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Book Summary: Endure – How to Work Hard, Outlast, and Keep Hammering

Endure (2022) is Cameron Hanes’ inspirational story of strength, perseverance, and becoming the greatest bowhunter in the world. Drawing on the author’s anecdotes and life philosophies, it shows that anyone has the capacity to push their limits and be the best that they can be.

Introduction: Push beyond your limits and unleash your true potential.

Cameron Hanes is a man with a singular passion: hunting large game animals in the rugged North American wilderness armed with nothing but a bow and arrow and his wits. In the pursuit of this passion, he has pushed his mind and body to their limits – and kept pushing.

Whether it’s suffering through grueling training regimens, or running 100-mile ultramarathons, he truly believes that there’s nothing that can’t be achieved through determination and hard work. And he wants you to believe it too. As Cam often says, you just need to “Keep hammering.”

Cam’s incredible story of perseverance and persistence shows you that with the right attitude – and a lot of sweat – you can achieve greatness.

In this summary, you’ll learn

  • what saved Cameron Hanes from a life of alcoholism;
  • how to follow your passion while working a 40-hour week; and
  • who is the faster marathon runner: Cameron Hanes or Lance Armstrong?

Book Summary: Endure - How to Work Hard, Outlast, and Keep Hammering

Find your passion and overcome or remove anything that’s keeping you from it.

How many marathons have you run in your life? Don’t be embarrassed if your answer is only one or two, or even none. They’re hard. They take time. They take effort.

Cameron Hanes regularly runs a marathon a day.

It’s easy to look at someone like Cameron Hanes and think that they have a special gift. They must be exceptionally talented. Maybe they’re rich, so they have the money and time to focus on their passion. This isn’t the case for Cam. He gets it done – the training, the running, the bowhunting – all while holding down a regular nine-to-five job. And he wants you to know that if he can do it, anyone can. You just need to keep hammering.

You see, Cam didn’t have an easy or privileged life growing up. His parents divorced when he was young. He’d spend his days chasing the approval of his absent, alcoholic father, or acting out against his abusive stepdad.

In high school, he had no confidence and no success. He found a love for football – mostly to stay away from the tensions at home – though he quickly found out he was an average player. After school, he took a mind-numbing warehouse job crushing cardboard. Eventually, he discovered that he was good at drinking beer, so he threw himself into what he knew: partying and being a smart-ass. He felt like he was a directionless loser, going nowhere fast.

Does Cam regret these days? Not at all. You see, Cam knows – and he wants you to know – that we all have struggles, and those struggles make us who we are. It was his need to impress his father that taught him how to keep pushing himself. His stepfather – for all his faults – took Cam on his first hunting trip. And it was in his boring warehouse job that he met his wife, Tracey. Think about your own struggles for a second. What may have seemed like a setback might actually have had hidden benefits.

But it’s not enough to simply struggle and learn. You need to overcome these challenges. You need to find your direction, your passion, and do everything you can to pursue it. Cam says that life without passion is simply existence. If you’re looking for something more from yourself and life, you need to decide what it is you want the most, and what’s keeping you from it.

Cam’s passion turned out to be bowhunting. His close friend Roy Roth would share stories about his adventures bowhunting in the mountains, and Roy would encourage Cam to come along on hunting trips. Cameron quickly fell in love with everything about it – the solitude, the challenge, the beauty of the wilderness. Finally, he had a focus in life, a dream he was prepared to chase.

Despite this, he was still going nowhere. Cam would spend his nights drinking and didn’t even get his life together after flipping his car while driving drunk.

So what was the final push to get him on the path? In 1993 Cam had his first son, Tanner. At that moment, something inside of him switched. It was no longer about him – he had to be an example. He didn’t want to die in some drunken accident or destroy his family by drinking. He had to be better.

What’s your passion? What’s keeping you from it? What’s motivating you to follow it? Cameron Hanes had found answers to all these questions, and as you’ll see, his life was about to drastically change.

No matter where you start, you have to put in consistent and hard work.

Our story begins in the beautiful Eagle Cap Wilderness. Spanning 1,800 square miles, situated in the Wallowa Mountains, this reserve offers some of the roughest land in Oregon. Cameron Hanes and his best friend Roy Roth are treading carefully, bows in hand, searching with trained eyes for signs of animals; if they’re lucky, a bull elk or bighorn sheep – if they’re not, a bear or a cougar. It’s here that Roy and Cam will learn their most valuable lessons about bowhunting and life.

