‘Swimming with Hero’is the autobiography of Dr Chris Stockdale, Family Doctor, surgeon, open water marathon swimmer and long distance cyclist.
The author describes how, through extreme sporting endeavour and dedication, we can further fulfil our lives, transcend our apparent physical and mental limitations and realize our inherent ability to achieve the ‘impossible dream’. The sporting narrative is set amidst the universal and inevitable peaks and troughs of daily life and candidly refers to the author’s personal regrets and his redemption after meeting Margaret, now his beloved wife and the Hero (ref. ‘Leander and Hero’) of the title. Margaret’s courageous story recounts the diagnosis and treatment of her breast cancer at the age of thirty eight and her exceptional sporting achievements that began just eighteen months after her initial diagnosis.
The biographies of uniquely gifted friends and historic figures enhance the book as do descriptions of the author’s travels across Europe, America and Canada. Relevant historical and cultural interludes add literary colour to the pages.
The recurrent theme is endurance sport and supreme effort, but this is also a love story and a testament to the meaning of friendship, loyalty and the treasured values of life.
For those who wish to excel in challenging endurance sports, those whose personal relationships have been tested or, for the many brave women who will develop breast cancer, the candid and honest narrative will hopefully be a source of inspiration and comfort.