I was recently recommended a book by my good friend and world-famous big wave surfer, Laird Hamilton. And by “good friend” I mean I’ve never met the dude but have followed him to the point that I think I now have a man crush on him. He’s a bit old for me, but he’s dreamy as hell. More on that later. The book is called “Natural Born Heros.” If you’ve never read it, I suggest you do so.
It’s a story of remarkable athletic prowess: On the treacherous mountains of Crete, a motley band of WWII Resistance fighters – an artist, a shepherd, and a poet – abducted a German commander from the heart of the Axis occupation. To understand how, the author retraces their steps across the island that birthed Herakles and Odysseus, and discovers ancient techniques for endurance, sustenance, and natural movement that have been preserved in unique communities around the world.
So how the hell does this book from my really close super friend, Laird Hamilton, bring me all the way back to Ryan Hughes and his recent Heraklion feat to break up a dog fight? Read on!
The truth is, after spending the better half of the last year following Hughes’ life via his Instagram, I’ve come to the reality that he possesses many of the same powers the small island people of Crete off the coast of Greece have possessed for hundreds of years.
I’m actually willing to bet if I took a hair follicle of Ryno’s and sent it into ancestory.com, we’d find that some of his family lineage dates back to this island. And, furthermore, his great grandpa 50 times removed may have been Hercules or even Odysseus. Shit, is Ryan Hughes an actual descendant of a Greek God? I’m not claiming it, but I’m not saying it ain’t possible, either.
Actually, the more I type, the more I believe he actually may be. You don’t get abs like his from working out. You get them because your grandpa was fucking Hercules.
So back to present day, where Ryno puts his own life at risk (yet another reason he may be a “Natural Born Hero”) to save one dog from being mauled by another. Did he take the time to go get a hose and spray the dogs? NO!
Did he yell and scream to no avail, hoping they would heed his cries? Hell naw! He jumped in the ring like the rhino he is and got his hands dirty….and bitten.
Sure, he may have rabies and those wounds may become terribly infected, but that’s not something a dude like Hughes is thinking about when he goes to battle. He’s only thinking about victory, and after his long list of career accomplishments, Bird Dog here would say that that mentality has treated him well over time.
In a world full of falling snow flakes whose feelings get hurt with the passing of the second hand on a clock, we should all take a little note out of Ryno’s book and become a Natural Born Hero.
Stay tuned next month as I continue to peel back the multiple layers of Ryno’s life and attempt to be more like him while at the same time not being a stalker weirdo.