A Character Defining Moment

Hello and welcome fellow space-time travelers!


Check out curated content from the personal collection of reflections, insights and firsthand accounts of my experiences as a research and experimental test subject for the elevation of consciousness.

This is my personal archive and is maintained as a service to the public.

As my symptoms subsided, I continued to document my efforts to understand and describe through artistic, esoteric and philosophical interpretations what actually happened.

February 12, 2020: The factual details of how the experimentation affected me and the public have now been assembled through investigative reports and can be found here:


Author's Note:

I served as Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Sofcoast, Inc. from 2008-2014 and due to a life change motor vehicle collision, the company was forced to suspend operations in the fall of 2014. Accepting that I could no longer continue with the business was the hardest choice I have ever made. I recognize that I made many mistakes as a founder and startup CEO and believe me there was no guarantee the business would have succeeded had I not been physically incapacitated. The point is I have found some old Sofcoast blog posts and have decided to share them. I enjoy the enthusiasm I am reminded I had at that time. What I lacked for in experience and intellect I more than made up for in energy and enthusiasm and passion. I was and am truly honored to have had the opportunity to serve my board and investors. If I had it to do all over again, I would have focused on hiring on a seasoned CEO and taken my role as Founder and Evangelist much more seriously. This is easy to say now after the fact and yet it is still an important lesson I learned. I am thankful for the humility that I have found beyond the humiliation of failure. I am thankful for my higher power as I understand him to be. I am thankful for the brotherhood and for my family and friends. I am thankful that the words below still existed somewhere on the internet and that I found them and can share them with you today over a decade later.

Insight: Time changes everything and yet somehow only magnifies what is constant, love, kindness, care and regard for our fellow human beings stands the test of time.


Figuring it out - Originally published September 10, 2010.

I very much appreciate what it means to “make the team” because one of the toughest moments of my young life was my 8th grade year. This was the year that I was passed over during tryouts for the middle school basketball team – I simply didn’t make the cut because I lacked the physical size, skills and strength. I wasn't good enough and that was a tough pill to swallow for me.

My mom and dad were so supportive of me. They didn’t make a big deal about it (which was a relief!) and encouraged me to keep trying and that eventually I would find a place where I could fit and could be a contributor.

When I decided it was time to “turn the page” on my career as a SEAL, it was kind of like loving to play basketball and then picking up a new sport like golf when you realize that your knee’s (or other body parts) are wearing down with age and use. As a young man, I watched my dad go through this process and learned that I too was going to face this inevitability in my life and might as well do something about it.

Some of the fondest memories of my youth revolve around team sports. In my case it was mostly football. I wasn’t a standout football star and I wasn’t a gifted athlete. I was a pretty late bloomer and actually didn't start to peak until after I graduated from training. I’ve known and played against and with some gifted athletes. It was always amazing and frankly a treat to play against or with them. I often tell people that when I arrived at BUD/S training (Basic Underwater Demolition / SEAL), I felt like I’d come home.

I think it was because I associated training and my time in the teams with those very positive experiences I had with athletics and sports. Both were very positive and formative periods. I remember being in awe of all of the gifted athletes I grew up with and around and it was very similar for me in training and in the teams. I was (and still am) in awe of pretty much every person that I knew in training or afterwards– to me they seemed to be enormously talented, dedicated, courageous and damn tough, and they still are. Even as an instructor years later I felt the same way, especially about the students.

The guys that walked in through the front door were damn tough and some of the best and brightest this nation has to offer. The guys that graduated? Incredible. And Hollywood can't begin to do them justice. I believed then as I do now that it was truly an honor to be associated with the entire organization.

I think that being included and being a productive part of a highly valued team is something that helps give life meaning to people. For me, I thrive on it and need it and think it’s one of the reasons I enjoyed being in the team's so much. I think it’s also a big reason for why I am having the time of my life building Sofcoast.

For a while after my military career ended, I tried to find a team and mission that I wanted to be a part of – and couldn’t – so I decided go build something myself. Specifically, I decided to develop a pursuit, a vision, a mission and a team that I would be happy to be associated with for a significant period of my post-military life.

