Swimming in the sink An episode of the heart

Lynne Cox, 1957-

Book - 2016

A memoir from the open-water swimmer in which "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"--Dust jacket flap.

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Subjects
Genres
Autobiographies
Published
New York : Alfred A. Knopf [2016]
Edition
First [United States/American] edition
Language
English
Physical Description
x, 225 pages ; 21 cm
ISBN
9781101947623
1101947624
9781101971833
1101971835
Main Author
Lynne Cox, 1957- (author)
  • The bucket
  • Mind shift
  • Cannulas
  • The discovery
  • Science and magic
  • November 2012: alarms
  • December 18: Doctor's office
  • December 19: hospital
  • December 21: walking
  • December 22: drifting away
  • December 23: in the arms of friends
  • The gift
  • Christmas Eve at Howard's
  • New York City and the country
  • Sheltered
  • Rewiring the mind
  • January 19, 2013: joy and inspiration
  • Dreams
  • Synchronicity
  • Heart cells
  • Moved
  • April 5: elated
  • April kisses
  • The sink
  • May 7: not yet
  • July 2: floating
  • Crawling
  • The heart knows
  • Love and life.
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Cox was once an elite athlete, swimming long distances in extremely cold temperatures. But now the closest she had come to swimming since being diagnosed with a heart condition was plunging her hands into the kitchen sink. Cox achingly describes the betrayal she felt when she discovered her once well-tuned heart was firing erratically, just as she was preparing to strike out on her own after years caring for her ailing parents. Where once she forged a path through cold and choppy waters, from the dangerous strait between Argentina and Chile to Lake Titicaca high in the Andes mountains, now she could barely walk from her car to a restaurant. In contrast to her rhapsodic descriptions of swimming, Cox delivers the details of her medical treatment somberly. In her efforts to recover, she 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. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Open-water swimmer Cox's sixth book (Swimming in Antarctica; Grayson) adds to her list of inspiring and engaging autobiographical accounts about athletics and life. The first person to swim the Straits of Magellan and around the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa, the author confronts a new set of challenges in this title: the recent deaths of both parents and a beloved dog, then the breakdown of her own body. As Cox struggles with mysterious ailments, she keeps a coolheaded optimism throughout, acknowledging her challenges with a flowing, measured cadence. Finding that her life has become "arhythmic," she works to get "my heart, mind, and body back into their normal rhythm." The book is a reminder that for even the strongest and most solitary among us—and long-distance swimmers certainly qualify—the support of friends and family is crucial. Cox clearly adores those in her life and lovingly chronicles them here. VERDICT A feel-good nonfiction beach read for the athletic and nonathletic alike.—Valerie Hamra, Brooklyn [Page 91]. (c) Copyright 2016 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

In open-water swimmer Cox's inspiring and engaging sixth book, she confronts new challenges: the recent deaths of both parents and a beloved dog, then the breakdown of her own body. As she struggles, Cox keeps a coolheaded optimism throughout and works to get "my heart, mind, and body back into their normal rhythm." The book is a reminder that even the strongest and most solitary among us require the support of friends and family. Cox clearly adores those people in her life and lovingly chronicles them here. VERDICT A feel-good nonfiction beach read for the athletic and nonathletic alike. (LJ 7/16)—Valerie Hamra. Copyright 2016 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Champion long-distance swimmer Cox (Open Water Swimming Manual) has been inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame and holds open-water swimming records around the globe. The author swims, sans wetsuit, in some of the most frigid waters on Earth, including Antarctica and the Cook Strait between the North and South Islands of New Zealand. In her new memoir, Cox chronicles how her deep grief (following the deaths of both parents and her Labrador retriever) and a startling diagnosis of arterial fibrillation precipitated a severe health and emotional crisis in her life. "It seemed like I had to start all over again," she writes. "I had prided myself on being an elite athlete, and now I had to start from zero. It was sad, sobering, and scary." Cox vividly explains her struggle to recover after facing the options of death, a heart transplant, or life as an invalid. Two years later Cox began training again in open water, which began her return to emotional and physical health. Friends, faith, meditation, and counseling all helped as well. Cox's narrative is straightforward and intimate, and she never succumbs to self-pity. This satisfying journey through a world-class athlete's heart-centered crisis is a warm tale of recovery and even finding love. (Sept.) [Page ]. Copyright 2016 PWxyz LLC

Review by Publisher Summary 1

An inspiring open-water swimmerùwho swam the English channel and endured 32-degree water off of Antarctica, all without a wetsuitùdiscusses her diagnosis with a dangerous heart condition and her eventual full surrender to her increasing physical frailty, to her illness, her treatment and her slow pull toward recovery.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

An open-water swimmer who swam the English Channel and endured freezing water off of Antarctica discusses her diagnosis with a dangerous heart condition and her eventual full surrender to her illness and slow recovery.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

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.