I mentioned my Lisa Congdon fangirl moment at Blogtacular when I wrote about the event. Lisa was the opening keynote speaker and she also did a book signing where I couldn't resist picking up her latest, The Joy of Swimming.
Now my relationship with swimming has been a tricky one. Neither of my parents can swim so my first real experience was school swimming lessons at the age of about 8. I was the worst in the class by some distance and was terrified of the water - especially putting my face in. Managed to get through primary school but at secondary school we had our own pool so the torture could take place weekly, for five years... I was still one of the weakest swimmers and I'd dread it to the point I would feel physically sick. I came away with a reasonable (face up) breaststroke and hoped that would save me from drowning,
Fast forward to my late 20s and I had some lessons and now love swimming. I'm not brilliant at it (but now prefer to be under the water than swim above it - so people can change). I've even had a go at a rather messy front crawl. Since the little man came along though I haven't had much time for swimming and I hoped that Lisa's book would inspire me to get the goggles out.
As you would expect from a Lisa Congdon book it's a thing of utter beauty. A cursory flick through the week after Blogtacular had me itching to swim. Lisa herself has been a life long swimmer, including many years of competitive swimming, and she has written about her own story but also about many prominent swimmers, and lots of facts and information about the sport, pools, bathing suits, anything swimming related - you name it.
The book contains page after page of inspiring, colourful illustrations and yes, it's inspired me to swim - I just need to find that weekly time slot and stick to it!
If you like Lisa's work you must follow her on Instagram where she regularly shares work in progress and sketchbook pages. Her next book comes out in 2017 and will profile a range of inspiring women who are over 40 (and as I'm not far off that milestone myself I'm particularly excited for this one - you can read a little more about it on Lisa's blog).
In the meantime I'm off to study that pool timetable....
The Joy of Swimming by Lisa Congdon is published by Chronicle Books.