Leap In: A Woman, Some Waves, and the Will to Swim

Alexandra Heminsley. Pegasus, $27.95 (240p) ISBN 978-1-68177-433-6
Heminsley (Running like a Girl), books editor for Elle UK, explores the world of amateur open-water swimming in this thoughtful memoir and how-to guide for the novice swimmer. Heminsley had a fear of open water, but the excitement of getting married motivated her to “leap in” to the sea on her wedding day in Brighton, England. Having initially overcome her fear, she wants to go further, and begins to practice in a lap pool. As she gets stronger she searches for open water—whether she is winter swimming in her home waters of Brighton or crossing between islands in the mythic waters of Ithaca, Greece. New swimmers may find solace in Heminsley’s painstaking descriptions of her adult swim classes and find gems of wisdom in them. For instance, Heminsley discovers that with proper breathing technique, she can reduce stress. She humorously recounts her trials, from the claustrophobic struggle of getting into a wet suit for the first time to later being annoyed and intimidated by a group of boisterous male triathletes donning the latest gear. Transcendence arrives for Heminsley when she finds herself alone for the first time in the open water, herself her own “boat, cargo, and crew.” She writes, “To discover a new skill as an adult is like noticing a door, deciding to open it and finding an entire room in your own home that you never knew you had.” In this informative and inspirational memoir, Heminsley shows us that sometimes a room of one’s own can be the whole ocean. Agent: Zoe Pagnamenta, Zoe Pagnamenta Literary. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/22/2017
Release date: 07/01/2017
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 336 pages - 978-1-68177-486-2
Compact Disc - 978-1-68168-682-0
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