“If you think snot rockets are gross…”

Fort Drum Snow Run

This is a guest post from Andrew Steadman who writes at The Military Leader.

If you think snot rockets are gross…

I had a lesson hit me the other day on a run. It was a damp, chilly morning, the kind that leaves you raspy and congested during a workout. And as I ran past the four mile mark, I decided to blow a snot rocket to free a little sinus space.

As I let it fly, I noticed a pedestrian strolling on the sidewalk to my left. He was wearing a tie and blue blazer on his walk to work. And he had an unmistakable expression of dissatisfaction, maybe even disgust, at the nostril-clearing activity I had engaged in. He thought my snot rocket was gross.

Now, he was at least 15 feet away and not in my blast area, so I know I didn’t hit him with it. Clearly, though, he did not approve of what he saw and I can only conclude it’s because he had forgotten, or has never known, what snot rockets are for.

Which brings me to my point…

If you think snot rockets are gross, you’re probably not testing yourself. If you’re in a combat arms job and can’t remember the last time you got dirty or low-crawled, you’re not being honest about the demands that combat will place on you. If you can’t remember the last time you put yourself into a risky situation or a scenario that demanded prowess and stamina, you might be living in your comfort zone. If that’s the case, you’re not growing. And more importantly, if you’re not growing, your followers aren’t growing.

If that’s you, change it now. Get out the door and do something that forces you to blow a snot rocket. Push yourself in a new way. Submit yourself to someone else’s training regimen. Whether it’s setting up a radio or conducting mission planning, perform your skill as fast as you can, then do it in the worst possible weather conditions. Then do it at night. Then do it when you’re exhausted and scared for your life.

Why? Because that very battlefield awaits. And you will step onto it…prepared or not.

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Andrew Steadman is a US Army Infantry Officer and creator of The Military Leader, a website devoted to helping leaders of all professions grow themselves and their teams. He is also a founding member of the Military Writers Guild.

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