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Why We Swim By Bonnie Tsui

Release date: 23rd February, 2021
Publisher: Rider Publishing

List Price: 16.99
Our Price: 12.65
You Save: 4.34 (25%)
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As soon as the Prime Minister outlined his roadmap plans for the nation last Monday, swimmers across the land pencilled in Monday, 12th April as the point at which life promises to take a significant leap forward: the day indoor swimming pools re-open.

Your reviewer got into daily, early-morning swimming about four years ago. From a breathless, 20-minute splash has evolved a routine which involves an hour of non-stop swimming, a wonderful way to start the day, gratifyingly supplemented by a relaxing shower afterwards. Endorphins must be pinging about like crazy as the hot water streams over your body. It?s not yet 8:30am and you?ve already achieved something which never fails to deliver you a positive and energising outlook on life.

A similar sentiment is echoed throughout Why We Swim by Bonnie Tsui, an engaging, well-written book which reinforces swimming?s therapeutic benefits; no wonder she describes entering a pool or the sea as akin to having ?privileged access?.

Yet humans are not natural-born swimmers, a point Ms Tsui makes when asking why do we swim when evolution ?has shaped us to excel on land?? The question remains central to Why We Swim.

There are, of course, a variety of reasons why our ancestors first dipped their toes into water, most of which are survival-related. Today, swimming has become ?a source of joy, pleasure, achievement.?

Irrespective of ability, the physical act of swimming can assist healing, health and well-being. It can also be a means of testing ourselves against each other in competition, though the principle driver for millions of daily swimmers is to either swim against the clock or with a specific number of lengths in mind.

What motivates individuals to swim almost doesn?t matter because the combined arm-and-leg motion propelling us forward also serves to salve the mind. ?To find rhythm in the water,? writes Miss Tsui, ?is to discover a new way of being in the world.?

Readers can expect to happen upon similar west-coast sentiments at regular intervals (the author lives in San Francisco), but none detract from the book?s narrative. In any event, as any swimmer will confirm, the sensation of achieving pool-based rhythm is not dissimilar to being ?in the zone? on a golf course, although the former tends to happen much more frequently than the latter.

Why We Swim is not a book crammed with famous names and world records; instead, it?s one written for those who heed the water?s siren call. Roll on 12th April.


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