Swimming To AntarcticaIt should go without saying that I’ve read a book on open water swimming, Lynne Cox’s autobiography, Swimming To Antarctica: Tales of A Long-Distance Swimmer. Compared to her very impressive achievements, swimming two miles in the balmy waters of Canandaigua Lake doesn’t even count as a warm-up, much less a real open water event. As far as open water swimmers go, she is legendary. Lynne CoxHer most impressive accomplishments involve multiple English Channel crossings (in record-setting times), and swimming the Bering Sea from Alaska to the former Soviet Union during the Cold War, both a physical feat and a diplomatic achievement. As the title of the book suggests, she also swam one mile in thirty-two degree water (not solid ice because of the salt content) to set foot on the continent of Antarctica. Cox’s tales are absolutely fascinating and well written, and as I read them I was struck by her humility and down-to-earth assessments of herself, very much at odds with her extraordinary abilities.

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