Irons made me feel as if I were accompanying him on his journey: “The wind howled. Four-foot waves pounded from all sides. My arms burned and my shoulders ached. I gasped to get a full breath of air. Barges the size of three city blocks towered over me, their giant wakes screaming my way. What had I gotten myself into?”
He also shares his secrets for success, such as having a plan, having self-confidence, and—as shown in this passage—learning to have fun:
“It didn’t take long for the excitement of the kickoff to fade into the reality of endless lonely hours of repetition. Sheer boredom overwhelmed me. . . . And then one day, quite by accident, I started replaying Seinfeld episodes in my head. . . . I laughed, sometimes inhaling a gulp of the gooey stuff I was swimming in. After this breakthrough, the once-dreaded swimming sets went a lot faster. I was laughing, having fun, and crossing off the miles.”
Don’t expect eloquent writing to be your motivation for reading; it’s Irons’s passion that’s irresistible.