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Rabid Reader: Lynne Cox, 'Swimming to Antarctica'

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Rabid Reader: Lynne Cox, 'Swimming to Antarctica'

Rabid Reader: Lynne Cox, 'Swimming to Antarctica'

Record-Breaking Distance Swimmer Recounts Bering Strait Gamble

Rabid Reader: Lynne Cox, 'Swimming to Antarctica'

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1620899/1622456" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Lynne Cox at home in Seal Beach, Calif. Karen Grigsby Bates, NPR News hide caption

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Karen Grigsby Bates, NPR News

Web Extra: Hear an Extended Version of This Interview, Including How Lynne Cox Trained for the Bering Strait Swim.

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Cover for Lynne Cox's book Swimming to Antarctica : Tales of a Long-Distance Swimmer (Knopf 2004) hide caption

Read an excerpt from 'Swimming to Antarctica'
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Think it's hard to swim a few laps in a pool? Try swimming the English Channel. That's what long-distance swimmer Lynne Cox did when she was just 15 years old, breaking both the men's and women's records at the time.

That swim, which took more than nine hours, was just a prelude for Cox's real triumph. She swam the frigid Bering Strait separating Alaska and Russia, a feat never before successfully attempted.

Cox documents the years of training and other swimming feats that led to her eventual triumph in the Bering Strait in her book Swimming to Antarctica: Tales of a Long-Distance Swimmer.

Available Online

Cox recently took a walk along Seal Beach, in Orange County, Calif., to explain to NPR's Karen Grigsby Bates how she trained for many of her swims within eyeshot of the pier and the surfers that hug the coast.

During her swim of the Bering Strait, she crossed the International Date Line — something Cox says she found metaphorically important.

"Because really, you're swimming from the present into the future," she tells Bates.