Book Review: “Becoming a Supple Leopard” by Kelly Starrett

Kelly Starrett’s Becoming a Supple Leopard (Book Review)

The title of Kelly Starrett’s new book, Becoming a Supple Leopard, refers to the fact that she was able to become a supple leopard after being bitten by one. She says that her experience with this animal shows how much she changed since the last time she saw it. The story begins when Starrett was working at the San Diego Zoo as part of its exotic species program. One day she saw a tiger cub running around in the zoo’s exhibit. After a few minutes of watching, she noticed something strange about it: the little guy was not moving.

Then suddenly, he stood up and started walking toward Starrett. When he reached her, the cat had grown to nearly twice her height!

Starrett didn’t think anything of it at first because tigers are known to grow quite large when they’re young and then continue growing throughout their lives. But she did notice something else unusual about the cat. Its ears were very long and floppy, like those of a squirrel or rabbit. And its eyes looked almost human—but no human eyes! They seemed to have some sort of weird, alien quality.

After seeing this strange creature, Starrett felt compelled to get closer to see what was going on with it. She approached slowly so as not to scare it off but still close enough that she could touch its face if necessary. It was at this moment that she got her first good look at the cat’s mouth. “I saw a flash of white,” she says, “a flash of teeth and a long tongue.” This is when she realized that the creature wasn’t an exotic cub at all but a bizarre new breed of mountain lion, and it had just bitten her!

What happened next is something she doesn’t like to talk about. But she has revealed that after being bitten, she spent the next four days in a dream-like state. In this state, she felt no pain and had incredibly vivid hallucinations. This part of her story is often referred to as her “dark night of the soul.” The thing is, Starrett doesn’t really like to talk about this ordeal or even reflect on it too much because it was such a horrible experience for her.

“It wasn’t fun,” she says. But she also admits that if it hadn’t happened, her life wouldn’t be what it is today. And she’s thankful for that. She says, “I’m a better doctor because of it.”

After the attack, Starrett did survive but not without consequences. The bite on her leg became severely infected. And after she recovered from this bacterial infection, she discovered that the poison from the fangs had spread throughout her entire body. This resulted in a serious weakening of the muscles and other bodily systems. She was bedridden for the next three months, during which time she experienced extreme pain.


Sources & references used in this article:

Becoming a supple leopard by K Starrett, G Cordoza – The ultimate guide to resolving pain …, 2013 –

Becoming a supple leopard 2nd edition: The ultimate guide to resolving pain, preventing injury, and optimizing athletic performance by K Starrett, G Cordoza – 2015 –

Becoming a Supple Leopard: The Ultimate Guide to Resolving Pain, Preventing Injury, and Optimizing Athletic Performance by SY Abdulla – The Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association, 2014 –

Deskbound: Standing up to a sitting world by K Starrett, J Starrett, G Cordoza – 2016 –

Archive for the ‘Skepticism’Category by LS Rehab-Part, J Reynolds, WAW Fat, CPS Novella… –

FAI and the Rehab Process: The IT Band as the Root of All Problems by N FitzGibbon –

The effects of ‘tack and floss’ active joint mobilisation on ankle dorsiflexion range of motion using Voodoo floss bands by S Ross, G Kandassamy – Journal of Physical Therapy, 2017 –

Alignment and Nonsurgical Pain Relief Methods for Musicians: A Trumpet Player’s Perspective by J Wengrosky Jr – 2017 –