Mick Fanning might only be 28 but he already knows how a lot of things feel that most of us never will.
How does it feel to lose a brother? Win a world title? Rip your hamstring muscle clean off the bone? Weave through a zippering Superbank barrel for 20 or 30 seconds or paddle over the ledge at places like Pipeline and Teahupo? Have scoliosis so bad you can't get off the floor? Address the NSW state of origin team before a match, bowl to Matty Hayden and have Dave Warner belt you for consecutive sixes? Walk into the bar of a Brasilian hotel dressed only in a bikini to make your mates laugh, only to find your mates have left, and there is only a puzzled bartender staring blankly at you? You'll notice that not all these experiences fall neatly on one side of the ledger of good or bad.
Mick's journey so far has definitely been a mixed bag, but it is the extremes of that journey that make him so interesting, and his readiness to learn from each experience and use it as fuel to drive him on that might provide lessons for the rest of us.
Mick's only young but he already exudes a quiet wisdom beyond his years, and now he's ready to share it with anyone wanting to further their surfing, whether competitively or for sheer pleasure.
Mick tells his life story candidly - in turns funny, sensitive, thoughtful, self-depricating - while providing intimate insights into the personal lessons gained along the way - with practical tips on surfing technique, fitness, nutrition, board design, travel, competitive strategies and mental clarity.
Mick has overcome personal tragedy and career-threatening injury on his way to claiming the 2007 world surfing title.
Universally acknowledged as the most focussed and driven competitive surfer of his era, Mick's approach to surfing, sports psychology, life and relationships, makes fascinating reading.
The essential principles of perseverance, hard work, and overcoming obstacles in pursuit of your dreams, will inspire anyone keen to get the best out of themselves.
Ultimately, though, it's Mick's humanity, his readiness to give back, which might provide the greatest surprise and inspiration.