This book is a meditation on facing fear, heartbreak, and mortality. It is the story of a man who in rapid succession has his wife die in his arms, loses his house and his job, and is left to care for his 19-month old daughter. Oddly enough, the best tools for coping with all of this were those he learned in more than two decades of martial arts practice. Not Afraid tackles this extremely heavy subject matter in a light-hearted style and with an attitude that acknowledges pain and suffering but denies them dominion over one's life.
In his own irreverent and inimitable style, Daniele Bolleli tells the story of his courtship and marriage, which would have been a sweet story had not all hell broken loose. Or as he puts it, "Hell was a ninja who entered my house without being seen. It all began in such an unremarkable way that it barely registered as anything meaningful. Little did I know that the experiences of the next five months would rip me apart and kill me. They would re-forge me into a different man. On that day, I became an unwilling traveler on a journey through the heart of fear. Every step along the way has forced me to face my fears time and time again."
In autobiographical fashion, Not Afraid recounts how martial arts practice and personally relating to fear-inducing experiences can affect and shape one's personality. The result is a page-turning book about beauty as well as tragedy, hope as well as despair.
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