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The Art of Resilience

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Bestselling author and award-winning adventurer Ross Edgley has been studying the art of resilience for years, applying all he has learned to become the first person in history to swim around Great Britain, breaking multiple world records. Now Ross focuses on mental strength, stoicism and the training needed to create an unbreakable body. Ross Edgley famously ran a marathon Bestselling author and award-winning adventurer Ross Edgley has been studying the art of resilience for years, applying all he has learned to become the first person in history to swim around Great Britain, breaking multiple world records. Now Ross focuses on mental strength, stoicism and the training needed to create an unbreakable body. Ross Edgley famously ran a marathon pulling a 1.4-tonne car and climbed a rope the height of Everest (8,848m), after living with Yamabushi warrior monks in Japan and partaking in Shamanic pain rituals with fire ants in the Amazon jungle. On his epic 1,780-mile journey around Great Britain, which lasted 157 days, Ross swam through giant jellyfish, arctic storms, ‘haunted’ whirlpools and polluted shipping lanes, going so hard, and so fast, his tongue fell apart. Ross’s previous book, The World’s Fittest Book, was a Sunday Times No.1 bestseller and explored the science of physical fitness. Now, in The Art of Resilience, Ross uses his swim experience and other amazing endurance feats, where he managed to overcome seemingly insurmountable pain, hardship and adversity, to study the performance of extreme athletes, military and fitness specialists and psychologists to uncover the secrets of mental fitness and explore the concept of resilience, persistence, valour and a disciplined mindset in overcoming adversity. This ground-breaking book represents a paradigm shift in what we thought the human body and mind were capable of and will give you a blueprint to become a tougher, more resilient and ultimately better human – whatever the challenge you face.


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Bestselling author and award-winning adventurer Ross Edgley has been studying the art of resilience for years, applying all he has learned to become the first person in history to swim around Great Britain, breaking multiple world records. Now Ross focuses on mental strength, stoicism and the training needed to create an unbreakable body. Ross Edgley famously ran a marathon Bestselling author and award-winning adventurer Ross Edgley has been studying the art of resilience for years, applying all he has learned to become the first person in history to swim around Great Britain, breaking multiple world records. Now Ross focuses on mental strength, stoicism and the training needed to create an unbreakable body. Ross Edgley famously ran a marathon pulling a 1.4-tonne car and climbed a rope the height of Everest (8,848m), after living with Yamabushi warrior monks in Japan and partaking in Shamanic pain rituals with fire ants in the Amazon jungle. On his epic 1,780-mile journey around Great Britain, which lasted 157 days, Ross swam through giant jellyfish, arctic storms, ‘haunted’ whirlpools and polluted shipping lanes, going so hard, and so fast, his tongue fell apart. Ross’s previous book, The World’s Fittest Book, was a Sunday Times No.1 bestseller and explored the science of physical fitness. Now, in The Art of Resilience, Ross uses his swim experience and other amazing endurance feats, where he managed to overcome seemingly insurmountable pain, hardship and adversity, to study the performance of extreme athletes, military and fitness specialists and psychologists to uncover the secrets of mental fitness and explore the concept of resilience, persistence, valour and a disciplined mindset in overcoming adversity. This ground-breaking book represents a paradigm shift in what we thought the human body and mind were capable of and will give you a blueprint to become a tougher, more resilient and ultimately better human – whatever the challenge you face.

30 review for The Art of Resilience

  1. 4 out of 5

    Marco Regina

    We all know I'm a huge fan of Ross Edgley for many reasons: how genuine he is when he laughs (and he laughs all the time), how much of a machine he is, how smart he is on the science behind all the adventures he has embarked on, why he does what he does and for still being a humble rhino neck aquaman kind of human. Having said that... I've never enjoyed reading the prologue in a book, let alone reading the acknowledgments... but this time I did and I wish the book wasn't going to finish. I've nev We all know I'm a huge fan of Ross Edgley for many reasons: how genuine he is when he laughs (and he laughs all the time), how much of a machine he is, how smart he is on the science behind all the adventures he has embarked on, why he does what he does and for still being a humble rhino neck aquaman kind of human. Having said that... I've never enjoyed reading the prologue in a book, let alone reading the acknowledgments... but this time I did and I wish the book wasn't going to finish. I've never read 331 pages so quickly and believe me, I'm slow at reading. As slow as it can get. I started reading this book laughing my ass of, but I knew I was going to finish it in tears. There's a specific point in the book (which was not mentioned in detail in the series) which changed Ross' entire mindset and swim, which also changed the way I've continued reading this book. Ross, thank you for what you've done and thank you for taking the time to put this into words printed on paper. Humanity changed when writing and later printing was invented and my little world changed after reading this book. 📖 No, Ross isn't paying me to write these words 😂 so if you haven't already, go get this book and enjoy. It doesn't matter if you're an endurance athlete, an elite swimmer, or a fat couch potato like me... this piece of art is going to change how you see certain things in life. The mind is the most powerful tool we have... I've learned that when I was stuck in bed for 2 months following my accident, so the more ways you can use it to become a better person, the better it is. Once again, thank you Rhino Neck. A huge hug from hippo neck 😂. 🦏🦛

