Alyssa Ages

Secrets of Giants

Nonfiction - Self Help

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A deep dive into the science and psychology of why pushing our physical limits is so impactful—and how we can achieve so much more than we know.

Everyone wants to know if they could do the impossible. Few of us will ever try.

Alyssa Ages was the strongest she’d ever been, able to flip monster truck tires and walk with 300 pounds on her back. She felt invincible, until the day her body betrayed her, leaving her vulnerable and grasping for control. Rebuilding her strength slowly brought her back to life. She began to What if strength isn't about how much we can lift? What if it's about how we manage life’s struggles?

In Secrets of Giants , Ages, now a mom of two, embarks on an immersive journey to the fringe of the weight-lifting world, the sport of strongman. She hoists kegs and lifts boulders in suburban parking lots, attempts to pull a 50-ton truck using only a rope, and occasionally frightens her neighbors by dragging a sled full of weights down her quiet tree-lined street. She meets a powerlifter-turned-boxer who shares how lifting taught her to become a master of the mundane. A ten-time World’s Strongest Man competitor is brought to tears illustrating how the gym helped him survive an abusive childhood. A pro strongwoman muses on managing setbacks before stepping on stage to deadlift the weight of a baby grand piano. Psychologists, researchers, and coaches offer insights into the fascinating ways that the pursuit of strength can permeate every aspect of our lives, from building resilience and confidence, to finding joy in discomfort, to teaching us to handle adversity.

Part personal narrative, part research mission, part reckless midlife crisis odyssey, Secrets of Giants uncovers why physical strength matters, and how it teaches us that we’re capable of so much more than we know.