By 2009, Army Green Beret and elite-level MMA fighter Tim Kennedy had left Afghanistan and transitioned out of the military to begin the next phase of his career: building businesses, developing himself as a media personality, and chasing a world championship in mixed martial arts.
That was when he received some bad news.
While Kennedy had gone home, his friend and former sniper partner had been deployed to Iraq. The soldier and his new teammate had staked out a spot on a roof to hopefully eliminate a suspected bomber. While both special-ops members were glassing the terrain, an assassin crept through a nearby cupola and tried to slit their throats. Both heroes survived, albeit with serious injuries.
Most of us would hear that story with a sense of relief that we were spared that experience, along with some gratitude and maybe a dash of survivor’s guilt. Kennedy felt one emotion: regret.
“I regretted I wasn’t there,” he says. “I would have given anything to be there.”
How do you become the guy who wants to be on that roof? When there are three seconds left on the clock, and your team is down by one point, what gives someone the confidence to ask for the ball, to be the one to risk the ultimate fail against the greatest glory?
“It is knowing that you put in the work,” Kennedy says.