The SEAL Deal: Would You Pay $2000 For the Most Difficult Week of Your Life?

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A U.S. Navy SEAL teaches an Iraqi army scout during weapons training July 26, 2007 in Fallujah, Iraq.

Sounds crazy, right? Well if you’ve got an extra $1900 lying around and are feeling adventurous (read: masochistic) you can spend a week at a Navy SEAL-inspired training camp in Chesapeake, Va. Extreme SEAL Experience offers ordinary citizens a chance to test the outermost limits of their physical and emotional endurance in order to learn if they’ve “got what it takes” to be a Navy SEAL.

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According to the Washington Post, the 13 civilians who attended a recent training camp “fell into two categories: young men who wanted to become SEALs, and middle-aged men who wanted to test their manhood.” The torturous week asked them to put themselves through extreme physical exertion. SEAL wannabes had to run miles, lift, swim, row, do pushups, underwater sit-ups, and countless other tasks that go beyond the realm of ordinary exercise.

The week is intended to stimulate the Navy’s Basic Underwater Demolition school (BUD/S), the rigorous six-month training program all aspiring SEALS must complete.  Extreme SEAL Experience participants take part in “Hell Night,” modeled off of the SEAL’s Hell Week. Don Shipley, a retired SEAL who founded and runs Extreme SEAL Experience, told the Post that although “Hell Night doesn’t truly replicate the rigors of Hell Week,” it’s still “challenging enough” for his customers who have to experience 24 hours straight of nonstop physical challenges.

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“Now, I feel like Superman. I can do anything,” said 51-year-old Mark Parris upon completing the camp. If a watered down version is that empowering, one can only imagine what the real deal entails. Still, is it really worth it? You could put yourself through the same kind of pain at the gym for only a fraction of the price. But of course, that’s not nearly as badass.

(MORE: Read a Q&A with a former member of SEAL Team Six)