I finally, FINALLY finished reading Level Up Your Life by Steve Kamb (of NerdFitness.com). This book was so good I had to keep putting it down to do the things it suggested. It’s such a great resource for someone like me who likes to read all the things and make plans to be better at everything, but who actually sucks at putting them in practice.
Let’s back up a little. Since about 2012, I’ve been reading this site called Nerd Fitness. It’s a health and fitness website, which compromises a blog, a store, forums and now, an online academy and real-life fitness camp. Here’s the kicker, though – it’s written and run by huge nerds. There are workouts based on video games, philosophies based on everyone from Harry Potter to The Legend of Zelda and nerdy articles about all kinds of health and nutrition subjects. (Think sugar, the Paleo diet, squats and CrossFit).
Early this year – January 12 to be precise – Steve Kamb, founder of Nerd Fitness, released his first book, Level Up Your Life. I had preordered the book but as I live in Australia, I didn’t get it until a couple of weeks later. And, as I mentioned, I didn’t finish it until yesterday. One of the defining philosophies of Nerd Fitness is “Don’t be an underpants gnome!” Basically, it means: don’t just think research, read or plan the epic things you want to do. Do something now, every day, to further you towards your goals. And the rest of the book is full of things you CAN do right now to further you towards your goals, plus inspiration and motivation to actually do those things.
I had a few nitpicks about the book. It’s peppered with Rebel Spotlights (Steve calls his community the Rebellion, after Star Wars, and followers are Rebels), but they are occasionally placed in the middle of a paragraph, so you have to flip back and forth to read them. They are also inconsistently edited. However, the stories are wonderful and read as very genuine.
The only other thing I felt a bit iffy about is that there are many recommendations at the end of the book for further reading (even though we don’t want to read too much lest it get in the way of our getting out there and improving our lives!) but a lot of them are for websites. I’ve gotten bitten by this before, so perhaps I am biased, but I dislike this because websites aren’t static like a book is. I’ve tried to look for websites as recommended by a book before, but because the book was published a few years before I read it, the website had moved on and I couldn’t find the information I wanted. It’s a small irritation, but it’s there.
Those nitpicks aside, I really enjoyed this book and I have already used it to start leveling up my own life. I would highly recommend it to anyone, but in particular anyone who feels stuck in their life but doesn’t know how to change, or lacks motivation and wants to be inspired. It’s easy to read and feels as though Steve is talking to you, but it’s not patronising and you’re not going to feel like you read it too quickly.
In Australia, it’s available via Amazon, or, ask your friendly local bookstore to get it in for you. The difference is only a couple of dollars but it’s really worth it to support local business. In the US, you should be able to get it at any good bookstore, or of course, online.
Happy reading, and good luck with Leveling Up Your Life!