Learning to Breathe Fire is the story of the work-out phenomenon known as “Crossfit.” It is written by J.C. Hertz, a writer for Rolling Stone and a crossfit devotee. Hertz offers the reader a history of the movement that is designed to celebrate all that crossfit is.
My sense of this book is that if one is already favorable to crossfit, then he will love the book. If one if predisposed to disinterest regarding crossfit, he probably won’t be swayed toward the fitness movement. In order to promote the benefits of crossfit, the author has to denigrate other fitness practices (treadmills, weightlifting, yoga). Her argument for crossfit is convincing. I read her enthusiastic promotion and find myself wondering if I ought to try it. Her dismissal of other techniques is off base. I know people who have in fact gotten in shape on Stairmasters, who benefit from doing yoga, and whose bodies have dramatically improved through weightlifting plans.
The simple truth is there are a lot of different effective work-outs and fitness plans. Crossfit can be great, but it is not the only thing that can be great. If you are not interested in crossfit, I don’t think this book will change your mind. After a while the stories begin running together and the further into the book the reader goes, the more it sounds like an agenda and less like a story. If you are already interested in crossfit, you might love the book. But, you’re already going to boxes, so do you really need to read it?
I do not recommend this book. It is not terrible. The writing is fine. My low-grade is undoubtedly tied to my own lack of enthusiasm. This is not because crossfit is bad. It just is not for me.
Disclaimer - I received this book for free from WaterBrookMultnomah Publishing Group for this review.