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Books By Alec Richardson
Ask Me Why I’m Stood Here is a book about so much more than swimming thirteen miles across the Bristol Channel.
After 10 years of living with frequent discomfort and exhaustion from an unidentified condition, teamed with the struggles of balancing fatherhood and work alongside nagging doubts about his general place in the world, Alec Richardson found open water swimming. As a middle aged man, with three busy kids and a teaching job to fill his days, Alec returned to the sport that gave him so much pleasure as a youngster to try to re-find his sense of adventure, to give him a focus, and to give him an excuse to up his calorific intake (an extra layer helps with the cold apparently!)
While gazing across the Bristol Channel from England to Wales one morning, he started to wonder if he was capable of swimming across this scarily difficult, yet enticingly challenging stretch of water.
This is the story of how Alec planned and completed the resulting swim from Penarth to Clevedon in a respectable time and recounts tales of sunrises, seaweed caresses, mermaids and mashed boiled eggs. A first-hand account of what goes into a journey like this, full of self-reflection and off-beat ponderings which are sure to strike a chord with anyone toiling through their own mid-life adventure, but also full of helpful tips and advice for anyone planning their own endeavours. Not just a book about swimming, a life affirming tale of frailty, endeavour and a man’s struggle to wear Speedos in public.
“The book is interesting and full of self-deprecating humour - but more than that - the book is so gripping that I couldn’t put it down. I found myself so emotionally caught up in his progress that at times I couldn’t breathe.” B O
“A delightfully honest, aptly humorous and utterly absorbing tale of one normal man’s plight to embark on a journey of rather understated enormity.” P W
“I laughed and I cried.... A real page turner.” R P
“There were moments I laughed out loud and moments that were moving to read. This book will appeal to anyone who loves the sea, whether to swim in it or to gaze out over it.” M S-D
“Along the way I smiled a lot, laughed out loud a few times, and even had a couple of 'brought a tear to my eye' moments. You certainly don't have to be a swimmer to enjoy this book.” J W
“Thank you for the excellent read and chuckles, and a big thank you for re-inspiring me to have a go at sea swimming.” T W
Other Formats: Paperback