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About Steve Gurney / Author / Eating Dirt


Adventures and yarns from New Zealand's action man

Buy Online at GurneyGears or read at your local NZ Library

In Eating Dirt, Steve Gurney tells the stories of his latest extreme adventures, plus what he's learned about resilience.  This is a ripping yarn of a book, told with disarming honesty, great optimism and a splash of philosophy.

Read about Steve's recent adventures - kite-buggying across the Sahara, climbing Aoraki Mount Cook and kayaking 200km to the east coast, attempting the world speed record for kite-buggying, and other challenges.

This is part riveting story and part philosophy, and it's both funny and moving.  Steve's experience of the Christchurch earthquakes, which left him homeless along with many other Cantabrians, has been sobering, difficult but also uplifting.  Out of this he has developed an excellent approach to resilience - one that can be used every day not just in crises - and he shares this comprehensively in Eating Dirt.

Steve reckons that if you're taking risks by stepping outside your comfort zone and making a few mistakes, you're learning - constantly evolving and improving.  He's concerned that we're cotton-wooling our kids by over-protecting them.  Eating Dirt is not just a great read, it's also thought-provoking, and it will stimulate many discussions about the way we lead our lives.

Book Details - 296 pages




Introduction - Unconscious or conscious
Chapter 1 - Dirt is one of the five food groups
Chapter 2 - I remember when.....
Chapter 3 - Playing with fire in the Sahara: The more I prepare, the luckier I get
Chapter 4 - A champion team? Or a team of champions?
Chapter 5 - You want to fit that where?
Chapter 6 - Speed wobbles
Chapter 7 - Landmines
Chapter 8 - Mad way south
Chapter 9 - Tantalisingly close
Chapter 10 - Resilient rubber man
Chapter 11 - Off my face at Ivanpah
Chapter 12 - Earthquake #1 Did the earth move for you?
Chapter 13 - Keep calm and carry on
Chapter 14 - Big, bold and hairy ...
Chapter 15 - Research and prep
Chapter 16 - Departing the information superhighway
Chapter 17 - High drama
Chapter 18 - Takes my breath away
Chapter 19 - Fool or hardy?
Chapter 20 - Life truly begins at the edge of my comfort zone
Chapter 21 - Damn the dams
Chapter 22 - Well, waddya think?
Chapter 23 - Juddy takes a dose of his own medicine
Chapter 24 - Respect the mountain
Chapter 25 - Earthquake #2: Primordial
Chapter 26 - Social leveller


Who am I? Who are you?
Bouncing back
Developing resilience when faced with a humongous hurdle
Resilience Step #1: Create a thinking gap
Resilience Step #2: Get through the grief
Resilience Step #3: Understand your stressors
Resilience Step #4: Control what you can control
Resilience Step #5: Goal-setting and goal-getting: The science of getting what you want.
Resilience Step #6: Healthy habits
Resilience Step #7: Look after yourself

Chapter 27 - Protect-icillin
Chapter 28 - Too old to play with trains

Buy Online at GurneyGears or read at your local NZ Library


About the Author:


  • Steve Gurney, adventurer, inventor and motivator. 

  • Ex-professional adventure athlete turned professional motivational speaker. 

  • Won the Coast to Coast a record nine times. 

  • Raced mountain bikes for New Zealand at the world champs twice.

  • Got an engineering degree.

  • Invented a bike with wings.

  • Poisoned by bat dung while racing in Borneo jungles. Nearly died.

  • First cheeky nudist on New Zealand breakfast TV. 

  • Waxed his entire body for Dancing with the Stars. 

  • Awarded an MNZM gong for Services to Endurance Sport.

  • Wrote a bestselling autobiography called Lucky Legs.

  • Made a world-record crossing of the searing Sahara desert by wind-power.

Steve loves inspiring people to greater heights and loves teaching people how to make mole-hills out of mountains.  Want to hear more?  Steve is a professional speaker - book him for your next event now!


‘Eating Dirt: Adventures and yarns from New Zealand’s action man ‘a remarkable book by a remarkable man.’

Graeme Barrow,

Hawke's Bay Weekend

‘If you ever want to read about one of New Zealand’s most iconic adventure racers, then this is the story to read.’

NZ Fitness Reviewer

‘I heartily recommend Gurney’s book … to all parents who care for their children’s future.’

Garth George,
Bay of Plenty Times

‘Easy to read and hard to put down, you might not agree with all his preachings but it is certainly thought-provoking.’

Young Country

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