We’ve rounded up a handful of books and films that we think you’re going to love this Spring. Whether you’re looking for inspiration to push harder toward your goals, explore open water swimming or to get more involved in youth swimming programs, these books and films will be sure to make an impact.
Have a suggestion for a book, blog, or film? Leave us a comment below!
Swim Wild (2018)
Dive into the natural world and discover your inner adventurer.
Meet Jack, Calum and Robbie Hudson – three brothers born and raised exploring the wild outdoors where they discovered the simple joy of whiling away the seasons jumping into rivers. As they got older, they started to notice that folk, including themselves, were growing more detached from nature.
They began to feel the weight of life in the urban grind, the monotony of nine-to-five, during which the only wildlife around is the occasional pigeon. It seemed like everything they’d done as kids was fading, so they decided to change their course. And so, the Wild Swimming Brothers was born…
The book is about our childhood spent in nature and our more recent wild swimming adventures together, from travelling into the Arctic Circle, swimming across the two most powerful maelstroms in the world (Saltstraumen and Moskstraumen), to spending nine days swimming the length of our childhood river, the Eden, in Cumbria.
A note from the author, Jack: After a year of keeping it under wraps, we’re delighted to be able to share our book with you. It’s called Swim Wild, published by Hodder imprint Yellow Kite, and it was written by Little Brother Jack (me), with contributions and illustrations from Calum and Robbie (The Wild Swimming Brothers).
We hope that this book encourages you to go on your own adventures, to get back in touch with the natural world and to live more creatively.
Why We Love It: The Wild Swimming Brothers are incredible! We love to see their passion for the outdoors, and have enjoyed following their journey in their videos (watch a teaser reading of the book below!). We hope their book will inspire plenty more people to get outdoors for their first wild swim.
- Written by Jack Hudson, with contributions and illustrations from Calum and Robbie Hudson.
- Wild Swimming Brothers Facebook
- Wild Swimming Brothers Instagram
Swimming In The Sink (2017)
“Lyrical… Strong, resonant… Many more than just swimmers can appreciate and be inspired by Cox’s journey.” – Minneapolis Star Tribune
From inspired and inspiring open-water swimmer and supreme athlete, able to endure cold water temperatures that would kill others, author of Swimming to Antarctica (“Riveting” —Sports Illustrated) and Grayson (“Moving, mystical” —People)—a powerful book about super athleticism and human frailty, about invincibility and the sudden (mind-altering) repercussions of illness, and about the triumph of spirit, surrender, and love.
Lynne Cox is an elite athlete who broke many world records, among them swimming the English Channel at fifteen, being the first woman to swim across Cook Strait (eighteen miles), and being the first to swim off Antarctica in 32-degree water—for twenty-five minutes!—all without a wetsuit.
In Swimming in the Sink we see Cox finding her way, writing about her transformative journey back toward health, and slowly moving toward the one aspect of her life that meant everything to her—freedom; mastery; transcendence—back to open waters, and the surprise that she never saw coming: falling in love.
Why We Love It: Lynne Cox is a legend. They call her “The Girl Who Just Swims and Swims” and man, is it true. Lynne has broken so many records and barriers in open water swimming, and went on to become an incredible author and public speaker. In addition to motivating others through her determination, she’s made a huge contribution to medical research, environmental causes, and even international affairs through her swimming. Lynne’s swimming has made waves around the world, and we can’t thank her enough for it.
The Water Is My Sky (2018)
A unique perspective on the sport of swimming from the past, present and future.
In the short span of a decade, the town of Middletown, New Jersey, produces two Olympians (2000 and 2012), both unlikely athletic superstars, and both in the sport of swimming.
Tom Wilkens, a retired swimmer now working in the insurance industry, and Connor Jaeger, a recent college graduate with hopes of making a run at another Olympics, both sacrifice multiple years of their lives after graduating college to the sport of swimming and the hopes of qualifying for the Olympic Games.
Wilkens, now coaching part-time at the YMCA he grew up swimming at, and Jaeger, still pursuing athletic endeavors, both share a strong appreciation for the sport they chose and relish the opportunity to chase their full potential.
Wilkens, an average swimmer in high school, improbably rises to become one of the top swimmers in the country by the end of his senior year at Stanford. In the years building up to the 2000 Olympic Trials, Wilkens encounters both the exhilarating highs and devastating lows that nearly all elite level swimmers are familiar with, culminating with him securing a spot on the 2000 US Olympic team.
Jaeger, also an average swimmer in high school, enjoys a similarly surprising rise to becoming one of the top swimmers in the US by the end of his career at the University of Michigan. After unexpectedly qualifying for the Olympics in 2012, Jaeger goes on to place 6th in the 1500m freestyle in London, and has not lost the event to an American since that time. In 2013, Jaeger continues to lead his collegiate team as their captain, before graduating and turning professional.
The plight of a professional swimmer striving to qualify for a second Olympics is in full view within Jaeger’s day-to-day life, as he attends graduate school and networks with the hopes of setting up a job for his post-swimming career, all the while training for the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro Brazil.
Why We Love It: The Water Is My Sky offers a unique glimpse into the world of elite competitive swimming as never before seen on film. It seeks to bring to light the intense passion demonstrated by its athletes in addition to the unforgiving nature of the sport itself.
- Produced by Kiel Nowakowski and Brian Tremml
- The Water Is My Sky Facebook
- The Water Is My Sky Instagram
Swim Team (2016)
“…an exceptional documentary on what it means to come together for a common goal under extraordinary circumstances.” –
In New Jersey, the parents of a boy on the autism spectrum take matters into their own hands. They form a competitive swim team, recruiting diverse teens on the spectrum and training them with high expectations and zero pity.
SWIM TEAM chronicles the extraordinary rise of the Jersey Hammerheads, capturing a moving quest for inclusion, independence and a life that feels winning.
SWIM TEAM has screened at over 50 international film festivals, won over 10 awards, was released theatrically in the US with its debut at New York’s IFC Center and aired on PBS’ acclaimed non-fiction showcase POV.
Why We Love It: Any film that celebrates a team coming together to overcome adversity, is a win in our books. We also absolutely love seeing these kids’ eyes light up when they’re at the pool 🙂
- Produced By: Lara Stolman, Ann Collins, Shanna Belott, Laela Kilbourn & Mark Suozzo
- Swim Team Facebook
- Swim Team Instagram
We hope you enjoy these great books and films! If you have any recommendations, we’d love to hear them! Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy swimming!