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