"Never Finished" by David Goggins

Review by Borodutch

I did not know who David was before I started the book. However, close to the end, I realized that was the second book after the "Can't Hurt Me" bestseller that Audible was trying to shove into my ears for months. If the first book is much like the second, I'm glad I resented spending my time on audible recommended titles.

Don't get me wrong, "Never Finished" and "Can't Hurt Me" have their audience for whom it might be beneficial to read. But just like with Jordan Peterson's books — it's a double-edged sword. Like Peterson's ideology could harm and benefit society, Goggin's teachings can ruin and heal the readers at the same time. Let me explain.

When a book is a collection of thoughts and experiences not backed by science, it most likely contains a few good ideas. Scientists might prove these ideas, and they can benefit the readers. However, the authors usually mix a bunch of personal opinions (mostly nonsense) with the good parts. Media focuses on the good aspects and the anecdotal evidence that might be sensational. Following everything that the authors suggest would eventually result in a non-ideal situation.

One good part of David's journey is how he pushed the body to its limits repeatedly. The experience allows most of us to relate to Goggins emphatically and not give up in most situations. After all, Goggins is still alive — and if we encounter something of a lesser risk, we should be good.

However, this is the only good part of the book. Among inspirational bullshit that is probably circulating the Internet right now, quoted by various self-help gurus, we see a story of self-destruction culminating in life-altering injuries. I'm not saying that David did anything wrong; his journey is fascinating. I'm saying that no one should ever approach the goals he set in the same manner. Unless one wants to end up self-identifying as "trans-abled."

David mentioned that after he popularized the notion of ultra-marathons, the area became so bloated with participants that he finished (if I remember correctly) number 10. Do you know whose story I'd like to hear? The person who wins ultra-marathons. I doubt they are disabled right now — probably due to a balanced training and nutrition regimen.

Do not push through the pain when exercising. Do not deprive your body of sleep. Do not increase the chances of life-altering injuries. You're in sports because you want to achieve greatness. Greatness does not come if you cut corners and neglect the training basics. Exhausting yourselves is good — to an extent. No, bypassing this extent does not make you better. It makes you finish 10th.