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"My name is Samantha and Iím an alcoholic. At the time of writing, Iíve been sober for 13 years, 11 months and 16 days. And yes I still count. I promised I would never speak about it publicly until my children understood what that meant, that mommy was an alcoholic. I think they may have understood long before I did."
From Whiskey To Water is the no-holds-barred memoir by one of South Africaís most loved radio talk show hosts, Sam Cowen. Having kept her alcohol addiction well away from the public eye for over 14 years, in this tell-all tale, Sam finds the courage to talk about her struggle with her addiction to whiskey, food and finally to a passion that saved her life Ė marathon swimming. Told in her characteristically hilarious dead-pan style, this is one of the bravest books youíll read this year.
"So this is a book on how I stopped drinking? No, itís not. Itís how I stopped drinking, started eating, became clinically severely obese, stopped eating (everything that wasnít nailed down) and swam my way to freedom. No, itís not. Itís actually about addiction and learning and sadness and anxiety and love and drive. Itís about channelling the unchangeable into the miraculous. Itís about dragons and learning how to put them to sleep when you canít slay them. Itís about being my own Daenarys."
'One of the year's most arresting, humbling and acute memoirs. It is a catch-in-the-throat, life-affirming work that you want to gulp down in one and recommend to all your friends. Fitzmaurice tells her story in sparkling prose that is as sinewy as her new sea-strengthened body, and as admirable and boundless as her spirit' Sunday Times Ruth's tribe are her lively children and her filmmaker husband, Simon, who has Motor Neurone Disease and can only communicate with his eyes. Ruth's other `tribe' are the friends who gather at the cove in Greystones, Co. Wicklow, and regularly throw themselves into the freezing cold water, just for kicks. `The Tragic Wives' Swimming Club', as they jokingly call themselves, meet to cope with the extreme challenges life puts in their way, not to mention the monster waves rolling over the horizon. Swimming is just one of the daily coping strategies as Ruth fights to preserve the strong but now silent connection with her husband. As she tells the story of their marriage, via diagnosis to their current precarious situation, Ruth also charts her passion for sea swimming - culminating in a midnight swim under the full moon on her wedding anniversary. An invocation to all of us to love as hard as we can, and live even harder, I Found My Tribe is an urgent and uplifting letter to a husband, family, friends, the natural world and the brightness of life.
Is there anything quite so exhilarating as swimming in wild water? This is a joyful swimming tour of Britain, a frog's-eye view of the country's best bathing holes - the rivers, rock pools, lakes, ponds, lochs and sea that define a watery island. Charming, funny, inspiring, an assertion of the native swimmer's right to roam, a celebration of the magic of water - this book will indeed make you want to strip off and leap in. Selected from the book Waterlog by Roger Deakin. VINTAGE MINIS: GREAT MINDS. BIG IDEAS. LITTLE BOOKS. A series of short books by the world's greatest writers on the experiences that make us human. Also in the Vintage Minis series: Eating by Nigella Lawson; Liberty by Virginia Woolf; Summer by Laurie Lee; and, Desire by Haruki Murakami.
The popular image of sharks is of a dorsal fin cleaving the surface as it rushes to its next kill, but this is a limited caricature. There are over 500 species to choose from, most of whom are far more frightened of humans than vice versa. In this beautiful book, diving veteran John Bantin recounts many tales of his diving with several species of sharks and other marine animals over the last 4 decades. Accompanied by his own stunning photography, the captivating, spectacular and sometimes shocking encounters show the reader what it is like to get up close and personal to these bizarre and beautiful creatures. The sharks covered range from the great whale sharks to the small blacktip reef shark, in locations extending to all corners of the globe.
Ian Thorpe's achievements in the water are nothing short of phenomenal. He has won a record-holding 11 World Championship titles and ten Commonwealth Games gold medals. He has broken 22 world records and won five gold, three silver and one bronze Olympic medals. Having been under the spotlight since he was a young teenager, he retired from competitive swimming in 2006, but after five years he mounted a comeback for London 2012, and intense media attention followed. Thorpe is one of the world's most famous sportsmen, but it is the way he has managed his success and his commitment to helping others that has earned him respect and admiration internationally. This is a man who has had highs and lows away from the pool, who has led an extraordinary life of an elite athlete that most of us will never know, and who had the courage to come back and stake his claim for the ultimate goal once more.