  2. 4 out of 5

    Dylan Hughes

    Ross Edgley is a testament to pure will power. Faced with what seemed the impossible challenge of swimming around the UK, he completed this mammoth task without setting foot on land in his 156 days at sea. Here are some of his ridiculous feats: swimming for 12 hours a day, every day without rest for almost half a year, fuelling this output with 10,000 to 15,000 calories every day! , acquiring over 20 jellyfish stings to the face in one 6 hour swim. He provides real life sports science studies an Ross Edgley is a testament to pure will power. Faced with what seemed the impossible challenge of swimming around the UK, he completed this mammoth task without setting foot on land in his 156 days at sea. Here are some of his ridiculous feats: swimming for 12 hours a day, every day without rest for almost half a year, fuelling this output with 10,000 to 15,000 calories every day! , acquiring over 20 jellyfish stings to the face in one 6 hour swim. He provides real life sports science studies and stories of stoic learnings, to show how he got through this brutal challenge. To put it simply, Ross is a fucking animal and this book will make you get the finger out of your hole!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    Thoroughly enjoyable - I did not want it to end. Self-effacing to a fault, Edgley doesn’t just theorise he puts his theories into action. A great account of a monumental achievement delivered with wit and grace.

  4. 5 out of 5

    A Need to Read

    What a book. I had heard of Ross' Okugake but never knew the sheer determination it took for him to keep going. His story is very well written and gripping from the start, not what you expect for a book about swimming. There are a lot of really nice messages in the book, and his 'stoic sports science' is great! This book will leave you inspired to start new challenges and face the problems they present head-on. I will leave my full review on my podcast @aneed2read on Instagram and 'A need to read' What a book. I had heard of Ross' Okugake but never knew the sheer determination it took for him to keep going. His story is very well written and gripping from the start, not what you expect for a book about swimming. There are a lot of really nice messages in the book, and his 'stoic sports science' is great! This book will leave you inspired to start new challenges and face the problems they present head-on. I will leave my full review on my podcast @aneed2read on Instagram and 'A need to read' on Spotify, Apple and Youtube.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kempy

    Dead dead good like 👍

  6. 5 out of 5

    Darren Hendrick

    I've been following Ross for a while now and his stunning feats and humble attitude never cease to amaze and inspire me. 1,800 miles swam over 157 days at sea with no rest days and no sick days is an almost unfathomable accomplishment. Equipped with his academic background and the teachings of the stoics, he applies himself to the challenge and lays it all out in the book which turns out to be a fascinating case study on human potential and the resilience of the body and mind. If you're interest I've been following Ross for a while now and his stunning feats and humble attitude never cease to amaze and inspire me. 1,800 miles swam over 157 days at sea with no rest days and no sick days is an almost unfathomable accomplishment. Equipped with his academic background and the teachings of the stoics, he applies himself to the challenge and lays it all out in the book which turns out to be a fascinating case study on human potential and the resilience of the body and mind. If you're interested in pushing your mind and body and seek the strategies to optimize your potential, no doubt that this book will be invaluable for you. Ross is a legend.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Now when I started reading this I did not know a thing about Ross Edgley. I thought this was a book like First Man In by Ant Middleton (who consequently is mentioned and championed Edgley) a book about motivating and, yes as it says on the tin, the art of resilience. The read is so much more! Edgley seems to have set out on a bit of a dare but once you get reading behind the scenes I found a man of quiet focus and study. He has certainly done his research & his stories are told in short but inspiri Now when I started reading this I did not know a thing about Ross Edgley. I thought this was a book like First Man In by Ant Middleton (who consequently is mentioned and championed Edgley) a book about motivating and, yes as it says on the tin, the art of resilience. The read is so much more! Edgley seems to have set out on a bit of a dare but once you get reading behind the scenes I found a man of quiet focus and study. He has certainly done his research & his stories are told in short but inspiring chapters with an overview at the end of each of what lessons he has taken from his experiences. Some would say this is an amazing sports book, I have no interest in swimming or stoic sports science and I am aware of his Worlds Fittest Book but found this fascinating as he made it so. Having been to Japan to speak to Yamabushi elders, heard lessons about the Kenyan Kalenjin people. Learning from British Channel swimmers, cyclists, philosophers, explorers from the past. Edgley found his own way, with his trusty crew, to swim around Britain without stepping on land. His achievement certainly makes for an entertaining read. It is motivating and life affirming if not for the same reasons he went, but just the reassurance of home is where the heart is and if you believe in yourself, anything is possible.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Darcy McInerney

    Great book, lots of training philosophies and Ross’ unique outlook on stoicism is very refreshing and intriguing.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Scott Wozniak

