Posted in Books, Photography

Mud, Sweat, And Tears

A Survival Guide for Life

Many people find it hard to understand what it is about a mountain that draws men and women to risk their lives on her freezing, icy faces — all for a chance at that single, solitary moment on the top.  It can be hard to explain.  But I also relate to the quote that says, ‘If you have to ask, you will never understand.’

~ Bear Grylls

08.2010 114a

When I first received the email from TLC Book Tours asking if I’d be interested in reading and reviewing the book Mud, Sweat, And Tears by Bear Grylls, I jumped at the chance.  Not because I knew anything about the author, but because the description of the book sounded like just what I needed.  I’ve been stalled on some of my goals lately, and the description I was given made this sound like the good swift kick to the butt required to move me out of my rut.

tlc logo

Let’s start by talking about Bear Grylls.  Do you know who he is?  I did not.  I have not had cable television since the 90’s so I was not familiar with him or his show.  Reading the summary about the author, I realized I was wrong.  I had heard of him.  When my nephew stayed with us last summer, he was thrilled when I took him around Breezy Acres and showed him some of the edible plants growing in the wild.  He said something about it being like Man Vs. Wild as he went out and collected food to make himself some small meals.

Bear Grylls
Bear Grylls

For those, like me, who do not know who Bear Grylls is, he was the star of Man Vs. Wild for seven seasons.  He is currently hosting a reality show for NBC (here in the U.S.) called Get Out Alive.  It looks interesting.  I may have to see if I can pick it up online (NBC is one of those channels we can’t pick up out here on the Wabi-Sabi Ranch).  He served in the UK Special Forces unit 21 SAS, and climbed Mt. Everest at the age of twenty-three, eighteen months after breaking his back in a parachuting accident.  If you’d like to learn more about Bear, you can visit his website:  BG:  BEAR GRYLLS DOT COM.

Not being familiar with the author, I had no preconceptions about what to expect.  To be honest, I struggled with this book at first.  The formatting threw me off.  The book is written in a series of sound bites (for lack of a better term), and I prefer heftier, meatier, writing styles.  I can understand, however, how this would be appealing to some people.  You get straightforward advice in neat little packages with the occasional quote thrown in for good measure.  The book really doesn’t offer anything new in terms of advice (and much of it sounds cliche), but I did find the short stories about Mr. Gryll’s life interesting.

I went back and had another look at Bear Grylls’s bio and found that he is the Chief Scout to over half a million Boy Scouts in the U.K., and that’s when it occurred to me that Mud, Sweat, and Tears would be the perfect book for pre-adolescent boys (or girls).  My nephew would have loved it, and learned a lot from it.  (He’s a teenager now, and teens, as you may be aware, already know it all.)

My nephew out doing his own version of Man vs. Wild.
My nephew out doing his own version of Man vs. Wild.

If you have a young boy or girl in your life in need of good, motivating advice, I would recommend this book.  The style or formatting is perfect for those who are used to communicating in small bites (or bytes), and I think there is a lot they could learn from reading Mud, Sweat, And Tears.

(Note:  This is a scheduled post.  I am currently on a break from blogging.)


Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, yoga teacher, sometime poet, wife, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She shares her daily walks and meanders, a lot of quotes, some of her artwork, and a lot of her photography here on Ye Olde Blogge. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are (still!) in the midst of renovating the house and cleaning up the property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

13 thoughts on “Mud, Sweat, And Tears

  1. Thanks for the suggestions about giving this book to pre-teen readers – I think it would be a great fit for many of the boys in my son’s Boy Scout Troop!

    Thanks for being on the tour.


  2. My son is also a fan of Bear Grylls, we watched many episodes of Man vs Wild. Hope you are enjoying your break, Robin.


  3. I have to say I have never heard about Bear Grylls before this post. He sounds like an interesting character though. I might have to check his book out, although I might fall in the same category as you, more like meatier writing style. I do understand his quote in the beginning of the post – and I believe he is right. To those who don’t understand the attraction of the mountains, it would be hard to explain. I just finished reading a book called No Way Down about one day when 18 teams tried to climb K2 in the Himalayas and 11 of the climbers died during the attempt. An extraordinary book.


  4. Hi Robin. The show is very entertaining. It’s interesting to hear your take on the author without seeing the show. I like anything that takes us back to nature. Jane


Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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