I had no idea this was even possible! I picked up the book as my Read Harder 2017 Task 1: Read a book about sports. Swimming is my favorite sport to participate in, mostly because I’m so introverted that I love the solitary nature of it. It’s also one of the few exercises that you can do right and not feel pain for days afterward, just a nice sore tingle. Except when swimming in ridiculously low water temperatures like Lynne Cox.
When she says long distance, what she really means is that swimming the English Channel was the beginning. Okay, the story starts slightly before that but with a title like Swimming to Antarctica, of course she swims the English Channel at some earlier point. But seriously, the English Channel is just the beginning. She goes on to bigger and more interesting projects. Her story is AMAZING and I wish I had known about it well before this book. Honestly, it makes me think I should keep up with the exploits of more female athletes, and I just might keep a special spot for them in all my memoirs. I definitely plan to read about some of the most recent Olympians that have written memoirs as well.
Getting back to Cox, I loved how she went from a few known channel swims to trying out all kinds of swims no one had ever considered. I also loved the way many of the swims later in life were about bringing people together and that she embraced the symbolism of just swimming over there, where politics often couldn’t go. She has an incredible spirit for adventure. I found her experience of nature and the ocean fascinating, especially the details of some of her encounters with the wildlife and concerns for her safety. I can’t imagine seeing some it, even less being there in the water with them.
The only problem I have with the book is that she does a lot more telling than showing, but it doesn’t really matter anyway. The things she’s telling the reader are great enough to overlook that. It ends up reading like she’s talking to you about her experience. Five more books followed this one, most of which I want to read. I may give her crack at being a historian a go, but only after her other tales of specific swimming experiences and the her open swimming manual. I’m moving to Florida in a few months and it may turn out to be a great workout that I’ve never tried before.
I got this book from local library, as usual, but it can be purchased worldwide from different sites. Click on the cover to be redirected to BookLikes for those purchasing options.