    This was a combination memoir of a crazy endurance accomplishment (swimming around the island of Britain) and a book on sports science. It can hold its own as a good book from either perspective. Put together, it was a truly enjoyable and thought provoking read. We underestimate what we are capable of by a lot! Motivational hype books say that, but leave it vague and unrealistic. Ross shows us (yet again) that humans can do things we deemed impossible. If we fully commit and do the work--mentall This was a combination memoir of a crazy endurance accomplishment (swimming around the island of Britain) and a book on sports science. It can hold its own as a good book from either perspective. Put together, it was a truly enjoyable and thought provoking read. We underestimate what we are capable of by a lot! Motivational hype books say that, but leave it vague and unrealistic. Ross shows us (yet again) that humans can do things we deemed impossible. If we fully commit and do the work--mentally and physically--we will discover that our limits are not what we think they are.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    My lord, I had so much to say about this book. But alas, I am in the middle of training to swim the English Channel, and quite a bit of mental time has passed during a rough training week since I finished it. Let’s see if I can conjure anything up. 1. If you pick up this book in the hopes of finding “Strategies for an Unbreakable Mind and Body,” I believe you will be disappointed. Thankfully, that was not what I was looking for. 2. I had very mixed feelings about the book. The accomplishment (swim My lord, I had so much to say about this book. But alas, I am in the middle of training to swim the English Channel, and quite a bit of mental time has passed during a rough training week since I finished it. Let’s see if I can conjure anything up. 1. If you pick up this book in the hopes of finding “Strategies for an Unbreakable Mind and Body,” I believe you will be disappointed. Thankfully, that was not what I was looking for. 2. I had very mixed feelings about the book. The accomplishment (swimming around Great Britain) is just… astounding… amazing… peerless… there are no words. And I loved reading about it. BUT, on the regrettable other hand, I had several conniptions over the lack of rigor in Edgley’s citations, his tendency to set you up with advice (Like “Build Resilience by ‘Getting Wintered’”) and then tell you a story and then just kind of trail off, and a general irritation with what I found to be a lack of humility. 3. Now, according to the back cover, Ross Edgley is, in fact, humble. And who am I to doubt the back cover? And, he wrote this book as he was sailing and swimming (without setting foot on land) for over 5 months, swimming 12 hours a day (although the exact amount of swimming he does each day is one of the things he is irritatingly fuzzy about - we tend to hear about the epic days). Anyway, I give him a ton of credit for making this book happen at all. 4. But I really wish that he had either left the science out of it, OR had been more rigorous in his presentation. Both of exactly what he had done himself (and I’m aware that may be the marathon swimmer in me talking) and in presenting the available science. Admittedly, this is an area where there sometimes isn’t much science available, but in that case you need to make that clear, not cite a single study as representative as if you are a first-year graduate student. Gah! 5. Interestingly, the thing that has stuck with me is my extreme annoyance over his pride in not having become ill at any time during his 157 days at sea. Because of, you know, strength training. I am happy to fully credit him with remaining injury free (if that is what you call suppurating skin ulcers) enough to do the swim he did - it was amazing. But Ross, do you think that, possibly, the EXCEEDINGLY LITTLE HUMAN CONTACT you had during the swim MIGHT have had something to do with not getting sick? You know that sickness comes from germs, right? I do not think I would have been so annoyed by this if he had not mentioned it so often. 6. Likewise, let’s talk about strength training. As someone who thinks it likely that added sugar is a far greater public health threat than we are currently treating it as, I know that we all have the things we do that we think help us succeed. And we may think that others might be better off to adopt them as well. But I would never write a book about my endurance athletics endeavors that insinuated that the one way to achieve things along the same lines would be not to eat added sugar. There’s so much more to it than that, and every individual is different. Edgley loves the weight room, and seems convinced you can’t be healthy without it. Gosh, I hope that isn’t true. 7. Oh hey look, I wrote down some stuff as I was reading. Here are what hot takes I took: I guess he is a sports scientist, but if so, this book exemplifies what annoys me about exercise science - lack of rigor in thought. He cites studies with wild abandon, and sometimes incorrectly. He also acts as if the journals they are published in are claiming that their conclusions are true, which is weird. This is an amazing… astounding… unbelievable story of an athletic feat almost beyond comprehension (did he only ever sleep in 5 hour segments? I need More Details - my other huge problem with book), but if you are looking to read about what we currently understand in the field of human endurance, I would recommend Alex Hutchinson’s “Endure.” It’s fine to be a sports scientist and to write a fuzzy mishmash philosophical account of an endurance feat - but don’t sprinkle in just enough science to make seem as if that is the place you are coming from. He tells a story of being stung 22 times… in the face… by friggin’ Lions Mane jellyfish - And then he says “The key to be strategically strong and resilient is managing the various exercise stressors so that they don’t trigger signalers to tell the brain to stop or slow down.” You are talking about two different worlds there, buddy. His conclusion is that “this means being resilient is not about enduring the pain of a tentacle sting, it’s about being wise and experienced enough to know how to avoid it.” The book is full of mixed messages about how incredibly tough and stoic he is and vague references to being smart about it (at least in this case, he tells how he was - a makeshift cover for his face. (Also, it seems like the captain is the one with all the smarts and creativity. Which, fine - you’re swimming for 12 hours a day in some of the most challenging conditions man has faced - you don’t have to think too. But then don’t keep presenting this as “how you too can be unbreakable” and insinuate that it is personal characteristics. Apparently the answer is to hire Captain Matt and crew. Random thought - It’s weird that mint is integral to his comfort in varying situations. It’s like his windex. Annoyingly detailess in general, and specifically (for me) about the salt tongue cure - do you do it when swimming? Before? After? I should probably try it, as I start to train longer. Melt coconut oil on the tongue, chew mint leaves. Apparently Siggy is from the Isle of Wight - perhaps I should seek him out :) 8. In summary, I’m really glad that I read this fascinating, annoying, frustrating, one-of-a-kind book. But I’m also glad that I already have my own strategies for resilience (not that you can ever have too many). Postscript: Reading the other reviews after I wrote this, I just got annoyed again. The book presents him as having swum for 12 hours a day every day for 157 days. And although he does seem to have done that most days, we do learn that there were storm days when he couldn’t swim. It’s the kind of casual inaccuracy that irritates me throughout the book. What he did was amazing enough - it doesn’t need to be exaggerated. (Like when he talks about swimming across Dover Harbor at 4.6 miles per hour for 30 minutes. That was obviously with a push from the current. (For reference, that’s holding :48 seconds per 100 meters. The current men’s world record is 46.91, and that’s with a dive and a turn.) He fails to mention the current assist. But I also just watched one of the videos he made during the swim (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vs1eU...) and I’m totally inspired. This dichotomy pretty much encapsulates my response to the book. Perhaps I am being pedantic. But the thing is, when operating at this level, details matter. To me at least.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    There is no doubt that the Great British Swim was a truly astonishing achievement. However to believe it to be a superhuman feat is to miss the point of the book. Ross Edgley maintains throughout that he is a ’normal’ person; who has used the wisdom of many mentors alongside the research of many journals to learn the Art of Resilience. The mix of autobiography and scientific discussion worked really well and made this book both educational and gripping. Fundamentally, resilience is something that There is no doubt that the Great British Swim was a truly astonishing achievement. However to believe it to be a superhuman feat is to miss the point of the book. Ross Edgley maintains throughout that he is a ’normal’ person; who has used the wisdom of many mentors alongside the research of many journals to learn the Art of Resilience. The mix of autobiography and scientific discussion worked really well and made this book both educational and gripping. Fundamentally, resilience is something that can be built, developed and applied in all areas of life. This is extremely important to recognise. It can be the difference between a fulfilling life and just falling short. Although Ross underplays it as ‘mainly eating with a bit of floating’, the achievement will undoubtedly prove to be the inspiration for many people out there. Find your okugake. Build resilience. Achieve what you previously thought to be impossible.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Terry Kim

    Quite the interesting book this was! Can't say there is much books like this and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It has everything from crazy adventures, to scientific papers on nutrition and performance, to straight up comedy, gruesome tails and very personal story of Ross Edgley (I was close to tears at one point). The book details Ross' swim around Great Britain, which took a whopping 157 at sea. Tons and tons of challenges he faced with his crew, anything from sharks to his tongue deteriorating from Quite the interesting book this was! Can't say there is much books like this and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It has everything from crazy adventures, to scientific papers on nutrition and performance, to straight up comedy, gruesome tails and very personal story of Ross Edgley (I was close to tears at one point). The book details Ross' swim around Great Britain, which took a whopping 157 at sea. Tons and tons of challenges he faced with his crew, anything from sharks to his tongue deteriorating from the salt water. I loved the stoic lessons and how masterfully the author has combined his story with facts and other adventures. Great read 👍

  13. 4 out of 5

    Bao Tong

    Being a Stoic Sports Science Athlete is what I've been striving for a few years now. It's unfortunate that I couldn't pick up the book earlier, many of the sport science lessons in it I had to learn the hard way through my training and failures. Still, Ross gave more insights into them. Furthermore, stoicism lessons are what I really came for. Recommend for someone who wants to get more out of their body and mind. Being a Stoic Sports Science Athlete is what I've been striving for a few years now. It's unfortunate that I couldn't pick up the book earlier, many of the sport science lessons in it I had to learn the hard way through my training and failures. Still, Ross gave more insights into them. Furthermore, stoicism lessons are what I really came for. Recommend for someone who wants to get more out of their body and mind.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jake Ryland

    Very inspirational and does extreamly well in the teachings of stoicism and grit, Ross obviously takes after me in physique... unfortunately he takes after me in writing ability too and did find some of this book waffly and a bit repetitive at times. The audio book spoken by Ross himself i think would be a much better option

  15. 4 out of 5

    Helen Latto

    What a champion, it just goes to show that with pure dedication anything is possible. I really enjoyed reading about Ross’ swim around the UK and all the events that took place along the way and with a mixture of sports science which helped explain how and why the body is capable of just about anything when used correctly and given the right nutrients. What an amazing guy and what an achievement!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Trevor Vick

    Written by a nutter who decided to swim from Margate to er.. Margate via the Pentland Firth - a distance of 1800 miles taking half a year. Unsurprisingly a singular achievement. His challenges involved tides, shipping, jellyfish, storms, the odd whale and shark. His main defences were Maslows Hierarchy of Needs, Sports Science and bananas. I was sufficiently inspired to adapt his learning to my own needs - and yes I can now swim an additional 5 lengths in my one hour lido slot! A feat definitely Written by a nutter who decided to swim from Margate to er.. Margate via the Pentland Firth - a distance of 1800 miles taking half a year. Unsurprisingly a singular achievement. His challenges involved tides, shipping, jellyfish, storms, the odd whale and shark. His main defences were Maslows Hierarchy of Needs, Sports Science and bananas. I was sufficiently inspired to adapt his learning to my own needs - and yes I can now swim an additional 5 lengths in my one hour lido slot! A feat definitely worthy of a 5* review.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Joseph

    Entirely readable account of Edgley's swim around the island of Great Britain. I was really interested in his "Stoic Sports Science," and he does have some great ideas here worth pursuing further. As a whole, the book was very hard to put down. His adventure was breathtaking and just a great reminder of the power of the mind and body to do the impossible. Entirely readable account of Edgley's swim around the island of Great Britain. I was really interested in his "Stoic Sports Science," and he does have some great ideas here worth pursuing further. As a whole, the book was very hard to put down. His adventure was breathtaking and just a great reminder of the power of the mind and body to do the impossible.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Andreas Olsen

    Exciting read and very useful information one can use for the hard times in life. Specifically useful for athletes looking to balance strength and endurance

  19. 5 out of 5

    Paul Geary

    A genuinely inspiring read. The journey is amazing. The insights regarding what a human can push through are great. Heart warming and funny. A recommended read.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Andry

    This story is amazing and Ross is fantastic: strong, intelligent, inspiring, humble and always smiling even in the worst adversities of this great british swim. So interesting and motivational that I didn't want it to end! This story is amazing and Ross is fantastic: strong, intelligent, inspiring, humble and always smiling even in the worst adversities of this great british swim. So interesting and motivational that I didn't want it to end!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Zoe

    Such a great read, some great stories throughout that made me laugh out loud. A lot of great resilience facts & strategies shared that you can put into practice in anyway you need to.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lewis

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Ross is an inspiring character and his book is just as inspiring as he is. Even by reading the prologue, I felt inspired and wanted to learn more about Ross' inspiring work ethic to swim around Great Britain. Essentially Ross uses a stoic sports science philosophy, using his multitude of research and experience it has taught him many principles which he outlines in this book using each to get through the challenges of swimming around Great Britain. The book is great for recognising that hard wor Ross is an inspiring character and his book is just as inspiring as he is. Even by reading the prologue, I felt inspired and wanted to learn more about Ross' inspiring work ethic to swim around Great Britain. Essentially Ross uses a stoic sports science philosophy, using his multitude of research and experience it has taught him many principles which he outlines in this book using each to get through the challenges of swimming around Great Britain. The book is great for recognising that hard work and dedication is what gets you where you want to be in life. If you have goals, you are going to have to work to get them, don't expect things to be easy, it certainly wasn't for Ross when he decided to swim for 6 months around Great Britain. Fatigue, one of the major challenges when doing an endurance event, Ross confirms, is a sign of the brains 'central governor' telling us that the bodies homeostasis is out of sync and as the brain is a hypochondriac that babysits the body this is very rarely the most you can push. I first read about this in David Goggins' book where he (and the US Navy Seals) call this the 40% rule, which essentially is where you feel you have put 100% effort in (which is the brain tricking you) but in reality (because the brain is a hypochondriac), you have only put 40% in and if you put your mind to it you can push further. I use this technique when I am running to train my mind to push me that little further. In the book, Ross uses many techniques to keep his mind in check. One of these is journaling, which I have also recently taken up and am already finding it useful in how I reflect and adapt my attitude towards life. It has taught me to be grateful for what I have and who I am but also strive to push myself to be the best that I can be. "Scholar athletes" as Ross puts it are those that work on the mind and body in equal amounts. His philosophy teaches him (and us) that virtue is happiness and that we shouldn't focus on events outwith our control (the uncontrollables) and instead focus our attention on those we can control such as our attitude and mood toward the events (the controllables). Ross also uses Greek mythology to guide him through the toughest parts of the swim. But "difficulties show a person's character", and this quote from Epictetus pushed Ross to continue despite the tough conditions as he will only come out stronger. Though it was Aurelius that made him get through this dark and difficult time more effectively. Aurelius' endurance, and how he managed rule an empire, even with having what is known today as stomach ulcers lead him to believe that; you can endure anything that your mind can make endurable, by treating it as in your interest to do so. Then, by pushing yourself to your limit, physically and mentally you will create a more robust/resilient self. Ross didn't go into the swim unprepared however, he expresses about 'getting wintered' which is typically cold, hard, brutal preparation. He states that if you want to get prepared for something, you must complete a strict training plan, so he then shows us every detail of his own plan in preparation for the swim. For me, however, the biggest eye-opener was when the discussion moved towards Eddie Hall (2017 worlds strongest man) being able to swim 100m lengths in a 1min 20s split, which, if you have ever seen Eddie "The Beast" Hall is madness, but when you go into further detail on Eddie's training plan and find that it always includes some form of cardio, it begins to make sense. High-intensity training is one way to prepare for an event, and Ross found that this type of training, not only expands the capabilities and muscles of the heart but also recalibrates the brain's perception to pain, allowing you to withstand more. He also discusses, what is widely known as the 'fight or flight' stimulant, when you feel threatened, stating that being able to control this mechanism makes you more resilient by ensuring you only use it when you need it. Not at your desk at work, as Ross puts it. The Royal Marines philosophy states "cheerfulness in the face of adversity" and Ross utilises this to his benefit by controlling the controllables (emotions, mood and mental well-being) to be happy in tough times. By doing this, it has a profound effect on your resistance. I have personally been trying to keep a positive mindset throughout life and have found that by looking for the positives in any situation, putting a stop to the moaning and negative moods, it has helped with my happiness in general and I have come to have a much greater outlook on life. Ross finishes the book in the best way, simply saying that anything is possible! If you follow the principles outlined in this book, push yourself and work hard, focus on the controllables and have a positive outlook, you will be able to do anything you put your mind to!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Petrucha

    This one’s very inspirational and surprisingly funny!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    My favourite philosophical ideas combined with sports science. What's not to love. Opted for the audiobook. My favourite philosophical ideas combined with sports science. What's not to love. Opted for the audiobook.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Andy Parkes

    This was excellent! I somehow missed the Great British Swim when it actually happened but discovered Ross when he popped up in a YouTube recommendation. This book tells the story of how he swam around Great Britain. I'm always fascinated by stories about huge endurance events but I really liked about this one was that it was part story and part thesis on how went about it. So many references to the literature he used during his research that you could spend months, even years poring over it (whi This was excellent! I somehow missed the Great British Swim when it actually happened but discovered Ross when he popped up in a YouTube recommendation. This book tells the story of how he swam around Great Britain. I'm always fascinated by stories about huge endurance events but I really liked about this one was that it was part story and part thesis on how went about it. So many references to the literature he used during his research that you could spend months, even years poring over it (which he obviously did!) As well as the theory the story itself is great. Really gets across the hardship endured as well as the brighter moments. Very inspiring as well as informative!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Phaedon Lomis

    What a great book! Written by an even greater human being. It is maybe not for everyone because it is very scientifical and sportsrelated. But if you are interested in how to win the inner battle against yourself with funny anecdotes and a lot of in depth scientific research, this is the book for you.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Dan Liggins

    One truly remarkable man. One epic story. One unbreakable adventure of the mind & body. Ross Edgley has done what is seemingly impossible. He has swum the entire coastline of Great Britain – all with the promise of not stepping foot on land until he has returned back to his starting point, this time to finish his beyond marathon level swim! Not only did Ross complete this adventure that was literally perilous to his life & dangerous beyond imagination, but he also then succeeds in writing this bo One truly remarkable man. One epic story. One unbreakable adventure of the mind & body. Ross Edgley has done what is seemingly impossible. He has swum the entire coastline of Great Britain – all with the promise of not stepping foot on land until he has returned back to his starting point, this time to finish his beyond marathon level swim! Not only did Ross complete this adventure that was literally perilous to his life & dangerous beyond imagination, but he also then succeeds in writing this book The Art of Resilience, which cleverly captures the luring excitement of Edgley’s personal journey around Great Britain, alongside the logic & sports science of how he managed to attune his body, mind & soul into the mammoth challenge. Nobody before (or since), has completed a swim of this magnitude. Ross now holds the world record! I don’t think for a long time anybody will attempt to take it off of him either. Not only because of the sheer physicality it takes, but because Ross Edgley is extremely well trained, educated, physically fit, determined… pretty much every positive trait you need within your body & mind to take on such a swim. Ross himself says he is not writing this book to ‘gloat’. What he did was incredible! That is something everyone who reads this book or knows his story has to agree on! However, Ross is humble. He is a guy you could sit & chat to about pretty much anything & everything. He is simply RESILIENT. This book is of course a celebration & personal memoir about how Ross himself took on his swim; but it is much more than that. Ross explains all the previous encounters he has had in life – various extreme sports, living in seemingly absurd places with local tribes’ people – Ross has picked up so many ways he can adapt his mind & body to be the most resilient version of himself he possibly can be. Accumulating all of this hands-on knowledge with Ross’s very well-educated Sporting Science background achieved at Loughborough University (England), he was able to prep himself in extraordinary ways to embark on this swim (& succeed). Ross is not an author & does not claim or take credit for saying he is. In that respect, I feel this is where the book sadly, in my opinion, loses a few stars for this review. Rightly so, I admire Ross, & this book has opened my eyes to many ways in which I can change my lifestyle – particularly my own relationship with fitness – for the better. To train my mind & body to be more resilient! However, reading this book I feel it is a little haphazard in its format. Ross has such an incredible story to share with this swim alone that I feel when the book leaps abruptly from his anecdotes about the swim to the science behind it all, I feel a sudden change in tempo from the excitement the story has to a more mundane, almost hard to read approach as the reader. I love both sides of what Ross has to say. Knowing how & why his body did not sink like all scientists said it would, is amazing to find out! But when he is telling a story about how he is swimming alongside seals & embracing all life has to offer; to suddenly reading & looking at graphs on the science, for me personally, I lose the tempo of the book & force myself to read the science just to get back to the swimming story… It is a book you pick back up & read the science part of it more detailed if that is the main factor you are interested in. I just also feel Ross could have written a brilliant book purely based on the swim he did & then create a book explaining the science of it all to those more interested in that. But that is also who Ross Edgley is. He shares his story of resilience by humbly explaining he is not superhuman, he does not want the glorification of holding this record – he just wants to show us readers that anything is possible. All you need is a clear mind on resilience. Nevertheless, anybody who has a desire to learn about the pure breaking points the human body can actually push past, any athletes who need a morale boost or any lover of self-development books, I highly recommend this to you! Even if you skip or glance over the science parts – Ross Edgley is one incredible human & he has one amazing story to tell right here! Would be an honour to one day meet Ross Edgley. Congratulations for what you achieved & no doubt will continue to achieve.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rachael Fitzgerald

    This book was not what I was expecting when I started it, but was great nonetheless! It's amazing what human endurance can accomplish This book was not what I was expecting when I started it, but was great nonetheless! It's amazing what human endurance can accomplish

  29. 4 out of 5

    Loren

    I'm a bit torn here. I wanted to love this book, and it is a compelling read for the most part. The positives first: Ross Edgley is insanely fit, and a passionate advocate for fitness, and wellness more generally. On pretty much every page you feel that he genuinely wants to help others find and pursue their own athletic adventures. That comes across as an infectious enthusiasm throughout the book, paired with lots of research in sports science. If you follow Ross on social media you know he has I'm a bit torn here. I wanted to love this book, and it is a compelling read for the most part. The positives first: Ross Edgley is insanely fit, and a passionate advocate for fitness, and wellness more generally. On pretty much every page you feel that he genuinely wants to help others find and pursue their own athletic adventures. That comes across as an infectious enthusiasm throughout the book, paired with lots of research in sports science. If you follow Ross on social media you know he has a loyal following, and when you read this book you get a sense for why: he seems like a really great guy who cares deeply about friends and family, and who sincerely wants to help others achieve their goals. Pair that personality (and stunning physique!) with an amazing adventure, and you have a fantastic tale, crafted by a charismatic adventurer who doesn't make himself the whole story. The book is as much about relationships - family, friends, crew - and how much they matter, as it is about a crazy training regimen and amazing athletic feat: a staged wetsuit swim around Great Britain, with no rest days (other than storm-imposed lockdowns in safe harbour), and no setting foot on shore between start and finish. So, that's a great read. It's hard not to love the story and the author. I'd buy the book again on the strength of these virtues. Still, all of that said, as a marathon and adventure swimmer, I finished this book a bit perplexed and disappointed. There's so much excellent research here, and it's written with so much generosity and enthusiasm, yet when it comes to the actual swim preparation, what descriptions there are of workouts verge from exceedingly vague to frankly implausible. After detailed descriptions of strength training and nutrition regimens, there'll be an offhand reference to 'long easy swims, focusing on technique'. Nothing wrong with that in itself: technique is critical, and long, steady swims discipline the mind (mental discipline is certainly much of what makes or breaks a long marathon swim). When specific swim training sets are described, however, they're ... well, ... they're not entirely believable - at least, not as described (and again, these descriptions are often rather fleeting). For instance, there is mention of sometimes knocking off 100 x 400m "sprints" (... it's not entirely clear in the text whether this is a swim or track workout, but it's noted as part of training for the staged wetsuit swim that's the subject of the book). If this is indeed a swim set, then that's a 40km pool session! Imagine a strong amateur masters swimmer or triathlete in their 30s. They could certainly (in some cases easily) hold 1:30/100m for a long 400m set in a 25m pool, which would be 6:00/400m. To hold that pace, however, and leave a bit of time for rest and hydration, they'd be swimming under that time per 100m. So, if they were to hold that pace to try Ross Edgley's "brutal" "Zapotec inspired" set, this strong masters swimmer would need to be in the pool for at least 10 hours! That's difficult, but not entirely crazy from a scheduling perspective (I could probably find friends to get me 12hrs of pool time on occasion, and maybe even a dedicated lane) but it does show that this book, about a ground-breaking swim adventure, really wasn't written for swimmers. Swimmers will immediately want to know: how the hell did you knock off 10-12hr pool sets? short course? long course? that 400m lido in Tooting Bec!? How'd you get the pool time? What paces were you holding? nutrition and hydration? What do you mean by "sprint" - surely not how it's defined elsewhere in the book, or by swimmers and their coaches, because you literally couldn't do this set that way. ... I didn't just pick a SCM (short-course meters) pace of 1:30/100m out of thin air. Here's another example from the book ... Back before this book came out, Mens Journal published a short piece describing Ross Edgely doing a 100km pool swim in 48hrs. That's a crazy thing to do, but it's feasible for a very fit amateur swimmer, especially someone who has put a lot of work into cardio cross-training, and shoulder strength and stability (which Ross very obviously has). Assuming short stops every few hours for nutrition, and briefer stops every 30min-1hr for hydration, that would involve holding about 2min per 100m, which is a manageable pace for an experienced pool swimmer in their 30s, although again, keeping it up for 48hrs would be damn impressive. For perspective here: Chloe McCardel, who has swum the English Channel over 30 times so far and routinely knocks off those crossings in the 10hr range, has also swum the longest unassisted ocean swim of just over 124km, in a little over 41hrs ("unassisted" here refers to traditional marathon swimming rules: standard nylon/lycra swim suit, cap, goggles, no wetsuits, no assistive contact with anyone or anything, and any tidal or current assistance being explicitly noted by trained observers). That's an average pace just shy of 2min per 100m, although these kinds of average pace calculations are a bit silly when applied to marathon swims in open water. Consider also Sarah Thomas, who recently completed an unprecedented 4-way English Channel crossing. Sarah has swum 168km in fresh water, in 67hrs, so in the 2:20/100m range, although again, these pace calculations translate poorly from pool to wild swimming. Indeed, I only mention them to point out that the current world record holders for the longest unassisted marathon swims are most emphatically not blasting off 1:30/100m paces for swims over 41 or 67 hours in the water. All of which is to say: 2:00/100m in a short course pool isn't implausible for a strong and experienced swimmer over very long time frames. The sheer boredom and sleep deprivation would likely be the hardest parts of that twisted exercise. Okay, so far so good ... but by the time we get to the intro of The Art of Resilience, that 48hr pool swim has ballooned to 185km! Later in the book, in Lesson 18, this same training session is recounted as a 175km pool swim. To put those last two recollections in perspective: 185km in 48hrs in a 25m pool means holding about 1:34/100m, assuming no rests. If there are brief stops for feeding and hydration, as there would have to be (and as Ross describes in the book), then that's closer to 1:30/100m or faster (and even so, still with only short rests). If the distance were instead 175km, the pace is a bit more forgiving, but not much: about 1:39/100m, again without rests for water/nutrition, so, realistically, more like 1:35/100m. To put this into further perspective: a few years ago, one of the strongest open water competitors in recent decades, 2008 olympic gold medallist Maarten van der Weijden, knocked off 24hrs in a 25m pool. He came in just shy of 103km. That's a pace of about 1:24/100m, and assuming he held that pace leaving several short rest times for a quick feed/hydration, he was probably holding closer to 1:20/100m. If Ross swam 185km in 48hrs, his pace would have been considerably slower than this world record by a world-class olympian distance swimmer, but not by all that much, and swimming for twice as long! Similarly if the distance was instead 175km. To be clear, my concern here isn't dishonesty. It's just that these kinds of gaffes are symptomatic of what irked me reading this book as a swimmer. Edgley has put so much research into sports science and nutrition and psychology, and he writes with so much passion in reporting those studies and his own training, relationships, and adventures... but he clearly hasn't bothered to do nearly as much careful study about the sport this book is about: swimming! So, what's my rating? Reading it as a general fitness enthusiast and adventure writing fan, I'd certainly rate it at least a strong 4 out of 5. But as an experienced marathon and adventure swimmer? Maybe 2 or 3. I'll split the difference and give it 4, but with the caveat that swimmers shouldn't expect a book about their sport.

  30. 4 out of 5

    William Connelly

    Different from the typical Ant Middleton/Bear Grylls type books, which is what I thought it would be, and is no worse for it. It’s a story of Edgley swimming around the Uk and the philosophies and idea behind it - some sports science, some Stoicism, some nutrition. Edgley includes his training programme and typical food intake during the swim. A different take from the “I just dug deep and kept going” cliche that can dominate these type of books.

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