First off, Christopher McDougall is a natural born storyteller.Â Not only does he help you in “Mastering the Lost Secrets of Strength and Endurance”, but he does it in a highly readable fashion.Â His first book that I read made me want to run great distance (I’m not…though I walk further), the second made me want to run great distance with a donkey at my side (I live in the suburbs so that’s not gonna happen), and now I want to be more like a hero (jury’s still out on that one).Â I guess what I am saying that his writings inspire.
“The art of the hero wasnâ€™t about being brave; it was about being so competent that bravery wasnâ€™t an issue. You werenâ€™t supposed to go down for a good cause; the goal was to figure out a way not to go down at all. Achilles and Odysseus and the rest of the classical heroes hated the thought of dying and scratched for every second of life. A heroâ€™s one crack at immortality was to be remembered as a champion, and champions donâ€™t die dumb. It all hinged on the ability to unleash the tremendous resources of strength, endurance, and agility that many people donâ€™t realize they already have.”
Intertwined with the story of how the small country of Crete held the juggernaut of the World War II German army at bay far longer than many larger, better armed countries is the path to putting ourselves in condition to perhaps be a hero.Â I have to admit that I could use some tweaking of my nimbleness (jury is still out on that one).Â Along the journey, McDougall introduces us to some very interesting characters…both alive and historic.
“â€œDo you know why you get stressed after staring at your computer for a half-hour?â€ Erwan asks after I join him outside. â€œBecause humans evolved to always be aware of threats around them. That stress you feel building up is your bodyâ€™s reminder to get up and take a look at the landscape. Same with your feetâ€”if youâ€™re not letting them do their job and tell your back and knees when they can relax, then your body stays stiff, giving you knee problems and backaches.â€ Your bare feet can sense when youâ€™re balanced and on solid terrain, in other words, so they can signal to the rest of your body that itâ€™s safe and can loosen up a little.”
I don’t know anybody who couldn’t benefit from some loosening.
I love this author and I love this book.