Game for Anything

Kenya is the only place that can slow this sprinter down. I never look at the clock. I feel no hurry to get through the day, or the night. Nothing passes in a blur. I move along at the pace of the human race around me.  Sometimes at a complete standstill with my surroundings and myself. Fearless, not reckless. What Kenya…

Preorder the Book that took a Lifetime to Write

The time has come to offer you my new memoir, DRYLAND: One Woman’s Swim to Sobriety, now available for pre-order on Amazon. I’ve waited years, decades for this moment. Exactly how much time has gone into this book? Oh, just my entire lifetime. Twenty years as a champion swimmer in Florida. One-and-a-half years as half-assed Peace Corps Volunteer…

An American Muslim, Courtesy of Abu Dhabi

A few days ago, I announced that I’d converted to Islam. I was surprised by how many people seemed surprised. I’d like to share a glimpse into that transformation with a few short passages from my new memoir, DRYLAND, which I’ve been working on for more than a year a year and a half. I guess…

Introducing the Cover of Dryland

The cover of my brand new book has landed. I believe the image perfectly captures this swimmer’s victory over alcohol in the Arabian Desert. Keep in mind that some of the empty space is reserved for quotes and descriptive text which are still to come. You can preorder DRYLAND today at Amazon.com!

This Birthday Girl is Going Back to Kenya

On the eve of my 51st birthday I booked our family on a trip to Kenya, where I turned 21 in 1987. A country in which, as a Peace Corps Volunteer, I learned far more than I taught. If you want to know just how much bigger the world is than you, then go to Africa. Because even…

The Sound of Sobriety

Last night I watched “The Sound of Music” sober. I’ve probably seen the film two dozen times, but yesterday marked the first time — since somewhere in my youth or childhood — that I watched the hills come alive without a drink in my hand. I saw things that I’d never noticed before. Remember the scene in which…

Life in the Fast Lane

Let me introduce you to my swim team.  There are three of us. Each with our own backstory, and our own reasons for being in the pool again. You know me: former State High School Champion (1982), former National Champion (1985), former Olympic Trials Qualifier (1986). The next 30 years were largely devoted to another kind of…

Anatomy of a Plane Ticket

What follows offers a troublesome glimpse into my reckless sense of abandon. Buckle up because this is going to be a very bumpy ride. In early summer, with no foreseeable trip in the works or in the books — a situation that wreaks havoc on my nomadic heart — I took a fairly small sum of money out of my…

It’s the Sprinting, Stupid

Usually I need a minute or two to process things in order to reach a conclusion. If the stakes are high, sometimes I need longer. But in the following case, it took 30 years. After retiring from a decorated swimming career in 1986 — a career that began when I was six years old on the Gulf Coast of Florida and ended with a…

Welcome to Dryland

I’m back. I should have sent a postcard from where I’ve been, but no single image could capture that long, strange trip.  Besides, I may have sent you postcards from the first time I was there, in person. I’ve been (re)treading in some pretty dangerous waters lately while on the final homestretch of my manuscript about an American swimmer who became…

What I Was Going to Tell You

I was going to tell you that I took my blood pressure yesterday and the results were better than they had been in six years: 123/83. The systolic reading (the first number) is 30 points lower than it was in March 2015. I was going to tell you that I have also lost 30 pounds…

In His Own Time

Another summer swim team season is in the books. It was jam-packed with my son’s dual meets and training sessions, with one or the other taking up every single weekday evening since early June. Although I occasionally felt harangued by the scheduling, I mostly felt glad to be busy during what still is my witching hour — the timeframe in which I (prior…