Ever had something you wanted so bad and would do anything in your power to accomplish it? I mean truly pull out all the stops and were laser focused on a single goal. If you were to ask my wife she would tell you her favorite quality about me (besides my dashing good looks and irresistible charm), would be my drive to accomplish my goals. Failure is not an option. When I want something I go get it, no matter the size of the endeavor or the mountain I have to climb.
While sitting at Dallas Safari Club in January of 2017 a fire was lit in me. I was visiting with my good friends Taylor Elston and Trey Sperring in the Neal & Brownlee booth. We were having a beer and visiting about possible hunting opportunities for the upcoming season. Leaning towards a DYI caribou hunt in Alaska somehow we got on the subject of this crazy looking ibex in mid-Asia. Trey and Greg Brownlee were talking to us about this adventure and you could hear the fire in Greg’s voice as he had just done this hunt. I was sold early on and after a short Q&A session with them a deposit was handed over, plans were made. I walked into DSC looking for an adventure and by God I just got one. We had just booked a hunt for an animal that I wasn’t familiar with, in a country that I didn’t even knew existed 2 hours prior…. #GetMyGoat was born.
Now this passage is not to tell you about the amazing hunt or the experience I had in Kyrgyzstan… I’ll be happy to share that story over a beer or around a campfire sometime. This is about the 8 grueling months leading up to it and what has ensued since the day I returned.
The very next day after DSC, Taylor and I put on 50 pound packs and did an 8 mile hike in the freezing drizzle. We wanted to get a baseline of where we were at… it wasn’t good… at all. We continued this training regiment together daily and #GetMyGoat followed us everywhere. Our packs started lighter and our distances shorter but we trained. Holding each other accountable and pushing each other to our absolute maximum effort. It was a grind mentally and physically every single day. As time went on our packs got heavier, our distances (and my hair) got longer. I had built somewhat of a following via social media with this GetMyGoat hashtag as well. Folks were tagging me in gym selfies or pictures of them on a trail hiking using the tag #GetMyGoat. A silly hashtag had caught on and went somewhat viral.
By the time August rolled around I personally was down 40 pounds and in the best shape of my life at 34 years old. I believe we logged just over 300 miles on our boots while training. We were packing heavier and shooting further than we have have before. We didn’t regret a single hour of it either while we were there. From the time we left the states to the time we landed back it was a grind. Mentally and physically again. I read somewhere “We don’t rise to the level of expectations. We fall to our level of training.” There is more true in that statement than I initially realized.
After getting home #GetMyGoat lives on. Friends have mailed me stuff goats, I am tagged daily in goat videos and referred to as “goat boy” more than I like. I’m actually currently training for a caribou hunt this September and a Dall sheep in August of 2019. But this “goat” in my life isn’t even about that trip anymore. This “goat” I continue to chase is excellence in more aspects in my life than just hunting. I have looked at it as a metaphor for so many other things. It’s about giving my absolute all to everything I commit to do. Whether that be my marriage, being a good friend, my job or just something as simple as mowing the yard. The GOAT is my GOALS and I plan to reach every single one.
I think it’s important for everyone to have goals and set a high standard for themselves. All of the successful businesspeople, athletes you know set goals. Setting goals gives you long-term vision and short-term motivation. It focuses your acquisition of knowledge, and helps you to organize your time and your resources so that you can make the most of your life.
I am very specific in the goals I set for myself as in giving myself a deadline instead of saying “one of these days”. It’s also important to set obtainable goals but also ones that will get you out of your comfort zone. As the old saying goes “Tough terrain breeds tough men.”
I’d encourage you to take the time to sit down and find out what your GOAT is. You have enough time to sit here and read a crappy blog from some no-name guy on the internet. Take some time to list what you want to do with your life and what you want to experience. Is it a big hunting trip? Is it a college degree? Is it something as simple as getting out of your current job that you hate? Find out what it is then build a blueprint on how you plan to GET YOUR GOAT.
The acronym for G.O.A.T?
Greatest Of All Time.