Friday, 1 February 2013

Mud, Sweat & Tears ~ Bear Grylls

This week I finished reading Bear Grylls' autobiography, and what a read it was. Click here for the back page blurb.

He's a man who really needs no introduction, and after watching one of his Man Vs. Wild episodes, most of us can never look at him quite the same way. After reading this story, I'll certainly never look at him the same way.

Throughout the book he is as self-deprecating as a saint and explains away his feats with a humility many in the world would do well to learn from. I admit to having watched the TV shows with a degree of scepticism, awe, and horror as he dives from great heights, devours insects, fences with snakes using a stick, and pees into a snakeskin so he can drink it later to stay hydrated (yes, all true). All in a single bound? More like all in a day's work. This guy is doing exactly what he loves and it shows.

The journey he shares kicks off with his heritage and I always love to know how people begin and what gives them the character they possess. For Bear, family and friendship are absolutely key. His candour and integrity positively shine through countless stories from his youth and the present. Though he has travelled through the impossible rigours of SAS Selection, successfully climbed Mt Everest, and survived the solitude of being dropped off unceremoniously at boys' school aged 8, his story is so easy to relate to on so many levels. This humanity makes the story and its writer not only likeable, but so believable.

One word describes this guy (and it's one of my all time favourite words). He's indefatigable.

He shares his faith and belief in Christ in such a gentle way, and has stuck with it through many trials, relying on God and scripture as not just a source of strength, but the only source of strength. The man has some serious mettel, and at the core is his faith.

The penny-drop moment for me was in the final stages of the book where he discusses his transition from average guy to worldwide celebrity. He still views himself as being just a normal guy. And he is. All the while he was making these great and lifechangning achievements, he was as stock-standard as you or I - and he insists he still is. The fame and fortune are the byproducts of being passionate for what he enjoys and loves, and he takes it all in stride.

Mud, Sweat and Tears also comes with three sets of photos that give imagery to the already vivid retellings captured within the pages.

With wife, Shara

I would wholeheartedly recommend this book for anyone who loves a great read, and especially for writers who need that spirit of perseverance. There are numerous reminders here of why you shouldn't quit, and whose voice you should be listening to when the going gets worse than tough.

Invest in Mud, Sweat and Tears asap.

Click here for the story of our flight with Bear Grylls' Borneo chopper pilot.

Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.  Isaiah 40v30-31

Les adolescents se fatiguent et s’épuisent, les jeunes gens se mettent à trébucher,
mais ceux qui comptent sur l'Eternel renouvellent leur force.
Ils prennent leur envol comme les aigles. Ils courent sans s’épuiser, ils marchent sans se fatiguer.

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