""When I'm focused, there is not one single thing, person, anything that can stand in the way of my doing something. There is not. If I want something bad enough, I feel I'm gonna get there.""
Michael Phelps is one of the greatest competitors the world has ever seen. From teen sensation in Sydney to bona fide phenom in Athens, he is now -- after the Beijing Games -- a living Olympic legend. With an unprecedented eight gold medals and world-record times in seven events, his performance at the 2008 Games set a new standard for success. He ranks among the most elite athletes in the world, and is both an inspiration and a role model to millions. The incredible focus he exhibits in practice and during competition propels him forward to his unrivaled excellence. In "No Limits," Michael Phelps reveals the secrets to his remarkable success, from his training regimen to his mental preparation and, finally, to his performance in the pool.
Behind Phelps's tally of Olympic gold medals lies a consistent approach to competition, a determination to win, and a straightforward passion for his sport. Like Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods, he has learned to filter out distractions and deliver stellar performance under pressure. The road has not always been easy; from the very beginning, Phelps had to overcome physical setbacks and emotional trials. When he was younger, he was diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder; other kids bullied him; even a teacher said he would never be successful. Later, he had to work through injuries that jeopardized his career. In this book, Phelps talks for the first time about how he has overcome these and other challenges - about how to develop the mental attitude needed to persevere, not just in athletic competition but in life.
His success is imbued with the perspective of overcoming the obstacles that come your way and believing in yourself no matter the odds.
"No Limits" explores the hard work, commitment, and sacrifice that go into reaching any goal. Whether it is on the starting block during an Olympic swim meet or in the weight room on a typical day, Phelps's dedication has led him to unparalleled excellence. Filled with anecdotes from family members, friends, teammates, and his coach, "No Limits" gives a behind-the-scenes look at the makings of a real champion. One of Phelps's mottos is "Performance Is Reality," and it typifies his attitude toward achieving his goals. It's easy to get bogged down by doubt or to lose focus when a challenge seems out of reach, but Phelps believes that you can accomplish anything if you fully commit yourself to it. Using the eight final swims of the Beijing Olympics as a model, "No Limits" is a step-by-step guide to realizing one's dream.
'The water slips over me like cool silk. The intimacy of touch uninhibited, rising around my legs, over my waist, my breasts, up to my collarbone. When I throw back my head and relax, the lake runs into my ears. The sound of it is a muffled roar, the vibration of the body amplified by water, every sound felt as if in slow motion . . .' Summer swimming . . . but Jessica Lee - Canadian, Chinese and British - swims through all four seasons and especially loves the winter. 'I long for the ice. The sharp cut of freezing water on my feet. The immeasurable black of the lake at its coldest. Swimming then means cold, and pain, and elation.'At the age of twenty-eight, Jessica Lee, who grew up in Canada and lived in London, finds herself in Berlin. Alone. Lonely, with lowered spirits thanks to some family history and a broken heart, she is there, ostensibly, to write a thesis. And though that is what she does daily, what increasingly occupies her is swimming. So she makes a decision that she believes will win her back her confidence and independence: she will swim fifty-two of the lakes around Berlin, no matter what the weather or season. She is aware that this particular landscape is not without its own ghosts and history.This is the story of a beautiful obsession: of the thrill of a still, turquoise lake, of cracking the ice before submerging, of floating under blue skies, of tangled weeds and murkiness, of cool, fresh, spring swimming - of facing past fears of near drowning and of breaking free.When she completes her year of swimming Jessica finds she has new strength, and she has also found friends and has gained some understanding of how the landscape both haunts and holds us.This book is for everyone who loves swimming, who wishes they could push themselves beyond caution, who understands the deep pleasure of using their body's strength, who knows what it is to allow oneself to abandon all thought and float home to the surface.
