Book review: Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds

During the coronavirus confinement, I found myself reading less, at least at the beginning. The main reason was that I used to read 1 hour during my commute, but this commute didn’t exist anymore! But to save me, I had my newly created CrossFit book club. We share book ideas, and each week read one book or some science articles. This book was one of them.


The book is an autobiography from an ex-SEAL and army ranger, world record holder, ultra runner and probably other things.

Considering the content of the first two chapters, describing his childhood, well, what he achieved is indeed incredible. Clearly, the context in which he grew up impacted his adulthood and his choices in a big way. As a black child, beaten by his father, stigmatized at school, developing a stutter, not great in class, he did achieve greatness. Each chapter finishes with some self-help questions, and the main idea, from the start is to push yourself out of your comfort zone.

The chapters on his adult life are less structured, and there are lots of flashbacks. The main idea that I get from them is that… well, he was very stupid (and seriously, the SEAL training is as well, forbidding people to sleep for almost 5 days, see the previous Book review: Why We Sleep). He usually went in training, tests, races without any reparation. None whatsoever. When he started preparing, he did great, as we expect for such an athlete. But seriously, instead of saying that he didn’t give a f*ck about other people, he should have, at that time, taken a step back and grow up. Lots of time, he was very selfish because he was still hurting, not looking further than the next minute. But just saying that people should push themselves without caring about their environment? No wonder he got divorced 3 times.

Then the last two chapters are very intriguing. At some point in his military life, his body started to shut down. The solution was… stretching. I mean, even in my secondary school, I learned to stretch. When I take a class at the gym (and especially at CrossFit), we spend lots of time stretching. Thinking that the author, as an athlete, hitting the gym hours a day, running for hours, a Nacy SEAL and Army Ranger, and he didn’t know that he should stretch?


The story is very interesting, the way he discovered himself was very intriguing. The issue is more the self-help that I just didn’t read and the rambling for a couple of pages in the second half the book on his methodology. Still a good time, and I’m still impressed by what he achieved in his life!

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