EVERFIT book review - Can't Hurt Me

Book Reviews, May 26, 2019

David Goggins is the only person in history to complete the elite training as a Navy Seal, ARMY Ranger, and AIR FORCE tactical controller. He then competed as the top end of endurance events showing that if you get the mind right it allows the body to do incredible stuff.

This incredible book promises a life changing story and then delivers. David Goggins reveals his horrific past, and how he used a mirror on the wall and speaking truth to yourself to totally turn his situation around with hard graft, and a "fail is learning" attitude. 

David talks about the "40% rule" which he talks about as most of us only tapping into 40% of what we are truly capable. I love how he talks about getting used to a little discomfort to get the system used to pain. This then allows an environment for growth.

The book is split into 11 chapters at at the end of each is a personal challenge set out for the reader. It's a brilliant concept that outlines how he overcame challenges with practical tips on how we might start the process of improvement. Every challenge calls for total honesty with no "fluffing around". You can't help but take notice after the graphic truth bombs that he continually drops throughout each chapter.

When he first started out in his military training he weighed over 300 pounds and could barely run a quarter of a mile without having to stop. He was afraid of heights, water, and was addicted to donuts and sweet drinks.  After putting himself through the three toughest induction courses in the world he then went on to compete in some of the toughest Ultra running events in the world (including Bad water - where he has placed as high as 3rd in 2007!), a double Ironman triathlon in Hawaii (again placing 2nd), and numerous other triathlons, and marathons. In the middle of the endurance competitions he also broke the world record for the most pull ups in a 24 hr period (over 4000 of them).  During reading this book I wanted to get up complete some pull ups then go and run up the mt. as many times as I could.  Oh and he did all this with quite a major heart defect that required surgery.

When ever I read a book I like to underline specific quotes or phases that I feel would be beneficial for myself and my EVERFIT athletes. Here are a few that really resonated...........

"I'll never trust a smile or judge a scowl"  David's father smiled alot but behind closed doors was horrible, and his first teacher (Sister Katherine) was grouchy but cared with action. We can all learn from this.

"My thought to speech flow was jammed up with stress and anxiety, and I was the worst at school." We as a society must NEVER judge kids who are struggling at school. Excessive stress in their home life while their brain is developing creates learning and attention difficulties. 

"Fight of flight can be a great tool when you've in danger because it amps you up to battle through or sprint from trouble, but it's no way to live......I was suffering from toxic stress."

"The vast majority of us are slaves to our minds."

"You can tolerate doubt as a backseat driver, but if you put doubt in the pilot's seat, defeat is guaranteed."

"....like the Taoists say, those that know don't speak, and those who speak, well they don't know jack s**t." David is talking about the men during his training and how many who didn't mouth off tended to be the stronger ones.

"The engine in a rocket ship does not fire without a small spark first. We all need small sparks, small accomplishments in our lives to fuel the big ones." This is relevant to so many facets in our lives, relationships with loved ones, training, races, and joy. We don't all need 3 week vacations to health spas every year - schedule in some yoga, meditation, exercise, a sunrise, and nourishing food on a daily basis.

"That's what getting up at the ass crack of dawn and putting out will do for you. It makes you better in all facets of your life."

"You take what you can get running an Ultra, where you have to roll with whatever gets you from mile to mile."

"Under the hood we all have huge reservoirs of potential and governor impeding us from reaching our maximum velocity.......our governor is buried deep in our minds, intertwined with our very identity.......even when we have reached our limit, we still have 60% more to give!."

"It's simply a matter of stretching your pain tolerance, letting go of your identity and all your self limiting stories, so you can get to 60%, then 80% and beyond without giving up. I call this the 40% rule,,,,you will unlock your mind to new levels of performance and excellence in sports and life, and your rewards will run far deeper than any material success."

"The initial blast of pain and fatigue is your governor talking.......it massages your ego even as it stops you short of your goals."

"Staying in the game is hope, and hope is addictive."

"he was levitating over the mud, riding a whole different Zen, His feet barely touched the ground." David talking about Karl Meltzer breaking 24hours for the Hurt 100 mile Ultra race.

"We don't all have the same floor or ceiling, but we each have a lot more in us than we know, and when it comes to endurance sports like ultra running, everyone can achieve feats they once thought impossible."

"In the military we always say we don't rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training."

"Talent wasn't required for this sport (Ultra running). It was all about heart and hard work, and it delivered relentless challenge after relentless challenge, always demanding more."

"We wanted guys who craved honor and purpose and were open minded enough to face their deepest fears." Recruiting for the military - we all need to find purpose and be open to facing our fears to allow us to be who we are supposed to be. 

"Our culture has become hooked on the quick fix, the life hack, efficiency. Everyone is on the hunt for that simple action algorithm that nets maximum profit with the least amount of effort. ....this will not lead to a calloused mind or self mastery. If you want to master the mind and remove the governor, you'll have to become addicted to hard work. Passion and obsession, even talent, are only useful tools if you have the work ethic to back them up."

"Keep up a championship pace, not for a season or a year, but for your entire life! That required quality rest and recovery time."

"If you get injured or other complications arise that prevent you from working on your primary passion, refocus your energy elsewhere.....it's a great time to get into yoga, increasing your flexibility and strength will make you a better and less injury prone athlete."

"No matter what you or I achieve in sports, business, or life, we can't be satisfied. Life is too dynamic a game. We're either getting better or we're getting worse."

"To me a failure is just a stepping stone to future success."

"Seeds burst from the inside out in a self-destructive ritual of new life."

"There's a lot of potential in those moments of pain."

"They say it takes 66 days to build a habit."

"being around ultra runners I was able to work on my form and craft.........my main focus was to hit the ground soft; to touch it just enough to explode."  This is GREAT advice to build momentum and efficiency with running form. I have written an article on "skipping stones" that encompasses this type of analogy.

"The psoas (hip flexor muscle) is the only muscle connecting our spine to our lower legs, It wraps around the back of the pelvis, governs the hips, and is known as the flight or fight muscle." Another reason to decrease our sitting time.

"Your muscles were so locked up that your blood wasn't circulating very well." Think of injecting blood into a frozen steak, or mopping up water with a wrung out stretched sponge.

"Stretching helped me get my powers back." David now stretches up to 2 hrs daily to maintain his ability to run at the age of 43.


Challenge #1 - Journal about the current factors that are limiting your growth.

Challenge #2 - Abolish the ego and take the first step towards becoming the real you. David tacked post it notes on his accountability mirror.

Challenge #3 - The first step towards a calloused mind is stepping outside your comfort zone on a regular basis. Schedule in uncomfortable things that are good for you eg cold showers, fasting, push ups (sound familiar :)

Challenge #4 - Choose a competitive situation and strive for excellence in that one aspect (this will overflow to other areas)

Challenge #5 - Visualise - the average person thinks 2-3 thousand thoughts per hour. Don't focus on the b******t you can't change, concentrate on the things you can and come up with some plans to make that change.

Challenge #6 - Take inventory of all your success, and overcoming hurdles in the past and use those to fuel future success.

Challenge #7 - Slowly remove the governor from your brain. It's a gradual ramp up so as to prevent injury and allow your system to gradually adapt to the new you.

Challenge #8 - Schedule it in! Too many of us have become multi-taskers, and that's created a nation of half - asses.

Challenge #9 - If you want to become uncommon amongst the uncommon, it will require sustaining greatness for a long period of time. Stay in pursuit. 

Challenge #10 - Journal about your most recent failures. Write a AAR (After Action Report). Use all the above info to move towards a new goal.