One Breath is a gripping and powerful exploration of the strange and fascinating sport of freediving, and of the tragic, untimely death of America's greatest freediver Competitive freediving-a sport built on diving as deep as possible on a single breath-tests the limits of human ability in the most hostile environment on earth. The unique and eclectic breed of individuals who freedive at the highest level regularly dive hundreds of feet below the ocean's surface, reaching such depths that their organs compress, light disappears, and one mistake could kill them. Even among freedivers, few have ever gone as deep as Nicholas Mevoli. A handsome young American with an unmatched talent for the sport, Nick was among freediving's brightest stars. He was also an extraordinary individual, one who rebelled against the vapid and commoditized society around him by relentlessly questing for something more meaningful and authentic, whatever the risks. So when Nick Mevoli arrived at Vertical Blue in 2013, the world's premier freediving competition, he was widely expected to challenge records and continue his meteoric rise to stardom. Instead, before the end of that fateful competition Nick Mevoli had died, a victim of the sport that had made him a star, and the very future of free diving was called into question. With unparalleled access and masterfully crafted prose, One Breath tells his unforgettable story, and of the sport which shaped and ultimately destroyed him.
The Wild Swimming series travels to Italy to explore freshwater lakes, mountain and lagoons. Dip in to the emerald-green plunge pools of Sicily and swim at river beaches in Campania. Discover the secret hot springs of Tuscany and amazing waterfalls of the Dolomiti. Explore the hidden shores of Lake Como and Garda. Perfect for family explorers or romantic adevnturers, this stunning travel book combines beautiful photography with all the practical information you'll need to get off the beaten track, including maps, directions, grid references and walk-in times, and recommendations for canoe trips, campsites and tavernas.
Based on a 35-year voyage of discovery into the art of swimming, this work looks at the most popular strokes - front crawl, back stroke, breast stroke and butterfly - focusing on maximum efficiency and minimum strain. Swimming improves your flexibility, tones your body and can help to boost your self-esteem and produce a sense of well being. It is the nation's most popular sporting activity with 11.9 million people swimming regularly. However, most people don't know how to swim properly. Steven Shaw's method takes the Alexander Technique into the swimming pool - focusing on releasing tension from the head, neck and back. Steven has evolved a unique way of breaking down strokes into a series of therapeutic movements, which can be practised individually or with a partner, in a pool or on dry land. These provide the building blocks, which combine to make it possible for anyone to recraft their own strokes in a way that promote good body use and avoid injuries. Instead of performing physical actions in an automatic way, you begin to learn body awareness. This way of swimming not only feels freer and more open, it is graceful and has a sense of flow, often absent from the way many people swim.
'Remarkable' Observer 'A joy to read' Daily Telegraph 'Soaringly beautiful' Sunday Times Magazine 'Genuine and persuasive' Guardian Alexandra Heminsley thought she could swim. She really did. It may have been because she could run. It may have been because she wanted to swim; or perhaps because she only ever did ten minutes of breaststroke at a time. But, as she learned one day while flailing around in the sea, she really couldn't. Believing that a life lived fully isn't one with the most money earned, the most stuff bought or the most races won, but one with the most experiences, experienced the most fully, she decided to conquer her fear of the water. From the ignominy of getting into a wetsuit to the triumph of swimming from Kefalonia to Ithaca, in becoming a swimmer, Alexandra learns to appreciate her body and still her mind. As it turns out, the water is never as frightening once you're in, and really, everything is better when you remember to exhale.
In 1937 an ordinary school teacher on the island of Maui took a group of under privileged children, most of Japanese ancestry, and trained them to become Olympic swimmers. He called his plan the 'Three-Year Swim Club' and he succeeded in producing true American heroes whose story has never been told.None of the barefoot children had ever laid eyes on a pool. Their only experience in water was playing naked in the filthy irrigation ditches that snaked down from the mountains and into the sugar cane fields. And the coach knew nothing about coaching and couldn't swim a lap to save his life. But, against all odds, and during a period of history marked by virulent racism and the Second World War, the children embarked on an unlikely path that led them to become celebrated swimmers from LA to London, and real-life American heroes.
