Natural Born Heros: Christopher McDougall


“Empathy, the Greeks believed, was a source of strength, not softness; the more you recognized yourself in others and connected with their distress, the more endurance, wisdom, cunning, and determination you could tap into” (pg 29).

“On Crete, a grown-up is known as a dromeus, or “runner.” To be considered a full Cretan, you had to be strong enough and resourceful enough to run to someone’s aid. Until then, young Cretans are just apodromos - “not quite a runner” - and the ritual passage into adulthood was celebrated with the festival of Dromaia - “the Running” (pg 48).

“When you’re doomed to fail, how do you avoid living in doubt and despair? By living, not doubting” (pg 52).

From Philip II, Warlord of Macedon: “If I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city.”

Spartans to Philip II: “If.”

“We like to think of ourselves as masters of our own destinies, as lone wolves in a dog-eat-dog world, but guess what: Dogs don’t eat dogs. They work together. As do most species. As do we” Or, as we should (pg 205).

“Because being a god on earth is a natural human desire, and saving someone else is the closest we’ll ever come to achieving it” (pg 205).

Truth strength lies beneath the muscles, in the knowledge that whatever challenges arise, we’re ready (pg 208).

“The Natural Method was never about trying to live forever; the goal was to make a difference before you died” (pg 208).

Grade: B+

Every now and then, the many threads that make up the story were a bit confusing - or distracting - but a great read and truly inspiring.