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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."
Brothers Jack, Calum and Robbie have been swimming together their whole lives, and have never lost the sense of wonder, excitement and relief that getting in open water brings. In this book, we learn about their swimming feats, from tackling the 145km River Eden to setting the world record for swimming in the Arctic. They take us through their preparation for these expeditions, including sourcing wild spots in the heart of sprawling cities in which to train. They document the challenges they encounter and the successes often achieved in the most unexpected ways. And with everything they've learned, they give tips for those wanting to take on their own aquatic foray, whether a beginner or a seasoned swimmer.This book will show people of all ages how they too can take part in open water swimming and reconnect with the natural world around them. Their experience will embolden readers to escape their status quo and build confidence and contentment by challenging themselves to try something new and reconsider their relationship with nature and the wild. At its core, this book will provide advice, reassurance and inspiration for anyone in search of something more joyful, peaceful and, ultimately, meaningful.
"Being a refugee is not a choice. Our choice is to die at home or risk death trying to escape." - Yusra Mardini Yusra Mardini fled her native Syria to the Turkish coast in 2015 and boarded a small dinghy full of refugees bound for Greece. When the small and overcrowded boat's engine cut out, it began to sink. Yusra, her sister and two others took to the water, pushing the boat for three and a half hours in open water until they eventually landed on Lesbos, saving the lives of the passengers aboard. Butterfly is the story of that remarkable woman, whose journey started in a war-torn suburb of Damascus and took her through Europe to Berlin and from there to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Yusra Mardini is an athlete, one of People magazine's twenty-five women changing the world, a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador and one of Time Magazine's thirty most influential teens of 2016.
Just one hundredth of a second separates elite swimmers from the podium, but what are the physical forces at work behind these tiny margins, and how can an understanding of them be used to improve your own technique in the pool? Swimming Science investigates, with each chapter focussing on a different area. From swimming technology, physiology, and psychology to hydrodynamics, the key principles of swimming science are addressed, with the content organised around a series of questions. What creates the drag in the water? How have swim suits evolved? Which muscles generate propulsion? How much force do elite swimmers use? Each question is investigated using up-to-date science and explanatory info-graphics.
After a decade of trying to become a mother - eleven rounds of unsuccessful IVF, multiple miscarriages and a pregnancy which proved almost fatal - Jessica Hepburn knew it was time to do something different. So she decided to swim the twenty-one miles across the English Channel - no easy feat, especially for someone with an aversion to exercise who couldn't swim very well. As the punishing training commenced, Jessica learned you need to put on weight to stave off the cold. This then led to another idea: what if she wrote to a collection of inspiring women, asking if they would meet and eat with her to answer the question: does motherhood make you happy? The response was overwhelming. From baronesses and professors to award-winners and record-breakers, amazing women from different walks of life - some mothers, some not - all with compelling truths to tell about female fulfilment and the meaning of motherhood. On 2 September 2015, Jessica set out from Dover beach in the dark, taking the words that each of the women had given to sea in her bid to answer the question.
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.
***Winner of the Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards - Newcomer of the Year*** '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.
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.
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 Desire by Haruki Murakami
This is a new edition which provides parents with practical advice on how to teach their child to swim. It is useful for children of age 3 months and upwards. Guiding parents from first activities to do with their child in the water, through how to teach all the major strokes, diving, swimming underwater, floating techniques and emergency procedures such as conserving body heat, this is an indispensable yet accessible guide to teaching your child one of life's major skills. It is produced in consultation with swimming expert, Alison Bell.
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 water slips over me like cool silk. The intimacy of touch uninhibited, rising around my legs, over my waist, 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.
""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.
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.
SHORLISTED FOR THE WILLIAM HILL SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR 2017
A funny and bold account of how women fought their way into the water, and of what they did once they got there
These days, swimming may seem like the most egalitarian of pastimes, open to anyone with a swimsuit - but this wasn't always the case. In the 19th century, swimming was exclusively the domain of men, and access to pools was a luxury limited by class. Women were (barely) allowed to swim in the sea, as long as no men were around, but even into the 20th century they could be arrested and fined if they dared dive into a lake. It wasn't until the 1930s that women were finally, and reluctantly, granted equal access. This is the story of the women who made that possible, a thank-you to the fearless 'swimming suffragettes' who took on the status quo, fought for equal access, and won.
