Capturing a once-in-a-lifetime training experience

Navy SEALs

Training with the United States Navy SEALs has always been a dream of David Gebe. A life-long athlete and gym rat, he wanted to train with the best of the best, the elite force who could do it all from repelling off a 20-storey building into a secret fortress to sitting in a freezing pond for two days during a stake out. He admired the special operations force for their incredible strength, endurance and heroism. “These guys risk their lives every day to keep the world safe,” Gebe explains. “They do things that are just unimaginable that we’ll never know about.”

But, of course, the idea of running, swimming and doing push-ups and sit-ups, alongside some of the world’s most physically fit men was a nerve-wracking premise. David wondered: How would I match up? How would I compete? I’m fit, but how in shape can I be at 57-years-old?

By day, David works as a freelance audio engineer for television in Toronto, where a part of his job entails jet setting to different sporting events around the world such as the FIFA World Cup and the Olympics. In his spare time, David has always had a passion for baseball, which he played competitively until he was in his mid-50s, and frequents the gym three to five times a week. And although he’s never considered joining the Canadian Armed Forces or Royal Canadian Navy, he completely respects what they do.

With his 20-year-old daughter, Erin, by his side to root him on and capture every spectacular moment using a new Canon EOS 70D camera, David traveled to Morgan City, Louisiana, to check “training with the Navy SEALs” off his bucket list. And there were plenty of excellent photo-ops: repelling off an oil platform, beating out 30 guys in a shooting exercise, pushing a jeep around a parking lot with Erin sitting atop, camera in tow, expertly snapping photos of her dad and the SEALs from above to capture his once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

It truly was an once-in-a-lifetime adventure. “It was a fabulous experience where I pushed myself past my limits,” David says, “I never thought I could repel off an open oil tower.”

So how did David hold up? Hint: He earned the nickname Captain Canada.