Bowhunting is hard. The mountains are ruthless and unforgiving. Despite this – or maybe because of it – Cam and Roy threw themselves, heart and soul, into the wilderness. They were constantly seeking the next adventure: the more unknown, isolated, or dangerous the better.

You see, we all have a wilderness. An unknown standing between us and our goals. Something we need to overcome. A place to develop our edge. Cameron Hanes found his edge in the mountains, becoming mentally and physically stronger in pursuit of his passion. What Cam wants you to consider is: What is your wilderness? How far into it are you willing to go?

Eventually, Roy Roth moved to Alaska, and Cam lost his hunting buddy. Did this stop him from chasing his passion in the wilderness? Of course not. For 12 years he hunted alone, overcoming his fears and self-doubt. He learned to be independent and believe in himself. Then, another obstacle came.

In 1996, Cam took a construction job working for the Springfield Utility Board. It was a good job, but 40 hours per week and no immediate vacation time meant no more ten-day hunts in the wilderness. He was reduced to being a “weekend warrior,” only able to pursue his passion for two days a week.

Cam has been working at that same company for over 25 years. He’s never called in sick. He’s never missed a scheduled day of work for any reason. That’s because he’s committed to his work, and if he starts something, he gives it 100 percent and doesn’t quit. All his free time he dedicates to bowhunting and training.

How does he do it? It’s not talent. It’s not luck. It’s not know-how. It’s simply discipline and endurance; something which has to be earned. Cam has some very clear instructions for getting this kind of work ethic: Decide to do something every day for a year. Run a mile. Read a chapter. Write a paragraph. Whatever it is you want to do to improve yourself, just do it, and keep hammering every day. For a year.

Cameron Hanes applies this extreme work ethic to all aspects of his life. And – as you’ll see in the next chapter – when he started running seriously, it was no different.

Visualize what you want, then take it.

It’s 2008. Cameron Hanes is about seven miles into the Boston Marathon when he spies a familiar runner up ahead. When he learned that famed cyclist Lance Armstrong was going to be running he told his sons Tanner and Truett, “I’m gonna find Lance in Boston and run with him for a while. Maybe someone will take a photo of us. And then if I have anything left at the end, I’ll push as hard as I can and sneak over the finish line just ahead of him.” It looks like his chance has arrived.

His kids had laughed when he said this. “You’re just a dad,” Truett pointed out. “He’s Lance.” While they had a point – Lance was an icon and endurance-racing legend – that didn’t stop Cam from visualizing his success, no matter how far-fetched.

Cam had been pushing himself to run further and faster for the past eight years. Why wouldn’t he be able to do this? With his eyes on Lance’s calves, he closed the gap. But Lance started to pull away, leaving Cam behind with the other runners. At that moment, Cam had to make a choice: give up and accept his failure, or keep going.

“I want this,” he told himself. “I’m going to catch up with Lance.” And slowly, painfully, he did. As they crested the toughest hill on the course, Lance Armstrong and Cameron Hanes were running side by side. “How are you feeling?” Cam asked, and he was delighted when Lance responded, “I’m fucking dying!”

With the ice broken and their paces matched, the pair stayed side by side for over half the marathon. They split up at the end because Lance had his own finish line for the cameras. Cam pushed on through the pain, finishing the race with a time of 2 hours, 50 minutes, and 46 seconds. Twelve seconds ahead of Lance.

The headline the following day read BOWHUNTER BEATS ARMSTRONG. His wife, Tracey, called him in tears after the marathon, saying how proud she was. Truett had watched the whole race on television with a beaming smile on his face. They’d even made an announcement at the kids’ school, saying that their dad had beaten Lance Armstrong.

But possibly the greatest reward from that day came from his dad. Cam’s father was the only hero he had growing up, and he’d never been impressed with Cam’s bowhunting. But beating the famous Lance Armstrong gave his dad something to brag about, and he’d finally made him proud.

You can learn something from Cameron Hanes’s story. He let himself visualize his success, and he kept hammering, and he took it. What does success look like to you? What would happen if you stopped imagining it and started expecting it?

Keep pushing yourself, every single day.

There’s a large rock on the side of the trail, halfway up Mount Pisgah in North Carolina. Cameron Hanes would pass this rock every day on his run. One day, he was giving a motivational seminar and thought it would be an instructive example if the crowd watched him carry this rock up the hill. How much could it weigh? he thought. Seventy pounds?

