News junkies like me will remember broadcast journalist Lynn Sherr as a longtime correspondent for ABC News, including many years as a reporter for the TV news magazine “20/20.” This crusading journalist (a Peabody Award winner) and author of five books decided to focus her latest writing project on a subject dear to her heart: swimming.
Sherr describes Swim: Why We Love the Water as “a celebration of swimming and the effect it has on our lives.” The book takes readers through a brief history of swimming, offering lots of swimming trivia and plenty of comic relief. Here’s part of a list Sherr compiled from posts on a Masters Swimming forum:
You Know You’re a Swimmer If:
• You’re crossing a bridge and think, “I could swim across this…”
• People ask you to do a triathlon, and you say you would if it weren’t for the run and bike parts.
• You put off the decision to color your hair until after the summer swimming season.
• You have more swimsuits hanging in your closet than dresses.
• Bugs die of chlorine poisoning when they land on your skin.
If you recognize yourself from that description, you’ll love Sherr’s book. Woven in with the history and humor is an account of her own attempt to swim the Hellespont, the channel that separates Turkey from Asia. As you can see from the photo at right of Sherr with her medal, she succeeded.
In a Q&A, we asked Sherr about her personal fitness routine, her favorite places to swim and her advice for those who never learned to feel comfortable in the water. Here’s what she had to say about the spiritual and emotional benefits of swimming:
I’ve cried in the water and laughed there, too; it’s so non-judgmental, I can enter it without reservation. It probably helps that we’re near-naked when we swim: no barriers, no hidden secrets.
Read more of our Q&A with Sherr here. And let us know in the comments: are you one of the 6 million Americans who swims regularly for fitness? What’s your favorite thing about swimming? And do you think you would enjoy reading Swim: Why We Love the Water?