What Doesn't Kill Us, a New York Times bestseller, traces our evolutionary journey back to a time when survival depended on how well we adapted to the environment around us.
Our ancestors crossed deserts, mountains, and oceans without even a whisper of what anyone today might consider modern technology. Those feats of endurance now seem impossible in an age where we take comfort for granted. But what if we could regain some of our lost evolutionary strength by simulating the environmental conditions of our ancestors?
Investigative journalist and anthropologist Scott Carney takes up the challenge to find out: Can we hack our bodies and use the environment to stimulate our inner biology? Helping him in his search for the answers is Dutch fitness guru Wim Hof, whose ability to control his body temperature in extreme cold has sparked a whirlwind of scientific study. Carney also enlists input from an Army scientist, a world-famous surfer, the founders of an obstacle course race movement, and ordinary people who have documented how they have cured autoimmune diseases, lost weight, and reversed diabetes. In the process, he chronicles his own transformational journey as he pushes his body and mind to the edge of endurance, a quest that culminates in a record-bending, 28-hour climb to the snowy peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro wearing nothing but a pair of running shorts and sneakers.
An ambitious blend of investigative reporting and participatory journalism, What Doesn’t Kill Us explores the true connection between the mind and the body and reveals the science that allows us to push past our perceived limitations.
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About the Author
Scott Carney is an investigative journalist and anthropologist whose stories blend narrative non-fiction with ethnography. His reporting has taken him to some of the most dangerous and unlikely corners of the world. The New York Times says "Carney writes with considerable narrative verve, slamming home the misery of what he has witnessed with passion and visceral detail." He has been a contributing editor at Wired and his work also appears in Mother Jones, Foreign Policy, Playboy, Details, Discover, Outside, and Fast Company. He lives in Denver, CO.
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Excerpted from "What Doesn't Kill Us"
Copyright © 2017 Scott Carney.
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Table of Contents
Foreword Wim Hof ix
Preface: Burning Up xiii
Introduction: An Ode to a Jellyfish xvii
1 The Iceman Cometh 1
2 Raiding Evolution's Dustbin 21
3 Measuring the Impossible 43
4 The Wedge 49
5 BIB 2182 65
6 Art of the Crash 77
7 Swatting Mosquitoes with Hand Grenades 93
8 It's Raining Inside 107
9 Parkinson's, Broken Bones, Arthritis, and Crohn's 123
10 All-Weather Intervals 143
11 Cold War and the Vital Principle 155
12 Tough Guy 171
13 Kilimanjaro 187
Epilogue: Cold Comfort 211
Note on the Chronology 219
Work Referenced 225
About the Author 231
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Enthralling! This book explains how it’s possible to lose weight, combat or reverse auto-immune diseases, mitigate chronic pain, or do as many as 80 push-ups on one breath by exposing oneself to the cold, breathing, techniques and meditating. WHAT DOESN'T KILL US is the result of 4 years of research and personal experimentation by author Scott Carney, who takes up the challenge to find out if humans truly can hack their bodies and use the environment to stimulate their dormant inner biology. He learned to control his body temp to such an extent that he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, shirtless—at a crazy fast pace, faster than most ever attempt, according to the book—making it to the rim of the volcano in just 28 hrs. The author not only reports on his findings by studying and investigating guru Wim Hof, but because he puts himself through the training himself, the book provides an immersive first person view of how to achieve some control over your own body, including your autonomic nervous system. The book explores the connection between the mind and the body and shows us the science that can allow us humans to experiment and control our self-imposed physical and mental limitations. I really enjoyed reading about the author's experience and challenges, and it has tempted me to attempt some of what he achieved. It was also cool to see that some professional athletes use similar methods to Wim Hof to achieve their own success. Fascinating read.
I cannot remember how I happened upon this book, but I am glad I did. As an overweight asthmatic, I am excited to try the 'method' and to hike with fewer layers of clothing protecting me. I highly recommend this book.