What do you consider the greatest lesson learned?
One of the greatest lessons learned is that nothing is what it seems. My world changes every 2-5 years and when I look at the way I thought the world worked and my place in it five years ago and compare it to today there is a HUGE difference. Therefore I already know that everything I hold true today is only partly right, hence it is my duty to remain open so I can grow and learn. That would be my greatest lesson learned.
What do you consider your greatest triumphs?
Getting married to my wife Vianca, being together for 17 years, and being able to be present at ALL of my four children’s births. Being an Active Duty Naval Officer I consider that a huge accomplishment as well as extremely lucky, as many a deployed man has met their son or daughter months after they were born. Whenever I get self-knowledge through experimentation, whether it be physical or mental. The training programs that I develop from personal experience and the insights I get from meditation and write about also bring me great satisfaction.
Where do you live and what do you do for a living?
I am a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy currently stationed at U.S. SOUTHERN COMMAND in Miami, Florida. My current title is Maritime Operations Officer in the Current Operations Department (J3). I am also a Foreign Area Officer (FAO) which is best be summed up as the Navy’s Diplomatic Corps. Outside the Navy, I write on the subject of health, longevity, fitness and training programs, and am involved with various companies that focus on prolonging and enhancing life. Most of my programs and research can be seen at www.ericguttmann.com and through my Facebook page.
What is the one thing that you would like to improve about yourself?
My ability to manifest things faster. I have noticed that it takes me about two years to manifest big changes in my life. Does it take me two years because that’s what it takes or is it because of my lack of knowledge and know how? I would like to manifest things as close to instantly as possible. The Universe likes speed and so do I.
How/Why did you become involved in fitness?
Growing up I was somewhat weak and uncoordinated and I sucked at sports. So I took a disliking for physical activities. Then my best friend growing up, who had competed at the international level at a very young age said we needed to do situps. He would just come home and bang out 50 situps against my bed and told me to do the same. I reluctantly agreed and started doing it. Then he said we needed to join a gym. I was lucky to get into a great gym where all these Iron dudes became my surrogate fathers of strength. As I started to get big and strong I noticed that people gave you a certain deference and stopped messing with you. I then joined the military to be in a place where there is a “culture of fitness.” Since then I have been fascinated with the way the body works and how to train it to be “always ready” for anything that life or the military service throw at you.
What are you doing that makes you happiest?
Writing articles that connect with people and sharing training programs that work. When someone sends me a private message that an article I wrote touched them or that they felt it applied directly to their situation it really makes my day. Plus it also serves as confirmation because sometimes I wonder if what I am doing is actually providing any value. When I teach mobility to people and they tell me that their lower back pain is gone, or that their shoulders feel loose, or that their spine loosened up improving their posture and opening up their energy channels for better meditation that makes me very happy because that is an activity that I enjoy very much and want others to experience as well. When I share my training programs and people send me their personal stories of improvement it also makes my day. When I learned that Extreme Military Fitness is being implemented in one of the first Cross Fit gyms in the U.S., Cross Fit Gulf Coast in Florida, I was very happy, because that also serves as confirmation that you are providing something of value to the world.
What is your passion: What makes you tick?
Life! Choosing life in all I do, understanding life, and living as long as I can as best as I can. My current experiments on myself and my beloved trainees are all designed to expand our life and our quality of life.
What don’t the readers know about you?
I fall down as many or more times than everyone else out there. I am extremely self aware of my failings and limitations. As much as I meditate, train, and temper my mind and will, I occasionally lose my temper and scream at my children. Now sometimes it is warranted because when you have four kids you end up becoming a pseudo Drill Instructor to keep them in line, but when I actually loose my cool I am very self-critical. I think to myself, “look at all this discipline, internal work, external work, writing, and at the end of the day you lost your patience and screamed at one of your kids.” That’s one of the things that makes me feel the worst and keeps me really humble, because I know I have a lot to work on. I know that my kids feel my love and know that I love them deeply, but I expect and demand more from myself, because I know they are here more than just for the lesson of love, they are also here to teach me the lesson of patience and self-control, and it seems I keep messing that one up.