Marcus Luttrell was in Tuscaloosa last week as part of the Patriot Tour (you probably saw him serve as the guest picker on College GameDay) and Nick Saban utilized the opportunity to have him speak to the Alabama football team leading up to their all-important game with Mississippi State. Saban, perhaps more than any other coach, loves exposing his team to as many guest speakers as possible and would never let a speaker with a story like Luttrell's pass through town without speaking to the Tide. (If you're unfamiliar with Luttrell and his story, this is a good place to start.)
We pick the story up as Luttrell has witnessed or heard the rest of his team die - including one member who was shot while on Luttrell's shoulders. His nose has been broken and shoved back inside his face. He has bit his off half his tongue and spit it out of his mouth. He is paralyzed from the waist down. He has crawled into a ravine after hours of fighting, watching the sun go down and his life fade away.
"I was in bad shape. I was dying. I didn't know what to do. And I was laying in this tree, looking at the moon, feeling sorry for myself. My brother's a Navy SEAL too, my twin brother, and I was thinking about him and my teammates, and all the training that I had been through. I laid there and I was like, 'You're being a bitch. Get up, let's go.' That's exactly what I said. What was I going to do, lay down there and die? I wasn't going to do that. I definitely wasn't going to feel sorry for myself. And I kept thinking, 'Okay, I'm alive, man. I'm alive. They fought and died, I'm still alive, so the mission's still on. Let's go.'
"So I reached out and I grabbed a rock. And I reached out as far as I could and I drew a line in the dirt in front of me. I was like, 'I'm going to crawl to that till my feet hit it. If I'm still alive, I'm going to do it again.' And that's what I did. I'd draw a line and crawl till my feet hit it. I'd fall down a hill, I'd crawl up another hill, and I'd draw another line. And I did that for seven miles.
"Somebody was like, 'Well, why didn't you quit?' That's not an option. That's what I am.... Basically, I'm not going to stop, ever, period, until you take everything away from me, you strip it all away. That's how we're trained. From the day you go into training they take away everything that you are and that you ever were, and they mold you back up to what they want you to be."