This training book is the perfect introduction to the Olympic Swimming events and will prove an indispensable guide for both the keen beginner and club swimmer. Written by a leading swimming journalist and illustrated with over 50 specially commissioned diagrams, this official book gives an overview of each Swimming event and covers training safety, tactics and techniques, and standards of performance to aim for. Whether you are a beginner who simply wants to try a new sport or a budding Olympian who dreams of one day winning a gold medal, this concise and easy-to-use book will take you to the next level.
Winner of the Cross Sports International Autobiography of the Year award In the 1970s, Diana Nyad was widely regarded as the greatest long-distance swimmer in the world and set many world records, such as circling Manhattan Island and crossing the 102.5 miles between the Bahamas and Florida. But one record continually eluded her: becoming the first woman to swim between Cuba and the Florida Keys without a shark cage. Finally, in September 2013, after four failed attempts and at the age of sixty-four, Diana completed the crossing after two days and two nights of continuous swimming - 53 consecutive hours, 110 miles. Millions of people watched her and cried and cheered and were dazzled and amazed by her tenacity and courage. Her memoir, Find a Way, is a dramatic, page-turning account of the epic endurance quest that led to that moment, and is also a galvanizing call to live life boldly, in-the-moment, fearlessly, passionately, with no regrets. What makes this book special is that it not only recounts an astonishing and hard won triumph, though it does tell the story of an extraordinary and improbable victory. What makes this book, and Nyad herself, so incredible is the fact of her monumental courage in the face of failure. Nyad failed, and failed, and failed, and failed, but never gave up, and this memoir shows her unwavering belief in the face of overwhelming odds. It is about perseverance, tenacity and commitment on an epic scale.
Transform your technique and become a better swimmer with this remarkable new approach to freestyle swimming. Written for both fitness and competitive swimmers, Swim Smooth contains the latest breakthroughs in swimming to help you radically improve your speed, enjoyment, and success. Hundreds of full-color photographs and three-dimensional graphics help you put theory into practice while detailed advice offers help for intermediate, advanced, and elite swimmers alike. The book's approach lets you identify the strengths and weaknesses of your stroke and drills and training tips let you make the most of your time in the water. Swim Efficiently. Swim Fast. Swim Smooth.
The Antarctic Dive Guide is the first and only dive guide to the seventh continent, until recently the exclusive realm of scientific and military divers. Today, however, the icy waters of Antarctica have become the extreme destination for recreational divers wishing to explore beyond the conventional and observe the strange marine life that abounds below the surface. This book is packed with information about the history of diving in Antarctica and its wildlife, and features stunning underwater photography.The Antarctic Dive Guide covers 31 key dive sites on the Antarctic Peninsula and South Georgia and includes maps and detailed guidance on how best to explore each site. Essential information is also provided on how to choose and prepare for travel to this remote region, and diving techniques for subzero waters. This book is an indispensable resource for anyone considering diving in Antarctica, and an exciting read for anyone interested in this little-explored underwater world.This fully revised and updated third edition:Covers 4 new dive sitesFeatures revised and updated information for the other 27 sites coveredIncludes new sections on the Sea Leopard Project and natural product chemistry from Antarctic marine organisms
In Dip, Andrew Fusek Peters describes an extraordinary year of wild swimming. He leads us to rivers, lakes, waterfalls and hidden pools, into untamed landscapes that have the potential to surprise and move us in unexpected ways. Following in the wake of great writers such as Richard Jefferies and Edward Thomas, Dip combines meditations on place, history and myth with sharp observation and a poet's eye. As he takes the plunge and immerses himself in the elements, Andrew also begins to surface from a deep depression, making Dip at once a personal journey and about the many ways in which wild water and nature can restore us to ourselves.
Trudy Ederle loved to swim, and she was determined to be the best.
At seventeen Trudy won three medals at the 1924 Olympics in Paris.
But what she planned to do next had never been done by a woman: She
would swim across the English Channel in fourteen hours and set a
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