The Underdog: Seeking the Meaning of Life in the World's Most Outlandish Competitions
Joshua Davis dreams like most guys. He wants a fun career, exciting adventures, a happy wife who’s proud of him, and really big muscles that strangers can’t help but admire. Too bad he’s a 129-pound data entry clerk whose wife, Tara, has only three simple requests for their life together: direct sunlight, a dining room, and a bathtub.
Since none of these exist in their 250-square-foot San Francisco apartment, Josh sets off on a quest to become the provider his wife wants him to be. The problem is that he does it in a way that most people in their right minds would never consider: he enters the most grueling and unusal contests in the world.
In The Underdog, what begins as a means to get Tara her bathtub evolves into a charming story of courage, adventure, and just a little bit of insanity. On the heels of a fourth-place finish (out of four contestants) in the lightweight division of the U.S. National Armwrestling Championships, Josh gets a spot on Team USA and travels to Poland to face “The Russian Ripper” in the World Championships–and Tara finds herself wishing her husband would go back to data entry. Unfortunately for her, he’s just getting started.
Over the next two years, Josh ventures to Spain to try his hand at bullfighting, sumo-wrestles 500-pound men, perfects his backward running in India and at the Golden Shrimp “retrorunning” race in Italy, and bonds with his family at the Sauna World Championships–because sometimes it takes a blistering 220-degree sauna to bring loved ones together.
By turns hilarious, harrowing, and inspiring, The Underdog documents one man’s ballsy attempt to live the American dream to the extreme.
From the Hardcover edition.
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