My First Day Of Marine Corps Boot Camp

It was day #1 of bootcamp and we had just got all of our gear issued to us when we hear our Drill Instructor yell from the back of the squad bay "Who the f*ck can do 20 Pull-Ups?"

"If any of you can do 20 Pull-Ups I'll give you a Motha F*ckin phone call home!!"

We all looked at each other and a few of us whispered, "well, I can do 20 for sure but what's the catch?"

While we muttered under our breath we heard another yell, "OK GET ON LINE RIGHT NOW AND TELL ME WHICH ONE OF YOU CAN DO 20 PULL-UPS?!"

A few of us raised our hands and our drill instructor smiled and said "Good... Now each one of you grab your full main pack (which is a huge pack you can fit all your gear in) grab all your gear and get the f*ck over to the Pull-Up bars!!"

We all scrambled and hustled over to the bar holding somewhere around 80-100 pound of gear...

Staff Sergeant James - "NOW LINE UP, AND DO YOUR 20!!"

There was about 8 of us in line and I made it a point to go last.

One by one these recruits were failing, doing no more than 2-3 Pull-Ups with an extra hundred pounds on them.

In the back of my head I kept thinking to myself... I can do this.

It came down to two people left in line and I watched as the guy in front of me fail at around 6, which was the most anyone had done so far and everyone was amazed at his strength.

Staff Sergeant James - "OK (looks at my nametape) ECKERT, GET THE F*CK UP THERE AND SHOW ME 20. IF YOU DO 20 YOU GET TO CALL YOUR FAMILY AND TELL THEM YOU'RE STILL ALIVE!!" (scare tactics at full throttle)

Now I can't say I wasn't a tad nervous, but I was confident in my ability.

I hoisted my body up and gripped the bar.

The pack was heavy, but it actually sat nicely on my hips and felt comfortable.

"BEGIN" Staff Sergeant yelled. "1,2,3,4,5,6..." (everyone kind of sat up at this moment that I did 6 fairly casually)

"7,8,9,10..." (you can hear the recruits saying "holy sh*t he's still going!!" "CMON ECKERT")

"11,12,13,14...." (even the drill instructors started saying "what the f*ck is going on... is he a f*cking robot?")

"15,16,17,18,19..... and 20..." (I paused at the top and said "RECRUIT ECKERT, 20 SIR!")

Staff Sergeant James whispers to me, "Get. The F*ck. In. My. Office."

I briskly made my way into his office and I could see the pulsing vein in his forehead from me thwarting his plan to embarrass the recruits on day #1.

(He slams the door shut and you can hear all of the recruits going nuts in the squad bay and then getting absolutely slayed by the other drill instructors)

"So..." he says, "Who ya gunna call?"

At this point I was more nervous then when I was doing Pull-Ups...

"Uhhhh, I would like to call my dad Sir."

He dials the number I give him and hands me the phone.

Standing with his face inches from mine I can feel him breathing on me as the phone rings.

My dad picks up.

"Hello? Who's this?"

"Hey dad! It's your son Mike!"

My dad, "What the hell? Aren't you supposed to be in bootcamp?"

"Yeah! I did this challenge thing and got a phone call home!"

(I could feel the heat from my drill instructor radiating off him as I said that)

My dad, "Oh... Well that's awesome! Glad to hear you're ok!"

We spoke for a minute longer and I hung up.

I paid dearly for that phone call and so did everyone else. But it was soooo worth it!

After graduating boot camp Staff Sergeant James came up to me and told me that he makes that bet to every single batch of new recruits for the last 3 years and no one ever came close to doing it!!

I was the first. He said what bothered him most was I didn't struggle, at all.

But he also said he was f*cking proud to have been my Drill Instructor and to witness it!

I made sure before leaving for bootcamp I was well rounded so I could handle any situation that was thrown at me.

That's the principle of what being a Bar Breaker means. Living above the bar and being ready for anything life throws at you.

Any program you get from grants you access to the exclusive Bar Breaker community where we practice this mindset of overcoming anything.

Stop hesitating in life and start living to your potential!

Michael Eckert