A Rock-Climbing Navy SEAL Talks Ibogaine, Meditation Tactics, Parenting, Purpose & More: The Nick Norris Podcast. – Ben Greenfield Fitness


No trip to San Diego would be complete without interviewing at least one Navy SEAL, which is exactly what I got up to on a recent trip to Southern California.

Nick Norris is a graduate of both the United States Naval Academy and Basic Underwater Demolition / SEAL (BUD/S) Class 247. Upon completion of SEAL training in 2004, Nick assumed progressively higher positions of leadership within Naval Special Warfare. His deployed roles included combat advisor to Iraqi and Afghan military units, Cross-Functional Team Leader, and Ground Force Commander during combat operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Nick was most recently assigned to Naval Special Warfare Basic Training Command — SEAL Qualification Training (SQT) as Officer in Charge prior to transitioning off active duty. Originally from Chicago, Nick received his bachelor’s in science from the United States Naval Academy in 2003 and his master’s in science in real estate from The University of San Diego in 2013. He is currently the executive director of the C4 Foundation, which provides support and resources through science-based programs to active-duty Navy SEALs and their families, and is a board member of Veterans Exploring Treatment Solutions, a nonprofit focused on ending the veteran suicide epidemic via resources, research, and advocacy related to psychedelic-assisted therapy. Nick is also the co-founder and CEO of Protekt Products, a wellness company that is committed to positively impacting customer health via both personal care products and nutritional supplements. Both Protekt and the C4 Foundation value the power of time spent in the outdoors and the positive impact it has on overall well-being.

During this discussion, you’ll discover:

-Nick’s history with the Navy SEALs…7:15

  • Nick’s interview with Tim Ferriss
  • Graduated SEAL training in 2004
  • Served in Iraq in the mid-2000s alongside multi services
  • BGF podcasts with Mark Divine
  • Mark Divine’s Kokoro program (Ben says this is one of the more difficult things he’s done)

-Developing a mindset to overcome uncertainty and the unknown…11:00

-The most important quality of a SEAL leader in Nick’s view…14:37

  • Nick was part of a drill carrying a very heavy object
  • People were falling out, quitting left and right
  • This led to Nick being extremely frustrated, nearly losing control of his emotions
  • He realized that being in control of his emotions was the most important quality of being an officer in the SEALs
  • Dr. Andrew Huberman of Stanford U.
  • Sometimes the best thing you can do is something to make you feel like you’re making forward progress
  • Lattice climbing group in the UK


-Ibogaine used as treatment for PTSD…21:45

-How Nick has treated neural inflammation and PTSD…27:15

  • Nick struggled with shame associated with PTSD (was reluctant to open up on Ferriss’ podcast)
  • SEALs are great at “compartmentalizing”; great for their job, not so much in civilian life
  • Felt “flat” after leaving the SEALs
  • Initially approached it from an endocrine standpoint
  • Docs labeled it as clinical depression
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)
  • Eventually led to Ibogaine on the recommendation (and social proof) of fellow SEALs
  • Approach Ibogaine with much caution
  • Hot/cold contrast therapy
  • Morozko Forge (use code BENFORGE to save $150)

-Dealing with unhealthy habits Nick took from the military to civilian life…43:30

  • Compartmentalization
  • Fear of judgment; you’re either “in” or “out” as a SEAL
  • Overcoming “messiah” complex
  • Relate love for our children with the love God has for us
  • Unconditional love from a greater power

-Nick’s approach to sleep in and out of the military…49:50

  • Sleep was messed up for most of his military career (REM sleep was non-existent)
  • Psychedelic-assisted therapy
  • Multi-modal approach
  • Meditation to prepare for experience of ibogaine
  • Driven by Doug Brackmann
  • Staying vigilant and operating between green and yellow is a good thing

-Nick’s fitness regimen post-military…56:00

  • Bouldering keeps him outdoors
  • Ambulating under load (walking for an extended period of time with weight)

-Why drinking water is not the best way to hydrate…1:00:30

  • Protekt Products
  • “Keep it simple” is the mantra for the brand
  • Book on hydration – Quench by Dana Cohen (drinking water is inefficient for hydrating)
  • Consume foods that are naturally plenteous in water (not dehydrated variants)
  • What’s in the water and water content of the food you eat is the most important factor
  • Exercise and a good meal in the afternoon and evening often contradict conventional wisdom

-Why Nick feels like he’s living on borrowed time…1:09:00

  • Nearly drowned while cliff jumping on the Big Island of Hawai’i
  • Belief in eternal life as a panacea to FOMO
  • Heaven by Randy Alcorn

-Life advice Nick shares with his children…1:14:00

-And much more!

Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Resources from this episode:

Nick Norris:

– Podcasts and articles:

– Books:

– Other resources:

Episode sponsors:

Kion: My personal playground for new supplement formulations, Kion blends ancestral wisdom with modern science. Ben Greenfield Fitness listeners, save 20% off your first order with code BGF20.

Organifi Red Juice: Enjoy all the benefits of the 11 superfoods and their micronutrients that help increase resting metabolism, support cardiovascular health, and remove toxins to turn back the hands of time! Receive a 20% discount on your entire order when you use discount code BENG20.

Clearlight Saunas: You can be sure that I researched all the saunas before I bought mine and Clearlight was the one that stood out from all the rest because of their EMF- and ELF-shielding and their lifetime warranty. Mention BEN GREENFIELD, and you’ll receive an extra discount on your purchase.

Thrive Market: Organic brands you love, for less. Your favorite organic food and products. Fast and free shipping to your doorstep. Receive a gift card worth up to $20 when you begin a new membership.

Do you have questions, thoughts, or feedback for Nick or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!

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