When ex-headmistress Anne Mustoe gave up her job, bought a bike and took to the road she couldn’t even mend a puncture.
12,000 miles and fifteen months later she was back home!
Her epic solo journey took her around the world, through Europe, India, the Far East and the United States. From Thessaloniki to Uttar Pradesh, from Chumphon to Singapore, she faced downpours, blizzards and blistering desert, political turmoil, kidnappers and amorous waiters – alternated with great kindness from strangers along the way.
This unique and inspiring book was my constant companion on my cycle ride from London to Athens.
Take It to the Limit authors Julie Ridge and Judith Zimmer.
Published in 1986 by Rawson Associates: New York.
Julie Ridge is an American Marathon Swimmer, author, motivational speaker and has previously performed on Broadway. Amongst many fine athletic achievements she swam across the English Channel in 1982,was the first person to swim around Manhattan Island twice in succession in 1983 and eventually swam around Manhattan a total of eleven times. Between 1983 and 1991 she helped to organise the Manhattan Island Swimming Association and the Manhattan Island Marathon swim. She was inducted into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame in 1985 as an Honour swimmer.
I met Julie in Mahattan in 1987.
New Yorker Judith Zimmer contributed many articles on health and fitness to major newspapers and magazines.
Julie Ridge shares the methods that she used to condition her mind and body to ultra-toughness in every endeavour. She shows how you can find endurance through commitment, tap into it and watch it spill over into every part of your life enabling success in situations that require your utmost determination. Her advice of 1986 remains just as relevant today and I constantly refer to her inspiring narrative.
Author Commander Gerald Forsberg, O.B.E., Master Mariner, F.N.I., Royal Navy (Rtd.)
Published in 1963 by Routledge and Kegan Paul Ltd, London.
Gerald (Gerry) Forsberg’s life embraced the sea. He was a Master Mariner, served with courage and distinction with the Royal Navy in World War 2 and, latterly, became a most respected Marine Salvage Officer. He was also a marathon swimmer whose many swims include the English Channel (World record 1957), Lough Neagh, Loch Lomond as well as twenty nine crossings of his beloved Morecambe Bay. He was rightly recognised both nationally and internationally and he remains an inspirational figure to those who attempt to emulate his remarkable achievements. A prodigious scholar, author and the most gentle and amiable of men he continues to inspire affection and admiration twenty years after his death in 2000. He was the most treasured friend.
John Slater of the British Long Distance Swimming Association wrote:
‘Modern Long Distance Swimming brings our sport right up to date. A complete and often very detailed review of long distance swimming, swimmers, courses, weather charts, problems, history, developments, training methods, equipment, temperatures, anecdotes, quotations, humorous incidents and photographs. This is a book which will have wide appeal to the general sporting public but to the long distance swimmer it is as essential as his accompanying boat.’
There is one thing certain about marathon swimming, the swims remain the same.
Gerry’s text is as inspirational now as it as in 1963 and I refer to it constantly.
In the months before his English Channel swim in 1957 Gerry swam 729 miles in training. There is much to be learnt from such a colossus of his sport.
Captain Webb and 100 years of Channel Swimming author Margaret A. Jarvis.
Published in 1975 by David & Charles, Newton Abbot, London, North Pomfret (VT), Vancouver.
Margaret Jarvis a former senior physical education adviser for Shropshire, England wrote several books on swimming. Her father was an Olympic medallist and winner of 108 championships. Her aunt coached and accompanied the 1912 women’s Olympic team and her mother was an Amateur Swimming Association official and pioneer for mixed bathing and the women’s racing costume. Both her parents accompanied Thomas Burgess (1911), Jabez Wolffe (22 Channel Attempts!), Montague Holbein and Annette Kellermann on some of their Channel attempts.
The Parthenon Marbles….The Case for Reunification.
Author Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011).
Originally Published in 1987 by Chatto and Windus Ltd as The ElginMarbles the edition I refer to was published in 2008 by Verso, London and New York.
Christopher Hitchens was a remarkable English intellectual both lauded and controversial. He was a prolific author, orator, essayist, journalist and columnist. His thirty books include God Is Not Great, The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice, Hitch-22, a memoir and Mortality.
In his fierce, eloquent account of a shameful piece of British Imperial history Christopher Hitchens makes the moral, artistic, legal and political case for reunifying the separated parts of the Parthenon frieze in Athens.