High level thoughts
When I started this audiobook my first impression of all the swearing and cussing was so cringeworthy that I was sure I wouldn't listen to the book for more than 5 minutes. Nonetheless, what kept me going was the detailed description of David's tough childhood. This book ended up leading me through an incredible journey of a human being whose sole purpose in life is to push himself to the absolute limits of physical and mental ability.
David's little "cookie jar" of achievements:
- Winning some of the world's toughest ultramarathons like the Badwater 135.
- Establishing a world record in pull-ups.
- Passing Navy SEAL trainings multiple times over.
- Screening for a US army elite unit Delta Force.
All of this is described in such a raw detail that it will leave you dumbfounded many times over. It's a story of unpreparedness, failure, adaptation, victory and growth. It's a fascinating deep-dive into the thoughts and experiences David had during his most desperate moments told in such a way that you will feel it's just the two of you standing in the same situation right there.
If you manage to disregard the occasional vulgarity and the cringeworthy challenges that David comes up with for his readers (he is a motivational speaker these days you see), you are in for a real treat. This is not just another self-help book, but a personal story with an immense motivational factor. If you are listening to the audiobook version, you might even somehow enjoy the shit talk that David and his narrator do between the chapters.
Stretching. David clearly describes in the latter part of the book how stretching became an integral part of his routine and how important it was for keeping his body operational. As he didn't stretch properly for many years of his life, he suffered considerable health problems. This was a huge surprise for me as I didn't know that muscles can lock up so badly that it can end up in a life-threatening situation.
Mind. If you really focus and are driven by your goal or task at hand you can really achieve the impossible. Sounds like a cliché, and it is, but read the book to understand exactly what I mean here.
Pain tolerance. To be honest, I didn't know a human can go through so much self-inflicted pain and stay alive.
Yet again: the importance of hard work. As motivation tends to come and go, discipline and resilience are your best friends to achieve your greater potential.
David's descriptions throughout the book were so clear and vivid that my memories came alive and reminded me of my own toughest experiences in the military and elsewhere.
By the end of the book you get familiar with David as a warm and friendly personality whom you can appreciate for being vulnerable and telling his story in all its honesty.
His favorite saying seems to be: "Don't judge a book by its cover..." So give him a chance and see what you get out of it yourself!