Swimming in the Sink by Lynne Cox
An Episode of the Heart

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Told in straightforward language straight from the heart, Cox’s story is a celebration of mindful living and a reminder that few things are ever permanently out of reach. A simple, inspiring memoir.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

From inspired and inspiring open-water swimmer and supreme athlete, able to endure cold water temperatures that would kill others, author of Swimming to Antarctica (“Riveting” —Sports Illustrated) and Grayson (“Moving, mystical” —People)—a powerful book about super athleticism and human frailty, about invincibility and the sudden (mind-altering) repercussions of illness, and about the triumph of spirit, surrender, and love.

Lynne Cox is an elite athlete who broke many world records, among them swimming the English Channel at fifteen, being the first woman to swim across Cook Strait (eighteen miles), and being the first to swim off Antarctica in 32-degree water—for twenty-five minutes!—all without a wetsuit.

And that’s where Swimming in the Sink begins—at a laboratory at the University of London, with Cox’s hand in ice-cold water, hooked up to thermocouples and probes, with three scientists trying to make sense of her extraordinary human capabilities. The test results paved the way for new medical and life-saving practices.

As an athlete, Cox had put her heart into everything she’d ever accomplished. In turn her heart gave her great physical strength and endurance.

In the midst of becoming the embodiment of a supreme endurance athlete, Cox took care of her elderly parents, both of whom passed away in quick succession, followed by the death of her beloved Labrador retriever, leaving Lynne in shock from loss and loneliness and soon literally suffering from the debilitating effects of a broken heart.

On the edge of a precipice, Cox was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (AFib). As the prognosis went from bad to worse, Cox was in fear of living out a lesser life as an invalid with a pacemaker and a defibrillator and the real possibility of her own death was before her. Cox writes of her full surrender to her increasing physical frailty, to her illness, her treatment, her slow pull toward recovery.

In Swimming in the Sink we see Cox finding her way, writing about her transformative journey back toward health, and slowly moving toward the one aspect of her life that meant everything to her—freedom; mastery; transcendence—back to open waters, and the surprise that she never saw coming: falling in love.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Lynne Cox

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Lynne Cox was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and grew up in Los Alamitos, California, where she still lives. Her articles have appeard in The New Yorker and the Los Angeles Times Magazine, among other publications.
 
Published September 6, 2016 by Vintage. 242 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Swimming in the Sink
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Good
on Jun 21 2016

Told in straightforward language straight from the heart, Cox’s story is a celebration of mindful living and a reminder that few things are ever permanently out of reach. A simple, inspiring memoir.

Read Full Review of Swimming in the Sink: An Epis... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Star Tribune

Above average
Reviewed by Kim Hedges on Oct 28 2016

While clarity certainly lends to accessibility, sometimes the book can feel weighted down by minor details and dialogue. There are strong, resonant passages throughout, however...

Read Full Review of Swimming in the Sink: An Epis... | See more reviews from Star Tribune