Glad to know that, judging from comments on yesterday’s post, I’m not the only one who has days with insane cravings!
I’d bet I’m not the only one to love Dan Stephenson’s The Underwater Window, either. I did mention the book before, if you would like to check out that post, too!
Seriously, though, if you like swimming, the Olympics, competition, etc., you must read this book. I especially loved it as a swimmer. The book follows a swimmer who is trying to make it to the Olympics and potentially win a gold medal. It also talks about all of the things that an athlete must give up to continue the sport they love. It touches on the love and hate of the same sport. The injuries, the thrills, the psyching out of your brain.
Doyle and Archie are best friends, but they’re also the biggest rivals. The story works through their relationship in and out of the water, and how they handle the friendly, yet, fierce competition.
The thing that I most liked about the book were the quotes that I could relate to. Most of them came from the interludes at the beginning of each chapter. Here are some:
“Swimming is counter-cultural.. Swimmers are misfits in the world at large. Our culture says ‘if it feels good, do it.’ Swimming does not feel good. The very purpose of swim practice is to make it hurt. Races are largely about pain management.”
“Swimming has turbulence, drag, missed turns, and fatigue. No one has the perfect stroke. No one has ever swum the perfect race. The chaos keeps up wondering, searching. It keeps us on our toes.”
“The ability to overcome obstacles is one of the great life lessons of sports. The heroes we love the most are the ones who have suffered setbacks along the way.”
“And then, out of this tunnel of relentless boredom comes a small light. You see it, it grows larger, then you’re in it. It is swimming’s three weeks of bliss. It’s called the taper.”
“Swimming is a microcosm of life. It brings victory and defeat, triumph and disappointment. You have to learn to live with both.”
I have to stop with the quotes. You just have to read the book to find more. It is so relatable!
Can anyone else relate to any of them? Not just swimmers, but I feel all athletes can.