Updated: May 1, 2020
Both Feet on the Ground: Reflections from the Outside
In extreme endurance athlete Marshall Ulrich’s new book, he explains the importance of being out in Nature and how humans deprive themselves of living a life they deserve. In “Both Feet on the Ground: Reflections from the Outside”, he discusses the negative impacts of living a sheltered life without taking a few risks which allow a person to grow as an individual. The impact on young and old alike are glaring, not only from Ulrich’s opinions, but from science and data.
Ulrich goes on to explain his invaluable life lessons from growing up on a farm and the importance of staying connected to the earth; how it heightens your senses and allows you to live your life to the fullest, in the simplest of terms, devoid of convenience, wealth and technology. To do this, one must “unplug” from the world and become not a casual observer, but an active participant in Nature; be a part of Nature.
The highlight of the book, without a doubt, are the stories of his adventures - summiting of Mt. Everest, the quad crossing of Death Valley or any one of his many extreme undertakings.
The long list of experiences and lessons are remarkable, and yet he stays humble throughout, proclaiming that he’s not a superhero, but just a man who likes to grow through adventure. Those of us who have the privilege of knowing him personally as a friend, couldn’t agree more.
When talking about some of his adventures, he talks about making pragmatic choices when faced with the pros and cons of the task at hand. Ultimately, the choice to succeed or fail, the choice to live or die, becomes a choice that only works in that particular moment, for that particular person.
He’s failed many times but each failure made him stronger and wiser. Ulrich doesn't necessarily like the failures but he certainly embraces them when they happen, knowing he would be a better man in the end.
He allows himself to be just that - himself. He doesn’t acquiesce to others and doesn’t fear reprisal if things aren’t “standard” or “normal” to others. He is his own man and he shares this with his readers in raw and unforgiving stories. This book is a masterpiece and advocates that anyone can achieve more than they think they can, if they put their heart and mind to it.
Bill Watts – Author of “Running for the Average Joe”, a motivational book for runners of any skill level.