Swimming in the Sink: Book summary and reviews of Swimming in the Sink by Lynne Cox

Swimming in the Sink

An Episode of the Heart

by Lynne Cox

Swimming in the Sink by Lynne Cox X
Swimming in the Sink by Lynne Cox
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Book Summary

From inspired and inspiring open-water swimmer and supreme athlete, able to endure cold water temperatures that would kill others, 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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Cox brings both the unique perspective of an athlete who spent a lifetime exploring her physical limits and the determination of someone who braved painful research into the body's ability to survive the cold. Her journey here proves the strength of her heart." - Booklist

"Starred Review. A feel-good nonfiction beach read for the athletic and nonathletic alike." - Library Journal

"This satisfying journey through a world-class athlete's heart-centered crisis is a warm tale of recovery and even finding love." - Publishers Weekly

"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 Reviews

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Author Information

Lynne Cox Author Biography

Lynne Cox was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and grew up in Los Alamitos, California, where she still lives. She is the author of Swimming to Antarctica and Grayson. Her articles have appeard in The New Yorker and the Los Angeles Times Magazine, among other publications.

At age 9, she began her swimming career in Manchester, NH with the Manchester Swim Team. Her coach was Ben Muritt, the Harvard University coach. At age 12, Lynne moved with her family to Los Alamitos California where she began training with Don Gambril, coach of four US Olympic Swim teams.

In 1971 at age 14 Lynne swam across the Catalina Channel with a group of teenagers from Seal Beach, California . They swam a distance of 27 miles in 12 hours and 36 minutes.

In 1972 ...

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