What’s up TNQP my name is Ethan Duwell. I have been listening to your podcast for a little but now and have been following Marcus Luttrell for a while now. I read Lone Survivor in 2013 and was inspired. Your story and the SEALs way of life inspired me to have a change of mindset on things like bettering myself and striving for excellence in everything I do. I appreciate what you guys are doing here and love the message you portray in every episode. Mr. Luttrell I’ve followed you for a while now and the inspiration you’ve given me is huge. Everything you’ve been through and have done for this country and the people of this country is incredible. I want to thank you for being an inspiration to me and for sharing your story.
My Never Quit story has been a part of my everyday life ever since I started remembering things. I am a person who stutters. Stuttering affects about 70 million of the worldwide population which is about 1%. Most people understand stuttering to an extent, but I would like to go a little deeper. For me, stuttering is apart of every second of my life. Every time I open my mouth or think about what I am going to say its there. Imagine simply trying to walk from one end of the room to the other and have to constantly avoid obstacles that continually present themselves. That’s a dumbed down version of what speaking is like for a person who stutters. It is a constant mental battle with yourself to gain confidence to say exactly what you want to say, to use the techniques that I’ve learned to be a fluent speaker, and to be able to get out of my comfort zone and do what I fear. That last point is the main message of my Never Quit story. I am 23 years old right now and started speech therapy when I was 9. At the beginning I could barely get through a sentence without blocked speech. I was shy, held back my personality, and avoided doing things I wanted because of my stutter. Through the years I noticed steady improvement in my speech, but it wasn’t until high school that I took a major jump in my fluency. That jump was a major gain in confidence. This came from a newly found determination to better myself and to not be controlled by my stutter. I did not want to simply quit on something because of my speech. I didn’t want to not do what I wanted to do because of my speech. I realized that when I did the things that made uncomfortable such as public speaking, or even as simple as raising my hand in class or making phone calls that I grew so much. Every time I did something like this, I used the things I learned from my speech pathologist and continued to practice them every single day. My confidence in myself grew so much and I believed that I could do things that at one time I did not. Once I got this idea I never stopped. I kept challenging myself to get out of my comfort zone, to get to the limit then go beyond the limit in order to grow and become a more fluent speaker.
I never wanted to quit on anything anymore just because I am a person who stutters. I ended up finding myself in positions that called for a lot of communication and speaking in front of people. In high school I ended up being the captain of my rugby team, in which I played a position that I constantly had to be vocal. Calling out plays, barking orders, communicating with the referees. I majored in business in college where I had to present to classes sometimes as big as 100+ people. This idea of doing things I’m not comfortable with and that I fear transferred to other aspects of my life. Whether it be from working out, playing sports, excelling in school, etc. I am driven to conquer the fear I had in things. I will never become a totally fluent speaker; I know I’ll always have room to improve in everything I do. I will always stutter, I will still struggle with doing the uncomfortable things in my life, but I will Never Quit.
I remember reading Lone Survivor and reading phrases like “Never Quit”, “The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday”, etc. and being inspired. I thought “This applies to me directly.” When I finished the book I realized that if you incredible people can persevere through Hell Week, basically drown and come back to life, risk your lives for us and our country, put yourselves in the scariest places in the world, than I can beat the fear I had in myself.
Keep doing what you’re doing. You inspire so many people every day. Never Quit.