Everything you've been told about exercise is wrong. Cancel the gym membership, dump the protein shake and immerse yourself in a Boy's Own story of a group of English poets and academics and local shepherds who resisted the Nazi occupation of Crete using ancient Greek fitness techniques. Including the one-eyed English archaeologist John Pendlebury, and Paddy Leigh Fermor, this motley crew exploited the innate versatility of the body's natural movements and resources to re-create themselves as physical weapons. They ran, crawled, jumped, climbed, swam and lifted their way to superhuman strength and endurance - most notably smuggling a kidnapped German general to Egypt under the nose of a Nazi manhunt. Chris McDougall takes us to pioneering research laboratories in Germany, an assault course in the Brazilian jungle and Parisian parkour routes, exploding common exercise myths. Just as Born to Run inspired casual runners to get off the treadmill, out of their shoes and into nature, Natural Born Heroes will inspire casual athletes to take up cross-training, mud runs, parkour and free-running to bound-and climb, swim, skip, wade, and jump-their way to heroic feats.
The best-selling author ofBorn to Runnow travels to the Mediterranean, where he discovers that the secrets of ancient Greek heroes are still alive and well on the island of Crete, and ready to be unleashedin the muscles and minds of casual athletes and aspiring heroes everywhere. After running an ultramarathon through the Copper Canyons of Mexico, Christopher McDougall finds his next great adventure on the razor-sharp mountains of Crete, where a band of Resistance fighters in World War II plotted the daring abduction of a German general from the heart of the Nazi occupation. How did a penniless artist, a youngshepherd, and a playboy poet believe they couldcarry out such a remarkable feat of strength and endurance, smuggling the general past thousands of Nazi pursuers, with little more than their own wits and courage to guide them? McDougall makes his way to the island to find the answer and retrace their steps, experiencing firsthand the extreme physical challenges the Resistance fighters and their local allies faced. On Crete, the birthplace of the classical Greek heroism that spawned the likes of Herakles and Odysseus, McDougall discovers the tools of the heronatural movement, extraordinary endurance, and efficient nutrition. All of these skills, McDougall learns, are still practiced in far-flung pockets throughoutthe world today. More than a mystery of remarkable people and cunning schemes, Natural Born Heroes is a fascinating investigation into the lost art of the hero, taking us from the streets of London at midnight to the beaches of Brazil at dawn, from the mountains of Colorado to McDougall's own backyard in Pennsylvania, all places where modern-day athletes are honing ancientskills so they're ready for anything. Just asBorn to Runinspired readers to get off the treadmill, out of their shoes, and into the natural world,Natural Born Heroeswill inspire them to leave the gym and take their fitness routine to natureto climb, swim, skip, throw, and jump their way to their own heroic feats.From the Hardcover edition.