"Swimming to Antarctica" by Lynne Cox

Reviewed by Julia

ISBN 9780156031301

In 1972 at age 15, Lynne Cox got out of a cab, walked 100 tiny steps down to a moonlit Shakespeare Beach, discarded her sweatsuit and swam the English channel (England to France) in a record-breaking 9 hours 57 minutes. Prior to leaving the cab, the driver told her more than once that she must be mistaken in her attempt - she was simply "too fat to be a Channel swimmer".  Cox did not let that advice knock her down, going on to perform numerous record-breaking swims in her career, including a politically sensitive swim across the Bering Strait (Alaska to Russia) in 1986, and a nerve-damaging swim to the continent of Antarctica.
As a reader, I love a good adventure memoir, especially when the author is pushing the boundaries of experience; "Swimming to Antarctica: Tales of a Long-Distance Swimmer" by Lynne Cox does not disappoint. Discouragement & fear show themselves constantly in the voices of strangers, family, police, government officials, scientists, the coast guard, and the dangers encountered are many - sharks, razor wire, glass ice, a polluted Nile, and sunken mines to name a few.  But with presence of mind, our voracious swimmer knows how to navigate and search for the deep reservoirs of her own resilience.  I was particularly touched by the Russian response to her request for a "babushka" upon arrival... read the book to find out! An inspiring life story recommended to me by a fellow member of Moab's "Ladies Book Club" and the pick for this months Ladies Book Club.  Join the Ladies Book Club here at Back of Beyond Books February 5th at 6:30pm. Feel free to bring drinks and/or refreshments.