Part social history, part memoir, Swell uncovers a world of secret swimming in the face of these exclusions and shines a light on the 'swimming suffragettes'. It celebrates some amazing achievements, some ridiculous outfits and some fantastic swimmers who challenge the stereotypes of what women are capable of. It's also the story of how Jenny eventually came to be a keen swimmer herself.
Swell is a joyful hymn to the sport and an exploration of why swimming attracts so many women. Ultimately, it is a book dedicated to our brilliant swimming foremothers who collectively made it possible for any woman to plunge in with alacrity, anywhere we choose.
'Lovely, lively, passionate... a celebration of nature's ability to inspire healing and joy' Robert MacFarlane
This is one man's journey, swimming across Britain's countryside while coming to terms with something more challenging than the choppy waters of the English Channel. As Joe Minihane comes up for air, he discovers that swimming is both a joyous activity and a voyage into oneself. Minihane became obsessed with wild swimming and its restorative qualities, developing a new-found passion by following the example of naturalist Roger Deakin in his classic Waterlog. While fighting the currents, sometimes treading water, Minihane begins to confront the buried issues in his life. Along the way, he rekindles old friendships and forges new ones, and after an unexpected setback discovers that he has already gained enough strength to continue his recovery on dry land. Both strange and beautiful, the wild water puts him in touch with nature and himself. Floating is a remarkable memoir about a passion for swimming and nature. Moving from darkness into light, it is as intense and moving as it is lyrical and generous. It captures in memorable detail Minihane's struggle to understand his life, to move forward and, steeped in the anti-authoritarian and naturalistic spirit of Deakin, celebrates the joy of taking time to enjoy life. From Hampstead to Yorkshire, and Dorset to Jura, from the Isles of Scilly to Wales, Minihane has written a love letter to wild stretches of water. We swim with him through ponds and lakes, rivers and canals, lodes and marshes, even the ice-cold sea and come out of the water healthier.
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.
'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. What Hemmo's readers are saying: `This book is funny, engaging, entertaining, informative, suspenseful, motivating, and inspiring... I've never read anything quite like it' -- Nina on Goodreads, 5 stars `Just like Running Like a Girl, this was an absolute joy to read. A beautifully written story of swimming, family and being a woman' - Violet on Amazon, 5 stars `Fantastic book... Entertaining - often laugh-out-loud funny - and full of really useful advice' - J. Edwards on Amazon, 5 stars `A fabulous book that's beautifully written' - Nik on Goodreads, 5 stars `I can't recommend this book enough! I absolutely love Alexandra Heminsley's writing, her attitude towards exercise and her passion for swimming' - Sarah on Goodreads, 5 stars `an inspirational and encouraging read' - Stephanie on Goodreads, 5 stars `the author's enthusiasm is contagious... one cannot help but yearn to join in. ... A thoroughly inspiring book with a likeable narrator unafraid to share her personal life' - Eleanor on Goodreads, 5 stars `This is a delightful book, a pleasure to read... Unbelievably well written, it flows like the water she loves' -- Bobby on Amazon, 5 stars
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.
Published in association with WWF-Malaysia, this important book describes the uniqueness of the Coral Triangle region's marine biodiversity, its conservation importance and the stories, successes and struggles of the drive to maintain its rich biodiversity. The book gives a big-picture overview of threats and solutions and up-close and personal experiences from the ground and the people affected by conservation. The stories come from the work that WWF-Malaysia and USAID Coral Triangle Support Partnership are carrying out in the region. Chapters cover the rich habitats of the Coral Triangle and the endangered species, as well as an in-depth survey of each of the countries of the area. As the earth's single greatest repository of marine life, the Coral Triangle is also a great draw for SCUBA divers. For each of the countries covered, top dive sites are listed. Stunning illustrated with Eric Madeja's photographs, this book is a visual feast as well as an essential read.
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