'll come back around to this stuff in a moment. But what I want to talk about is um obviously what happened in Iraq, you know, you're getting blown up the loss of your mates, The transition to Thailand becoming a police officer, then coming back to Thailand in turning um now the the entire time you're dealing with some of your own demons and you're speaking to a therapist, you just said that you've been speaking to the same therapist for 10 years. Um what are some of the stuff that you've um kind of talked about with them and um what are some of the progressions that you've seen going through therapy? Yeah, so I had to stick by the therapy was for a weak minded people I believe are our line of work wants to tend to think that you're weak if you seek help but you're not, that's why guys don't go signal to help, mental health help.

That's why guys don't go to the clinic if something hurts because you're pussy. Um but when you put your ego aside, I started talking to her, she made me relive the one of the most traumatic days that I had in Iraq which was seeing my body gone. So he got blown up in the back of the truck, you know, and we had to put him in a body bag and from that body back you're picking up the pace is man and putting it all together and you gotta you Gotta put this 19 year old kid, which was such a good kid man. I was about to get married when he went home or leave and you have to put him in a black hawk and say goodbye to him and you start thinking the wrong things man. You start thinking you get mad, you get angry, you you want to see the sucking the guys from j samadi so you can flatten motherfucker and I do. But that's that's that's a great point that I want to pause on as well man. It's like, you know, I'll tie in everything you just said as a soldier, you're overseas to do a job. If you're in a war torn country and you're fighting a fucking war and you're a foot soldier on the ground.

Like one you need to compartmentalize everything that happens because if you do show any sign of weakness or mental health issues that you're like, oh, funk, I can't deal with this. Like I can't step outside the wire, then the blokes either side, if you go, well, I can't trust that guy, he's a fucking liability. And if I can't rely upon him, then I don't want him next to me in a firefight, You know, so you don't want to let the boys down, man, you don't want to let the team down. So you put that sh it aside, you fucking compartmentalize, you don't deal with those emotions and you just fucking staunch up and you go radio, let's go boots on, let's fucking soldier on, man. You know what they tell you say, you cry, don't cry, we gotta go back to work. So yeah, he's going, you guys, but we still have another 8, 6 months here, you gotta do your job. But you keep that mindset. So when I talk to her man, the first time that I started describing that she made me describe absolutely everything and we were recording it and then she told me, I cannot play back and listen to yourself tell that story and she would tell me, hey, Mr Gilbert, you're not you're not made out of tables, you're you're human is good to have emotions and the first time that I did all these things man was one of the few times that I've tried as an adult and it felt fucking good, I had no shame in it, I'm crying in front of a complete stranger and she probably goes home and tells her husband yeah, he's just seen this motherfucking today, but it was great help me out a lot.

The more I talked about it and we're comfortable I felt with this was not my fault and instead of living such a ship life, I mean such a ship person, I'm gonna live life the way my buddies would have wanted to, the way my dad would want me to live it the way all these people that meant something to me that are gone, I'm gonna implement that and do good because there's a lot of dudes that just do bad ship man, but I think most people are good, right? But we had were so easy to fall into the cycle of drinking and popping pills and blaming everybody else that then you say I can't drink because drinking is bad for you know dude, it's okay to have a few nights out with the boys and get fucking blitz as long as you do with moderation and that's what you taught me, you know, that's what we will talk and that's when I reach out to you in april I've been in therapy and therapy has helped. However, my fitness, my job I wanna be, I wanna be able to show people at work that I'm good, that I'm not only good at what I do but that can manage myself as a person that they can trust me, not just at work but outside of work.

So I had to do a lot of soul searching man, change my bad habits. Um I'm in a good mental state now because of that. Because what we were talking, my sleep pattern change. Uh my nutrition changed the way that I looked at my personal growth, My personal growth before was just let me see my fucking six pack and go to the beach. My personal growth now is what kind of father will I be when I become a father? What kind of guy am I going to be when I actually do get married? You know, what kind of supervisor am I going to be from our guys when I take over a team again, all of those things come into play now my mice is different, you know? Mm That's awesome man. Um Let's dive into that. Uh So as you know and you mentioned earlier that I am an ambassador for Swiss satan for people that most people that are listening to podcasts have been listening for a while. So they know what swiss aid is about. But the people that haven't listened Swiss eight is a proactive mental health program designed by veterans initially four veterans um but it's being pushed out to the wider community that covers eight principles of health and wellness um that people can log into an app um and then start scheduling in these eight pillars and the eight pillars are sleep, nutrition, um discipline, time management, fitness slash movement, um Personal mindfulness, minimalism and personal growth.

