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blog Mike Ritland - The Cult of Rec Podcast, Episode 16

Mike Ritland - The Cult of Rec Podcast, Episode 16

Kolby Seemann

16 days ago

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Introduction

In this episode of the Cult of Recreationalism podcast, hosted by Sean Lake, the spotlight shines on Mike Ritland, a three-time New York Times bestselling author, former US Navy SEAL, and founder of the Warrior Dog Foundation. Ritland's journey from Waterloo, Iowa, to the elite ranks of the Navy SEALs, and eventually to becoming a renowned author and dog trainer, is nothing short of inspiring.

The Genesis of a Warrior

Mike Ritland's path to becoming a Navy SEAL was influenced by his upbringing in Iowa, a state renowned for its wrestling tradition. Wrestling, swimming, and the strong encouragement of his mother to join the Navy set the stage for his future. Ritland recalls, "Swimming had a huge impact on steering me into the Navy versus any of the other special operations."

However, it wasn't all smooth sailing. Ritland faced his fears during the Gulf War, watching the bombing campaign and feeling terrified at the thought of going to war. Yet, just a few years later, he found himself captivated by an article about Naval Special Warfare, which ignited his desire to join the SEALs.

Training and Determination

Ritland's journey through training was marked by intense preparation and an unwavering commitment to excellence. He reminisces about the grueling nature of BUDS (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training) and the challenges that followed. "One of the catalysts was this popular mechanics article that I read... and I was just fascinated," he shares, highlighting the mental and physical rigor required to become a SEAL.

The importance of never giving up was a recurring theme in Ritland's story. "The mentality they're looking for is somebody that can overcome challenges and adversity," he emphasizes. This mindset, combined with the support of mentors and the camaraderie among SEALs, played a crucial role in his success.

Glenn "BUB" Doherty: A Brotherhood

A significant part of Ritland's story is his friendship with Glenn Doherty, a fellow SEAL who tragically lost his life in Benghazi. Their bond, forged in the crucible of intense training and deployment, is a testament to the strength of brotherhood in the SEAL community. Ritland fondly recalls, "Glenn was an absolute monster when he needed to be, fearless, and such an inspiration."

The stories of their deployments, including their time spent guarding the USS Cole, reveal the depth of their friendship and mutual respect. Doherty's ability to excel in every aspect of SEAL training and operations left a lasting impression on Ritland and many others who served with them.

Post-SEAL Career and Legacy

After leaving the Navy, Ritland transitioned into a career focused on training dogs and supporting veterans. He founded the Warrior Dog Foundation, dedicated to caring for retired military working dogs, and authored several bestselling books. His podcast, The Mic Drop, has also garnered a significant following.

Ritland's dedication to his work and his ability to connect with people, whether through his books, his podcast, or his dog training programs, speaks volumes about his character. He attributes much of his success to the lessons learned during his time as a SEAL and the unwavering support of friends like Glenn Doherty.

Final Thoughts

The episode is a powerful reminder of the resilience, dedication, and camaraderie that define the Navy SEALs. Ritland's journey from a small-town boy in Iowa to a highly respected author and dog trainer is a testament to what can be achieved through hard work, determination, and an unyielding commitment to excellence. His story, interwoven with memories of Glenn Doherty, serves as an inspiration to all who listen.

"Never give up, no matter what." - Mike Ritland

For more episodes of the Cult of Recreationalism podcast, be sure to subscribe and leave a review. Follow BUBS Naturals on your favorite podcast platform and social media for updates and new episode releases.