When David Smith was thrown out of a university for the second time, he decided to change his lifestyle: to stop smoking,...

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HEALING JOURNEY: The Odyssey of an Uncommon Athlete

When David Smith was thrown out of a university for the second time, he decided to change his lifestyle: to stop smoking, stop drinking, and regain the physical condition that had made him a champion swimmer in his teens. Swimming daily in a pool, he gradually worked up to the feat that changed his life: while swimming the ""Gate"" (underneath the bridge in the San Francisco Bay), he suddenly experienced the inner power of a revelation--""instead of swimming in a daze, grim and determined, I was floating along in a crystal palace of the mind, remembering everything, knowing everything."" Those with similar experiences (runners' high, swimmers' high) may be interested in Smith's account of his ensuing pursuit of the feeling. Other exotic long-distance swims were painful and tortuous before Smith discovered--during a North Africa-Gibraltar swim--that the secret was in ""being"" with the experience: viewing the swim itself as the end, rather than striving to finish it. (""A mind burdened with becoming""--trying to reach goals--""can never be tranquil."") Studies of yoga, trips to the Far East, marathon swims, runs, and walks followed. Smith eventually used his experience--in some unexplained way--to work with schizophrenics and drug addicts in exercise and rehabilitation programs. Solely for those attuned to the spiritual dimensions of the mind/body connection in sports.

Pub Date: Oct. 23, 1983

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Sierra Club--dist. by Random House

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1983