Yeah, so um which one of those stands out for you the most at the moment in your life right now? Uh my personal growth man, because my dad is, you know my father just died, He passed away February 15 had I not been in the mindset that I was, had I not been, you know, given the tools that we that you put in front of me and told me, you know, a man try this in and try that. Had I not put my ego as I I would have been a total wreck man. Uh you know, he's also a veteran, him and I had a lot in common is a really good dude and I think the mindset that I had now because of this, because my discipline, my personal growth allowed me to look at his death as a beautiful thing, you know. Uh yeah, it's sad but understanding that one this is a part of life too, I had a really good childhood with him had a lot of good memories as an adult. He loved the job that I have now, he loves that ship. Um so but that wouldn't come just with personal growth that came because we got my sleep under control, we got my nutrition under control, we got my training under control, all that gathering to me becoming the man that I want to be.

Um and I have heaps of fucking workman so it's good that even when we stopped working this last month, you know I had all this going on and I was a nice ship then I had to go home on emergency leave, I had to be there for my mom and sisters, you know what I mean? I cried, I cried a whole bunch but I usually try to cry when nobody was around because when my mom and sisters see me, I want them to see me calm, try to help them eyes and tell them what works for me. You know and my mom now implements those things remember we were talking to a man maybe just leave your phone and then going to run because they noticed that ship and they were asked me, hey what are you doing that? I said well I'm trying to have that distraction so I could just have my coffee without grabbing my phone. Hey man my mom is a different mental state now she took it hard of course she lost her partner of like plus 35 years button fitness is her thing nutritionist something because this is how we keep the body going and not only the body man, but the way you think it's so important and we will talk about that. I was a gay man.

I want to go hard because other guys here go hard, you're like, now bitch come down sometimes you got to listen to your body and sometimes when you think you're done and you think you can go on, you're done, even if you think you have one, thank you. So all those little things man, made my mind a little more, make it stronger and maybe we're grateful for the people that I could reach out to, you know, oh in regard to what went down with my father, uh in regards with what's going on in my personal life right now, you know, you know, really good relationship healthy, I'm grateful, I'm still training even though I'm in quarantine and it's good because I will reach out to you okay bro, I'm in quarantine, but hey, you use the bands do this stretch, I'm a stretch who the fox stretches run and then I would stretch and I'm going to run it like man, it's a lot better, you know, I'm more fluid, I'm moving faster and more ground and this is much easier. Yeah, and becoming a minimalist man, I want a lot of things, but you see my room here, I don't need a lot bro.

Uh and it just puts everything in perspective. That's a Big one. Yeah, yeah, that's cool, man, That's super cool. Um what's one of the biggest tools that I've introduced to you, that you've had to tweak and adjust. Um that's made such a massive difference to your life and your mindset. I was looking forward to this question because I would never forget the fucking day that you told me a whole bunch of people in class. If you can lift that fucking wait, you have not earned the right to live, put it down, drop weight. I mean, uh training training to my potential in my time management training, to my potential in my time management happened very, very important to me too grasp. But now that I've gotten a little better at it, I understand that if something is a little too heavy or something is a little too complex for me to try.

I either ask you or either, you know, drop some weight because you know, I'm only fucking £155 man. Uh I got no business being out there that lifted by something for something, when my job requires me to be mobile to have endurance to be agile too, you know, to do those things. So, understanding when I trained to my potential and understanding that that attaches to having a good time management and I think when you tell me, hey, write this, write things down, right? These things out and you know what He's talking right to me, right this ship down. And I could get my tasks to knock down and you know, in the military, they would always tell you that. But once I left, like I mentioned before, I thought I knew it all. Hey man, I'm skinny. Uh huh. Uh, I can eat what I want, not gain weight. I know how to run and do push ups. I don't need anybody's help. Time heals everything, but time doesn't heal ship if you're not working on it. Uh, So yeah, that man, I think training in my time management has been one of the things that I can say, I always share with other people and try to tell them, I'm not telling them what to do by any means, but I'm telling you just be mindful of how your training because we have a long ship and sometimes we may not do anything, but sometimes we made so be mindful what you're doing to your body, make sure you're getting enough sleep, make sure you manage your time well, you know.

Yeah, man, that's a great point, brings up some memories for me of, I think I did a post on this on instagram maybe a year ago or so, um, probably longer actually. Um but yeah, like when I went to Afghanistan 2010, I was training like a bodybuilder and I've already been training that way for about 10 years, right? And you know, I was hitting these fucking heavy leg sessions and then would need to go out on patrol for 68, 10 hours man. And my legs were corked bro. And I'm carrying you know my baseline weight was I was about 78 kg then um I said it about 81 ish at the moment But I was about 78 kg. Um And I was carrying an extra 30 kg with my um my body armor, my my webbing, my helmet, my rifle, ammunition etcetera. Um And and my first aid kit is probably 30 35 kg baseline on top of my normal weight. Then if we're doing like longer patrols Um I'm going out on like a 345 day task then I'm carrying a fucking pac man with all of the water, the food, the sleeping gear, specialist equipment, spotting scopes, um you know thermal imagery, night vision, spare batteries, spare communications equipment, blah blah blah blah.

