Off the Deep End
The Probably Insane Idea That I Could Swim My Way Through a Midlife Crisis - And Qualify for the Olympics
By W. Hodding Carter
(Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, Hardcover, 9781565125643, 209pp.)
Publication Date: June 1, 2008
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Maybe he's crazy. But then again, maybe he's onto something. He entered the Masters Championships. He swam three to four miles each day, six days a week. He pumped iron, trained with former Olympians, and consulted with swimming gurus and medical researchers who taught him that the body doesn't have to age. He swam with sharks (inadvertently) in the Virgin Islands, suffered hypothermia in a relay around Manhattan, and put on fifteen pounds of muscle. Amazingly, he discovered that his heartbeat could keep pace with the best of the younger swimmers'. And each day he felt stronger, swam faster, and became more convinced that he wasn't crazy.
This outrageous, courageous chronicle is much more than Carter's race with time to make it to the Olympics. It's the exhilarating story of a man who rebels against middle age the only way he can--by chasing a dream. His article in "Outside" magazine, on which this book is based, was the winner of a Lowell Thomas award from the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation.