6760 laps of the pool or…. the Atlantic.

American Jennifer Figge has just become the first woman on record to swim the Atlantic.

On record? Because someone might have taken the plunge 400 years ago? Or to cover the possibility that some woman might have just gone for it without telling anyone.

It’s an admirable feat. She faced waves nine metres high and risked shark attacks. In fact, it was so risky, she swam in a cage.

Don’t even ask.

She swam for 8 hours of the day before climbing on board her support boat to sleep and eat. I accept that such a challenge just isn’t possible without that kind of help. But then, why do it?

It’s a hell of a lot more interesting than laps in her local swimming pool,  and perhaps it’s for that reason that someone who spent 24 days swimming lengths at theirs wouldn’t get the same kind of kudos. But that doesn’t seem fair to me.

Why are we so obsessed with conquering these milestones? By swimming the Atlantic Ocean, with the Pacific to come I expect, we haven’t succeeded in making the world any smaller. Or easier.

I don’t really want to pop her balloon so I’m off for a dip in the sea. It’s really cold, and I don’t have a support boat. But at least I’ve got time to read a book after lunch.

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