Gabe’s mantra that became a movement.

Hernán Cortés was terrified.

He had just arrived on the shores of the Yucatan peninsula, in what is now known as the Gulf of Mexico. 11 ships containing 500 men landed with him. They were tired, hungry, and word was spreading that Cortés had directly disobeyed an order not to sail to Mexico. 

Cortés knew he wouldn’t be able to conquer the Aztecs with his men in this state. So he made a decision that would go down in history. 

“Burn the ships.”

Cortés made the bold move to cut off all means of retreat. They were on a mission – and he wanted to ensure that his men couldn’t even contemplate abandoning it. So he sailed all eleven ships up onto the beach – and set fire to them.

“Every day I view the hard work I do, each meal, each pound of loss, each workout, every sacrifice I make and all the new skills and knowledge I learn as a way to “burn the ships”. I’m burning the ships that could ever take me back to where I was before. I never want to go back there. I never want to struggle like that ever again. I’ll do whatever it takes, for however long.”

~ Gabe Hill

That’s the attitude that Gabe had when he came to us. At 434lbs, he knew he had a huge journey ahead. For the sake of his health, his family, and his life, he couldn’t give himself the option of abandoning it. He decided to adopt the mantra of “burning the ships” to symbolize his commitment to his transformation. 

Gabe is now 160lbs down.


Burning the ships means radical commitment to your new lifestyle.

Not everyone is going to have a transformation like Gabe’s, we know. But every single person we work with has behaviors they’d like to change, habits they’d like to improve, and challenges to face.

That’s why the attitude of burn the ships is something we place at the heart of our coaching – because it applies to everyone. 

If you commit to burning your ships, you commit to change. You commit to facing challenging scenarios, head on – and beating them, because there is no alternative. 

That’s why #TeamBTS regularly run Tough Mudders – to symbolise what they’ve overcome, and celebrate the people who helped them do it.


Ready to burn your ships?

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