Book Review: Natual Born Heroes

An amazing book that retraces the steps of some British misfits that kidnapped a German general during WWII while taking a hard look at how we've lost

So what does a kidnapping of a German general during WWII have to do with Greek mythology, the lost art of the hero, parkour, and our lack of nutrition, strength and endurance? Actually, quite a lot. 

In the spring of 1944, on the occupied island of Crete, a German general was kidnapped. No shots were fired. No sign of a struggle. When I started reading the book, Natural Born Heroes: How a Daring Band of Misfits Mastered the Lost Secrets of Strength and Endurance, it seemed like an odd topic for Christopher McDougall. I loved his previous Born To Run so much that I purchased my first pair of running shoes and started training.

But a true story of a kidnapping during World War II? Turns out the kidnapping is only a small part of this carefully woven look at Greek mythology, the art of the hero, parkour, the power of fascia, the modern gym, poor nutrition, physical mastery and mental conditioning.

Now, to call the band of kidnappers “daring British commandos” is being…generous. There’s a one-eyed archaeologist (Indiana Jones has nothing on this guy), a playboy poet, and an artist. And the Crete resistance? Mostly shepherds or local towns folks who, as the Germans painfully found out, were great with gardening tools. Read More

Parkour: The Ultimate Workout

Parkour! Maybe I should add

Parkour! Maybe I should add “become a ninja master” on my healthy bucket list. Well I have a long way to go after my first parkour class. But I loved it and am going back for more.

I guess July was the month to try new things. I did my first mud run last weekend and a week before I tried parkour…and I loved it!

When I was younger I was very athletic. I played baseball, football (with my brothers), volleyball and basketball. But once I hit high school I stopped playing sports. My friends changed and none of them were into sports so I just followed their lead. Probably my biggest regret from that time.

So needless to say over the last 30 or so years as I packed on the pounds and embraced my sedentary lifestyle, my coordination and athleticism went to hell. Read More

Weekly Weigh-In: Holding Steady With A Touch of Parkour

Holding steady after last week's dramatic 5 lbs. loss.

Holding steady after last week’s dramatic 5 lbs. loss.

After last week’s big 5 lbs. loss, my weight held steady. And that’s just fine with me. Why? I focused on something much more exciting than a number on a scale — PARKOUR!

Yep, after weighing in, I headed to my first parkour class…and it was a doozy.

My hubby took some action shots of me learning how to jump, land, roll and vault. I’ll post those later.

I won’t go into too much detail here but I will say it was the most fun and greatest challenge I’ve experienced in a gym. Truth is it didn’t feel like exercise. It was pure fun with a touch of fear. I felt like I was learning how to be a kid again. Awesome! Read More

I’ve Lost 60+ Inches…Now What To Do With All This Extra Skin?

Broke out the measuring tape this morning and discovered I lost 2.75 inches in nearly 3 months! Image courtesy of and zirconicusso.

Broke out the measuring tape this morning and discovered I lost 2.75 inches in nearly 3 months! Image courtesy of and zirconicusso.

Over the last 10 weeks I’ve lost nearly 3 inches from my body, for a grand total of 60.25 inches since I started my quest to get healthy over 3 years ago.

Not too shabby. No wonder I can now fit into size 14 jeans.

This recent loss came from my hips, thighs and chest. No change this time around for my waist and arms.

While I’m excited about losing the inches, I’ve noticed one part of my body not shrinking — my loose skin. In fact, it’s getting worse. Read More

Weekly Weigh-In: No Change, New Challenges

Nothing happening with the scale at the moment, but I'm losing around my waist.

Nothing happening with the scale at the moment, but I’m losing around my waist.

No change in my weight from last week, but I noticed that I’m down another notch on my belt. So the scale maybe stubborn, but my waist is shrinking…and that is always a good thing.

It’s also another reason you can’t rely on the scale for success. Little things like how loose your clothes fit or being able to cross your legs are far more important.

New Month, New Challenges
My trainer wants me to build up my upper body strength. I can’t argue with her. It seems like any upper body workout is a struggle since my month off in April.

In fact, it seems like my whole workout routine isn’t as routine as I’d like. Consistency is so important. Not only to build muscle and improve cardio, but it’s a great reminder to eat better. Read More