Whilst watching the Discovery Channel a while back I saw an advert for Bear Gryll’s new autobiography, Mud, Sweat and Tears. Now, I’ve not really been into reading much over the past few years, entertaining myself with other forms of escapism/procrastination but as soon as I saw this I knew I had to get it.
So the next time I was in Waterstones I picked up a copy, not only did I pick up a copy but it was 50% off as well, so it only cost me £9.49. Bargain. So in the heat of last weekend I thought I’d read it whilst getting a tan in the garden. It was worth the accompanying (slight) sunburn.
The book starts of by mentioning the histories and traits of some of his ancestors in interesting detail about the lives they lived and what they accomplished. The stories were moving tales of tragedy and heroism mixed in with some romance and heartache to boot. Bear’s bloodline is an interesting one with ancestors who accomplished much and lead very interesting lives both in and out of the public’s eye.
Then the book focuses on his life, the adventures he got into whilst growing up and the impact his family had on him. He tells of growing up on the Isle of Wight and how he got into the whole adventuring lifestyle by going on expeditions with his father, some fraught with danger.
I don’t want to go into too much detail from here on, needless to say the rest of the book is indeed a grand tale of school life, going through the SAS(R) selection process and a hell of a lot more.
He talks of when he broke his back in a parachuting accident in South Africa and the trials he went through on the road to recovery which culminates in him climbing Mount Everest (one of the youngest ever climbers to do it).
The book was massively inspiring and I could empathise with him immensely with the emotions and contrasting fortunes that the man has had to endure. I would highly recommend anyone to read it as it is both a tale of enlightenment and fulfilment.
I have a tremendous amount of respect for the man and hope he lives a long and productive life with his family. I’d hate for him to do a Steve Irwin (another hero of mine) and pray that he doesn’t.