Pain Don't Hurt (Hardcover)

Fighting Inside and Outside the Ring

By Mark Miller, Shelby Jones

Anthony Bourdain/Ecco, 9780062222343, 224pp.

Publication Date: July 15, 2014

List Price: 25.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Pain Don’t Hurt is the no-holds-barred memoir from the only professional fighter in history to return to the ring after open-heart surgery, kickboxer Mark “Fightshark” Miller—an inspiring story of family, determination, and redemption.

In 2007, Mark Miller was a rising star in professional kickboxing, until a routine physical uncovered a serious condition that required open-heart surgery. The crisis helped to temporarily reunite his fractured family and made Miller more determined than ever to return to the kickboxing ring. But within a year, his parents and brother were all dead, and Miller’s fragile optimism imploded, sending him into a tailspin of drugs and alcohol.

Pain Don’t Hurt is a story of incredible tenacity, dedication, and hard work—how one fierce competitor overcame repeated obstacles to realize his dreams. Miller recounts stories ranging from his childhood spent in the Steelers locker room to the surprising life lessons he learned from other fighters to his triumphant return to fighting in a Moscow kickboxing ring. He talks sincerely about family and fatherhood—of the hard lessons about masculinity and violence learned from his father. He also offers an inspiring, exciting, and frank account of the fights—both in and out of the ring—that have shaped him.

A deeply personal account of guts, blood, and glory, Pain Don’t Hurt pays tribute to the never-say-die spirit embodied in a man who refuses to back down, no matter the odds.

About the Author

Mark "Fightshark" Miller has been a professional fighter for fifteen years and has competed around the world. He is the father of three boys and lives in Los Angeles.

Praise For Pain Don't Hurt: Fighting Inside and Outside the Ring

“Miller takes a thoughtful but unsentimental look at his life as a professional fighter trying desperately to overcome a dangerous heart condition, diabetes and a failing marriage [...] Miller’s tough-but-sensitive narrative voice is a force to be reckoned with.”
— Kirkus Reviews

“In this gritty memoir, kickboxer and MMA fighter Mark Miller documents his struggle to make peace with the demons spawned by his tragic family history. […] The prose is vibrant and clear.”
— Publishers Weekly

“Miller’s book, Pain Don’t Hurt, is more than a fight book. It’s a sincere and particularly unapologetic account of his life.”
— MMA Fighting

Coverage from NPR