You know you add another fucking 40 50 kg on top of that bro, sometimes I was carrying like very close to my body weight in fucking extra weight and if I hit a fucking heavy leg session and I'm stepping out on patrol like that man, I'm fox bro, like if the ship hits the fan and I need to perform then guess what now I've done way too much. So that's how I learned, man, I had I started tweaking my training program and actually whilst I was in Afghanistan, um had one of the rugby mafia is a high ranking officer that reached out and was like, hey the Defense Force world Cups going on at the end of this year, um over in New Zealand, you've got an opportunity to play for Australia, um get in contact with the coach who get hooked up with the strength conditioning program and I started run the strength conditioning program man and like completely changed my style of training and completely changed my performance and my ability to, you know, do my fucking job man as a sniper in Afghanistan. And since then, that's what, that's essentially what sparked my interest in strength and conditioning.

I was like, alright, there's many different ways to train and I need to look at these other options and I need to tweak my training program to, to fit with my life and it should be complimenting my life, not fucking not taking away from it. And if I hit a heavy leg session, I can't walk for three days, but I still need to go on a six hour but foot patrol carrying an extra 40 50 kg, then well, I'm a fucking idiot. I trained way too much. I did way too much, right? So then that opened my eyes to, right, there's different ways of training and you need to be smart with how you train, so that what you're doing in training is carrying over to the battlefield, to the rugby field, to the jujitsu mat, to the ring to the cage, whatever you want to do man, everything should be carrying over, Not taking away from your day. It's adding to your day, 100% man. I think performing at your best. It's what exact that's like, you know, the last point where you have on your training regiment, you know, uh, it's a live train perform. So when you perform, you can't, if you're not training well, if you're not living to your full potential, gonna do any of this, they don't add up.

And then, you know, and as you know, Afghanistan, the mountains over here, the weather over here ship you take a deep breath in your lungs are just about to collapse. And uh, but I think, you know, for me personally, it's been looking back at all the things or everything that happened, even my traumas and the bad experiences and all that. I got to meet a lot of really cool people, even just friends or coaches, you know, uh, even people like tearing when we were at in Tiger, you know, she was awesome. It was just a woody, which I had seen before my first trip. So it was good that now man where I'm at, it's had not met any of these people had or not reached out to you to talk to you veteran, to veteran friend Fran and then coach client, I probably would still be blaming somebody else for my bullshit. Um and I'm now grateful that I got to meet people from literally all over the freaking world and seeing how positive these people, all of us have had bad days man, you know every single one of us have had a bad experience at one point or another, we've all lost someone you don't need to have PTSD, you needed to go to war to get PTSD, you can get that ship anywhere, you know, so it's good man and now implementing these and and working with you and like I said put my ego aside, it's even better because now I can help my guys are working uh my family at home, the people that are around me at work, I'm not bitter little insecure funk, I'm just you know a happy dude man and I'm glad to help when I can, but that's because I seek for help you know?

Um So I like it man, I think it's been it's been an eye opening experience especially after my father's that you know it's uh it's a beautiful thing because I still implement those things, you know he passed a man, you're still gonna go run, you're gonna do if you pull up just gonna go hit the gym used to keep your mind clear, keep your mind that don't let your mind drowning that ship because I could have come back to my old days and just drink it up. Get on some fucking bullshit app and just start swiping, swiping, swiping and just fill that void with unnecessary ship that I didn't need to, you know, and it's just back on this vicious cycle of not being accountable for my actions, which is again when I reach out to you, I knew it was gonna be cutting driving. It's like you're sucking up here, do this. That's what I like most. Some people might not like that. But if you put your ego aside man, you give it a shot, you know, turn into a robot and I'm a very emotional game. I'm still me, I'm just me taking care of me before I take care of anybody else.

And there we have it part one of a 3-4 part series with my man Damien Gilbert. This conversation went for about 2.5 hours so there's plenty of lessons to take away in the subsequent episodes. If you enjoyed this conversation and it can benefit any of your friends and family, please pass it off to them. Any five star ratings and reviews are much appreciated, much love guys, peace

Client Corner: Damian Gilbert part 1
Client Corner: Damian Gilbert part 1
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