“It's a meditative act,” they said. But it was far from meditative for Alexandra when yet another wave slammed into her face. It was survival.When she laced up her shoes in Running Like a Girl, all she had to do was get out there and run. But swimming was something else entirely. The water was all-consuming, confusing her every move, sabotaging every breath. Determined, Alexandra would learn to adapt, find new strengths, and learn to work with the water. She does not want to stand on the beach any longer. She wants to leap in.In doing so she will learn not just to accept herself, but how to accept what lies beyond. Soon, she will be able to see water anywhere in the world and sense not fear, but adventure. She will dive into water as she hopes to dive into life. And it has nothing to do with being “sporty” or the correct shape for a swimsuit.The water welcomes all who are willing and prepared to take part, and as Alexandra shows in her wondrous and funny book, not knowing how to do something is not necessarily a weakness—strength lies in the desire to learn. The time is now to leap in, and revel in what you thought was beyond you—discovering that it was only ever you holding you back.
Alexandra Heminsley is a journalist, broadcaster, ghostwriter and the author of Running Like a Girl. She is the books editor for Elle UK and a contributor to the BBC. She lives in Brighton, in the United Kingdom.