Austen Alexander, a former US Navy sailor, regularly guides athletes and influencers through military-inspired fitness challenges on his YouTube channel. There was the Marines combat test with CrossFitter Lauren Fisher, the Navy SEAL fitness screener with Olympic swimmer Markus Rogan, and perhaps most memorably, the time he and YouTuber James Charles ran an obstacle course.
But in his latest video, it is Alexander who is taking on a daunting physical challenge, and he's doing it alone: he's attempting the diving test used to screen personnel with the United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM), an intense underwater examination which is as fraught with psychological difficulty as physical.
"I went through dive training in 2013, and I did not pass," he says at the start of the video. "So I somewhat have a fear of the water, I'll be honest. But today I'm facing it, I'm getting out of my comfort zone."
The SOCOM dive screener consists of 5 minutes of bobbing underwater, 2 minutes of floating, traveling 100 meters, a front flip, a back flip, retrieving a mask from the bottom of the pool, and 4 bobs with the mask. And if that didn't sound hard enough, Alexander has to do it all with his hands and feet tied.
He completes the majority of the test with relative ease, however, when it comes to the final event, bobbing with the mask, he reaches his limit.
"At that point, I couldn't get a proper breath of air, so I broke my restraints," he says. "And that was it. I failed the test."
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