I really enjoyed reading Scott’s earlier book Eat and Run, so i was really looking forward to giving this a read.
To sum this book up, this is one of the greatest ultra runners of all time who, after having retired from professional competition, gets his outdoor fix by going hiking along stretches of the PCT with his wife and best friend, Jenny. During one of these hikes they have a big argument and Scott has a bit of a existential crisis and decides he needs to fix himself by returning to suffering and tells Jenny that he’s going to attempt the Appalachian Trail FKT.
Best of all is that he manages to rope Jenny in as his sole support crew member in a converted van suitably named ‘Castle Black’ by telling her that it’ll be a great family summer holiday for their small family of two.
As we go through each chapter of the book we are introduced to each section of the trail, beginning with Scott’s perspective on it followed by Jenny’s. And what a journey it is. It’s utterly ridiculous, but also utterly amazing at the same time. And if you aren’t a bit soggy eyed at the end then you is heartless.
An amazing journey with an amazing couple of human beings — and a ton of friends, old and new, who helped big time along the way and made it all possible.
If, like me, you enjoyed Scott’s first book, then make sure you give this a read some time.
On 2nd July 2019, Scott and Jenny Jurek made an appearance on the Plant Strong Podcast in which they both talk a fair bit about this massive journey they went on together — well worth a listen: “Fueled by Plants: Scott & Jenny Jurek”
The Pleasure Trap by Douglas J Lisle is probably one of the most important books for surviving the modern age.
My thoughts on this:
When Homo sapiens first stood upon the Earth we were born into a savage garden where most things either wanted to eat us or were poisonous, and if we wanted to survive and help our children to survive to an age where they could have children we had to learn to navigate that savage garden in a precise way to avoid the predators and parasites and toxic things that live within it.
Fast forward to the 21st century and our savage garden is now capitalism. And the predators and parasites are corporations and the poisonous things are the food and medicine that they sell to us. They lure us in by using our evolved nature — that suited us perfectly upon the Earth thousands of years ago — against us. We are for the most part seemingly defenceless against the tirade of sweet, fat and salty food and medicines that relieve symptoms but never deal with the cause.
But are we defenceless?
Not if you’re aware of the pleasure traps that they have created to enslave you.
Chronic diseases, the diseases that once were the diseases of kings and the ruling classes, are now the diseases of almost everyone thanks to the corporatisation of the food chain and the medical industry. And chronic disease is caused by nothing more than eating too much of the wrong foods and taking the wrong medicines.
Read this book and learn how to avoid the pleasure traps and how to extract yourself from them when you fall into them.
Your future and your children’s future and their children’s future lies within your grasp of the pleasure traps that corporate predators and parasites have placed in the savage garden of capitalism.
It’s your choice.
You can take your sick, suffering part in their eugenics experiment or walk away from it and be healthy and free.
I came across Rich Roll and his exploits through my wanderings around the internet looking at all things triathlon and ultra athletics, which is my current thing, in case no one’s been keeping up lately.
Rich lays out his whole life from high school, college swim champion, heading for international sporting star only to discover a love for alcohol, drugs and parties, wrecking all hope of sporting glory forever. Then his continued destructive, choatic, drunken lifestyle through to his battle to get clean. And then his descent into junk food fueled, overweight, middle age from which he finally wakes up and becomes one of the world’s top ultra athletes, as a vegan, in his 40’s. It really is an inspiring book for anyone who has been through the chaos of addiction and has come out the other side with a new found desire for a healthier, fitter life: even if you don’t want to be an ultra athlete.
Rich also describes, fully, his experiences through his first two Ultraman (a double length Ironman) races, and also his adventure with Jason Lester in creating and completing the first Epic 5 challenge (5 Ironmans in 5 days), now a staple on the ultra athletics calender. It’s astounding to realise just how much the middle aged human body can do and to hear it all from inside the mind of one of these competitors gives a whole new view of these extreme sports people.
And there’s certainly lots of food for thought also, literally, for anyone who is vegan, or is considering or training on a vegan diet. It’s certainly changed my diet as i recently went back to being a vegan half way through reading this and yesterday ran 15km at 50 years old, the farthest i’ve ran since i was in the army in my 20’s.
Worth a read!