Lewis Pugh, Demonstrating Strength Of The Human Spirit

Lewis Pugh, Demonstrating Strength Of The Human Spirit

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Lewis Pugh achieved the impossible. Swimming at 5300-meter altitude, staring at the summit of Mount Everest. Battling the cold, real cold at 2°C (35.6°C) in traditional channel gear – a swimsuit, goggles and a cap. Old-school style.

The accounts that his team is sending from nearly on top of the world gives us a glimpse of what was going on up there:

He did it because he was able to create a frame of mind that said that he could do it. He did it because he was able to physically do something that, before now, everyone said was impossible. He did it because he has a great team behind him. And most of all, he did it, because he cares about what is happening to the planet as a result of global warming. He has demonstrated that the strength of the human spirit can overcome even the most adverse conditions. If you have kept up with this blog you will know that two days ago, while trying to swim 300 meters, he almost ‘went under’ twice. That is less than 1/3rd of what he actually accomplished.”

1 km in 22 minutes and 51 seconds where the air is so thin it is even difficult to walk.

He will send a personal note when he can. It will be much more powerful than anything than I can write. Lewis will send something soon.”

After traditional open water swimmers finish their swims at sea level, they either hop in a car or get back in a boat. But, Lewis still has to mountaineer back down from 5,300 meters.

The adventure continues.

And his message generates awareness of his goals. “I took upon this swim to bring the world’s attention to the melting of glaciers and its effect on the region. The glaciers in the Himalayas are not just ice. They are a lifeline – they provide water to approximately two billion people.”

Lewis’ description of his feat is hard to fathom, “It’s one of the hardest swims I’ve ever undertaken. When I swam in Antarctica and across the North Pole, I swam with speed and aggression, but on Mount Everest you can’t use the same tactics. Because of the altitude, you need to swim very slowly and deliberately. I felt I was going to drown. I was gasping for air and if I had swum any faster I would have gone under. I was deeply concerned that I wouldn’t make 1 km and I’m delighted that I’ve finally achieved it.”

Copyright © 2010 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones
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