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Kokoro Camp: Beyond-Extreme Fitness for Navy Seals and Brave Civilians



Kokoro campers are expected to have met rigorous fitness standards before signing up—for example, you need to be able to march 20 miles with a loaded pack in under six hours. Even if you exceed these, Divine says, his coaches will find a way to push you to the point of breakdown. Every attendee is forced to rely on teammates. “No one gets through Kokoro alone,” he says.

Derek Price, a former Detroit Lion who started doing Ironmans after he retired from the NFL, did a Kokoro in 2010. “I couldn’t believe what they were putting us through in the first hour,” he recalls. “I thought for sure it had to let up. It never did.” I ask Price if the camp was as hard as playing pro football. “Kokoro was the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” he says.

“We had eight people enter our first camp in 2007,” Divine says. “Most were special-ops candidates.” The original camp was downright wimpy compared with the show he puts on today. “I didn’t know how far we could push the envelope,” he says. “Every camp, we turned the dial up a bit more and pushed harder and harder.”

Word of the camp spread beyond the armed forces. People with no military aspirations began to trickle in, and Divine started offering five Kokoros a year. As the participants kept coming, with roughly 40 men and women per camp, the ratio tilted toward civilians. These days, only one in five campers is from the military. The rest are CrossFitters, business people, and endurance freaks in search of something else.

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No one gets through Kokoro alone.

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