It weighed a lot more than 70 pounds. He’d clearly underestimated the task. With the crowd watching, his shoulders aching, and the jagged edges digging into his flesh, Cam carried the rock a mile and a half up the mountain, step by agonizing step. What would normally have taken him 15 minutes to run, took 2 hours with that damned rock.

So what did Cam do after setting the rock down at the top of Mount Pisgah? He carried it back down the next week. And then back up the week after that. This tradition perfectly encapsulates Cam’s attitude to training: all you need for a workout is a mountain and a rock. Out of curiosity, Cam weighed the rock one day. It was 130 pounds.

In pursuit of his passion to be the best bowhunter, Cam trains. Hard. For the eleven months outside of hunting season, he lifts, runs, and shoots every day. Is this strictly necessary for bowhunting in the mountains? Not at all, and most people don’t do it. But Cameron Hanes isn’t content to be like most people.

He doesn’t take rest days. Every single day is dedicated to his passion. He believes that if you’re not the hardest-working person you know, you’re not working hard enough. The key is to love being exhausted. Love being uncomfortable. Love being in pain. If you get accustomed to these extremes, you’ll always improve, and you’ll always beat the competition.

So, what’s the lesson here? You need to find your own personal rock, and haul it up that proverbial mountain every day. It won’t be easy. It shouldn’t be easy. Maybe the rock will be a lot heavier than you thought. Maybe your hands will bleed and your shoulders will ache. But remember your passion, keep hammering, carry that rock, and know that it will be worth the sacrifice.

As Cameron Hanes will soon find out, there’s a lot the world can throw at you to test your grip on that rock.

Use the haters and the hardships as fuel to keep going.

In 2015, Cameron Hanes was bowhunting in Colorado with some friends. He got a good shot on a large Colorado whitetail deer at 60 yards. It was getting dark, but Cam was confident that the shot would kill, so they agreed to come back the next day to recover the buck. Cam lay down to sleep, excited and optimistic that they’d find the body.

His excitement was cut short by a phone call at 11:00 p.m. “Roy’s been in an accident,” his wife Tracey told him over the phone. His lifelong friend and hunting partner Roy Roth had fallen 700 feet to his death while hunting sheep on Pioneer Peak. Cam was devastated.

Rather than give up in despair, Cam set out the next day to find the buck – for Roy. Roy loved a good hunting story, and if an animal was dead or going to die, they’d always get it. After six miles of sad but determined searching, they finally found the whitetail, dead, a mile from where it had been shot. Cam dubbed it “Roy’s buck,” and its meat was as good and sweet as ever.

It’s important to accept that life is full of setbacks and hardships. Even during what were the hardest moments of Cam’s life, he persevered and found the strength to keep doing what he does best.

And Cam is no stranger to hardships. All his life he’s had to deal with haters and doubters. People have criticized him for training too hard for bowhunting. He’s been accused of making up his crazy hunting stories. He’s even received straight-up death threats from anti-hunting activists.

So what does Cam do with all this hate? He uses it. It motivates him to keep going, to try harder. To prove them all wrong by being the best and most honorable hunter he can be.

But sometimes the harshest criticism comes from Cam himself. He wonders if he deserves all the opportunities he’s had or all the praise he receives from his fans and friends. He obsesses over the thought of not succeeding in a hunt. He worries that he hasn’t been the best father he could be.

But you know what Cam does through all this? He keeps going. He pushes through the pain, the hardship, all of it. He does his best. He endures.

Cam once asked Roy, “When the chips are down, what gives you strength to keep pushing?” Roy said it was his Christian faith. For Cam, it’s his passion and his drive to honor the legend of his best friend. What’s your answer? How do you keep going through loss, failure, or doubt? The fact is, the world is a hard, cruel place, but if you keep hammering away, with your eyes on the goal, you can always find a way to endure.

Summary

The most important thing to take away from all this is:

Keep hammering. Look at what you want from life, and work toward it – steadily, consistently, and with all that you’ve got. Cameron Hanes does not claim to be exceptionally talented, smart, or lucky. But he does know how to work hard – and that’s all it takes. If Cam can do it, then so can you.

And here’s some more actionable advice:

Take the first step.

Think of something you’ve always wanted to do, a goal you’ve always wanted to reach. Maybe it’s running a 100-mile ultramarathon. Maybe it’s writing a book. Mastering the guitar. Anything that fills you with that spark of passion. And now, take the first step down that road. Run one mile. Write a paragraph. Learn a chord. Don’t worry about how far you have to go, or how hard it might be by the end. All that matters is you take that first step. Then – and this is the important part – take another one.

