What Doesn’t Kill Us

As referenced in my last post, I purchased this book by Scott Carney and started reading it while I was recovering from my stomach bug:

What Doesn’t Kill Us: How Freezing Water, Extreme Altitude, and Environmental Conditioning Will Renew Our Lost Evolutionary Strength

What Doesn't Kill Us: How Freezing Water, Extreme Altitude, and Environmental Conditioning Will Renew Our Lost Evolutionary Strength by [Carney, Scott]

I finished it last night, and I gotta say it is a wonderful book.  Sometimes I felt like it was wandering, or dwelling too much on fluffier philosophical discussions.  But all the side stories, philosophy and main story (learning WHM and ultimately climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro) do come together to form an compelling, coherent message: our ancestors were much “stronger” humans than us, and we’ve lost that strength because “technology” has replaced the need for our physiology to maintain it.  Here, “technology” means something as simple as fire, cooked food and shelter.  And more recently, HVAC, modern medicine, and even GPS driving directions.   Wim Hof appears to have found a way to re-unlock some of it, and Scott Carney himself is evidence that it is teachable to others.

He does climb Kilimanjaro at the end (in ridiculous time), and it’s really nice to get a first-person account of such an adventure instead of just the opaque headline: “Wim and 20 people climbed Kilimanjaro bare-chested in 28 hours!”  I also learned a lot about WHM from the book, as the author clearly has a full WHM skill set.  He doesn’t provide a tutorial on the method, but it’s a perfect compliment for someone going through the 10-week course, filling in some gaps that help you understand it deeper.  Not only from his own experience, but many people whose lives have been changed by WHM.  There’s strong second-hand accounts from multiple people who were almost completely disabled, and then learned WHM and later climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in 1/3 the time most experienced climbers do it.  Breathing is some really powerful stuff.




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