I played football throughout high school. In my sophomore year, I was on the Junior Varsity squad and we were essentially the “practice dummies” for the varsity team. At the time one of our assistant coaches was a former head coach for our school and he was legendary for hard-nosed “smash mouth” football. He was a champion and his teams were champions. His name was Archie Powers.

Archie Powers was one of my football coaches and I thought to retell a brief story about him that I believe provided me an experience - rather a - “gentle nudge” really - that was a defining character moment for me that I've carried through my life.


Finding a way.

The mid-day September sun sparkled and danced across white helmets while fiery burst of red, yellow and gold swayed gently in the distance on sturdy branches as the coolness of fall crept over the energy and enthusiasms of a youthful zeal and the spirit of competition enthralled and in motion.

“Surmont!” the booming voice called my name.

“Yes, coach!” I responded instinctively, automatically, anxiously turning and searching.

“Practice dummy – over here.” Snapping towards the sound, helmet on, dead sprint to the far side of the field, I approached the group and was motioned towards a hulking figure that cast a long shadow towards my feet.

It was Coach Powers.

With a very low and deep voice he said, “Son, I need you to stand in as a defensive end for this series. Get ready.”

“OK, coach”. I muttered as I hesitated and then turned and took my position.

As I set down into my ready position, the offense broke out of their huddle; the offensive tackle for the right side of the line jogged up to the line of scrimmage and crouched into a four-point stance. I remember seeing his stern face with sweat dripping from his eyes – the last thing I remember was thinking about how bloody his knuckles were.

The next thing I remember was the sound of a muffled voice that seemed far away asking me, “Surmont, you ok?”

“Yep, I’m ok.” I replied as I lay on my back.

The voice said, “Let me help you up.” Looking up, I saw those same bloody knuckles wrapped around my facemask with gentle blue eyes gazing at me with the silhouetted shape of his helmeted head against the backdrop of a gorgeous blue sky.

With some help, I managed to pick myself up and get my bearings.

I could hear the low, gruff voice of Coach Powers in my ear saying, “Son, you’re going to have to at least try.”

I shifted my stance a little bit and turned away.

“Son, come over here.”

I walked over to Coach Powers and with a stern look and tilted head, said, “Son, I know he’s a hoss. Let’s see if you’ve got sand in your craw. Get in there and make something happen.”

To this day, I'm not quite sure what "sand in your craw" means - but I think it means do you have guts, gumption or some such word to describe being willing to figure out how to win.

At that point, the huddle broke and the offense jogged to the line of scrimmage and got into position. This time I decided to think about making something happen and not worry about the bloody knuckles of the offensive tackle in front of me.

I decided that he clearly had the size advantage on me and I was going to have to figure out some other way to make a tackle. I decided that I would watch to see if the end released or blocked down on me and decided that speed and surprise were my only advantages and I would have to use them to compensate for my lack of size and strength.

The ball was snapped. I could see the end releasing in my peripheral and decided to fake like I was going right to collide with that tackle but I didn’t collide with the tackle. I quickly spun around to my left and sidestepped the tackle and ended up in the backfield and tackled the running back at the line of scrimmage causing a fumble.

This time, I hopped up from the pile and walked back to the defensive huddle to a couple of pats on the backside, helmet and shoulder pad.

Coach Powers smiled at me and with a twinkle in his eye, said, “Looks like you do have sand in your craw, boy. Nice job. Do it again.”

I did and eventually got my clock cleaned when a pulling guard blindsided me... oh well...you live and learn...

This was a seemingly minor moment in my life, but it was of extraordinary significance to me. The reason is because that was the moment that I discovered that I could face a challenge and figure out a way to overcome adversity. That seemingly minor moment helped me because it helped build confidence in me about my abilities and myself.

Thanks, Coach.


About the author

Here is where I share my artistic impressions, insights and understandings in the spirit of artistic expression, love, appreciation and gratitude.

Long Live The Brotherhood


#love#help#research #share #strength#honor#wethepeople



John Surmont Copyright 2017-2022 All Rights Reserved


Recent Posts

See All