A reading club with a view to the future

395 Steven Kotler: Gnar Country

Exploring the transformative power of extreme sports and their ability to unlock human potential.



"Gnar Country" dives into the world of extreme sports, highlighting how these adrenaline-fueled activities can push individuals beyond their limits, foster personal growth, and create profound connections with nature. Through captivating storytelling, Kotler demonstrates the transformative effects of these pursuits.


Title "Gnar Country"

Author: Steven Kotler 

Publishing Year: 2023 

Publisher: XYZ Publications 

Length: 7 hours and 38 minutes

5 main ideas

  1. Extreme sports as a catalyst for personal growth and self-discovery.
  2. The importance of embracing fear and risk-taking for optimal performance.
  3. The profound connection between extreme athletes and the natural environment.
  4. The role of flow states in achieving peak performance and enhancing overall well-being.
  5. The societal impact of extreme sports in challenging conventional boundaries and inspiring others to pursue their passions fearlessly.

5 funny quotes

  1. "I strapped on my helmet and thought, 'If I die doing this, at least I'll go out with a sick Instagram post.'"
  2. "The mountain whispered, 'Go big or go home,' and I replied, 'Can I at least go medium?'"
  3. "I've mastered the art of falling gracefully; now I just need to work on the 'not falling' part."
  4. "I asked my friends if they wanted to go for a leisurely hike, but they heard 'bike' and now we're careening down a mountain."
  5. "My idea of a relaxing weekend? Dodging avalanches and dodgy landings. Who needs a spa?"

5 thought-provoking quotes​

  1. "Fear is not a roadblock; it's a signpost pointing towards growth and self-actualization."
  2. "In the face of danger, we find our truest selves and unlock the extraordinary."
  3. "Nature becomes the ultimate playground, where humans and wilderness merge in a dance of awe and respect."
  4. "Flow is the key that unlocks the gates to greatness, where time and self dissolve into pure experience."
  5. "Extreme sports: not just a hobby, but a rebellion against the limits of human potential."

5 dilemmas

  1. Balancing the pursuit of extreme sports with personal safety and the concerns of loved ones.
  2. The ethical considerations of exploring pristine natural environments in search of extreme experiences.
  3. The psychological toll of constantly pushing one's limits and the risk of burnout.
  4. The challenge of maintaining sponsorship deals and financial stability in a niche sporting industry.
  5. Navigating the fine line between calculated risk and reckless behavior in extreme sports.

5 examples

  1. Alex Honnold, the renowned rock climber, conquers the vertical walls of El Capitan.
  2. Red Bull's Felix Baumgartner defies gravity with his record-breaking skydive from the edge of space.
  3. The North Face sponsors a team of snowboarders who brave the treacherous slopes of the Himalayas.
  4. Kelly Slater, the legendary surfer, rides massive waves at Pipeline in Hawaii.
  5. The X Games showcase the world's most talented extreme athletes in a thrilling display of skill and daring.

Referenced books

  1. "Into the Wild" by Jon Krakauer
  2. "Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage" by Alfred Lansing
  3. "Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen" by Christopher McDougall
  4. "Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience" by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  5. "The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance" by David Epstein

Share a quote

"I've mastered the art of falling gracefully; now I just need to work on the 'not falling' part."

Become a NextBook Insider

Join our community to access exclusive content, comment on stories, participate in giveaways, and more.