About the author

CAMERON HANES‘ greatest love is bowhunting the remote wildernesses of the West and Alaska. To get ready for bow season, he shoots his bow every single day of the year, trains in the weight room 7-days a week and runs 200+ mile ultra marathons in the mountains during the off-season in an effort to toughen up for the mental and physical tests that he’ll face in the backcountry. His goal, which he knows is a target he’ll never hit, is to become the “Ultimate Predator.”

Pushing his body to failure and raising the bar to this level is what best defines Cameron Hanes. He has inspired and motivated millions of people through his writings, television appearances and social media postings.

JOE ROGAN is the host of the popular podcast The Joe Rogan Experience.

Genres

Health, Nutrition, Motivation, Inspiration, Biography, Memoir, Self Help, Personal Development, Autobiography, Adventure, Hunting, Motivational Management and Leadership

Table of Contents

Contents
Foreword by Joe Rogan
Prologue: Answering the Call

PART I: PREY
Chapter 1: Life Is Suffering
Callout: Love the Struggle
Chapter 2: Pushing Above Average
Callout: Start Dreaming and Start Living
Chapter 3: Diving into a Deep Hole
Callout: Dream Bigger, Achieve More

PART II: PREDATOR
Chapter 4: Strange and Unexplored Territory
Callout: Find Your Edge
Chapter 5: Don’t Let Them Outwork You
Callout: Easy Sucks
Chapter 6: Obsessed or Average
Callout: Nobody Cares
Chapter 7: Ramp It Up
Callout: Cam Hanes Twelve Rules to Life
Chapter 8: Believe to Achieve
Callout: Thank Your Critics
Chapter 9: Train Hard, Hunt Easy
Callout: Find Comfort in Being Uncomfortable
Chapter 10: Last Load

PART III: THE ULTIMATE PREDATOR
Chapter 11: The Best Never Rest
Callout: Must Be Nice
Chapter 12: Beast Mode
Callout: Stay on the Path
Chapter 13: Hating Me Won’t Help You Win
Callout: Listen to the Hate
Chapter 14: The Fickle Winds of Fate
Callout: There’s Enough Cake for Everyone
Chapter 15: Legends Never Die
Callout: Love One Another
Chapter 16: The Invincible Impostor

Epilogue: Relentless

Overview

Push beyond your physical limits to improve yourself by following bowhunter and ultramarathoner Cameron Hanes’s lifelong philosophies and disciplines.

“It’s all mental.”
I say this all the time, and it’s true.
If you believe you can do it, you can.
We all have virtually limitless potential.
Our bodies are capable of so much more than what we ask of them.
Take off the mental handcuffs, get out there, and start on your way today.
What is your passion? You can become better at it.
Committing yourself to fitness only fuels your beliefs.
You gotta believe to achieve.

Cameron Hanes discovered his true passion for bowhunting when he was twenty. Inspired by the physical challenges of stalking elk in the Oregon wilderness―traversing mountainous terrain, braving erratic weather, and evading his quarry’s even more dangerous predators―he began an ever-evolving journey of self-improvement. To become the best bowhunter of wild elk, to the caliber he believed he could be, Cam realized he would need more than archery skills. He would need the stamina and strength that could only come from an athletic training regimen of long-distance running and heavy-weight lifting. And every day for more than thirty years, Cam has put in the work, building miles and muscles, pushing through pain with a single-minded focus on the only goal worth having―besting himself time and again.

Part memoir, part motivational manifesto, Endure reveals how Cam―a self-professed average guy―put himself through the paces to live the life of an expert bowhunter, respected writer, and family man. With discipline, sacrifice, resilience, a hard work ethic, and a belief in his own capabilities, Cam not only accomplished his dreams but continues to surpass them. There is no secret to his success except relentless determination and loyal dedication to his own self-worth.

If Cam can do it, we all can. Everyone has what it takes to endure adversity so we can rise above average, be the best we can be, and enjoy living life to the fullest.

Review/Endorsements/Praise/Award

“I have trained with many of the toughest and hardest men on the planet, and only one stands out. That one is Cameron Hanes.” ―David Goggins, New York Times bestselling author of Can’t Hurt Me

“Cameron Hanes is a master at one of the art forms that gets the least amount of attention: the art of the maximized life.” ―Joe Rogan, from the Foreword

Video and Podcast

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