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knelson
May 13th, 2008, 11:34 AM
I was going through the heat sheet from Nationals and noticed an ad for a new book by Hodding Carter called "Off the Deep End." Check out the reviews on the Barnes & Noble site: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?r=1&ISBN=9781565125643

It comes out in June. Sounds pretty entertaining to me!

P.S. I hope this isn't construed as an ad for the book. I don't know Carter and have no commercial interest in this book.

ande
May 13th, 2008, 11:56 AM
here's Carter's top 10 times

http://www.usms.org/comp/tt/toptenind.php?SwimmerID=0358Y

Here's the

2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials Qualifying Standards

June 29 - July 6, 2008
Omaha, Nebraska

WOMEN EVENT MEN

26.39 50 FREESTYLE 23.49

57.19 100 FREESTYLE 51.59

2:03.39 200 FREESTYLE 1:52.89

4:19.39 400 FREESTYLE 3:59.99

8:50.49 800 FREESTYLE x

x 1500 FREESTYLE 15:53.59

1:04.59 100 BACKSTROKE 57.99

2:17.99 200 BACKSTROKE 2:04.99

1:12.59 100 BREASTSTROKE 1:04.69

2:35.99 200 BREASTSTROKE 2:20.79

1:02.39 100 BUTTERFLY 55.59

2:16.69 200 BUTTERFLY 2:03.99

2:20.49 200 IM 2:07.39

4:55.89 400 IM 4:30.49

Qualifying period 4/1/2005 through entry deadline
Qualifying times in Long Course Meters


here's the Official Event Information for the
2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials

http://www.usaswimming.org/USASWeb/_Rainbow/Documents/6b45c79d-f733-4561-9a6c-a5deb23a03d7/Meet%20Information%20Book_March.pdf

LindsayNB
May 13th, 2008, 11:56 AM
Outside magazine article by the author (http://outside.away.com/outside/culture/200608/swimming-british-virgin-islands-1.html)

shark
May 15th, 2008, 09:33 AM
Outside magazine article by the author (http://outside.away.com/outside/culture/200608/swimming-british-virgin-islands-1.html)

That is a great funny article. I read it when it was published in the mag. I will definately buy this book. Thanks for the heads up.

ViveBene
May 17th, 2008, 08:39 PM
I've seen a few copies of Off the Deep End available from $6.95. These early, inexpensive copies are Advance Reader's Copies (sort of bound proofs, I gather) and lack a chapter. The retail price for the June 2008 publication, everything complete, is in the $21.95 - $23.95 range.

The author is visiting several nice places on his book tour. Hope he gets to Chicago.

VB

ande
May 22nd, 2008, 06:50 PM
Hodding got a mention in USA today
http://www.usatoday.com/life/books/news/2008-05-21-carter_N.htm

ehoch
May 22nd, 2008, 07:31 PM
Is he a US citizen ? Because, he has no shot even to make US trials.

How can I put this in a nice way -- there are many swimmers out there around his age who actually have a shot at making it to the Olympic Trials, who are not just swimming to get publicity for a book.

Sam Perry
May 22nd, 2008, 07:44 PM
Message deleted

ehoch
May 22nd, 2008, 10:39 PM
Batttle - what battle ?

Doak is a 27 year who made it to Olympic Trials - good for him.

Carter is a 45 year who is trying to promote a book and will not make it to Olympic Trials -- any wagers are more than welcome - will donate proceeds to Kevin Doak who is raising money for his training.

Sam Perry
May 22nd, 2008, 10:50 PM
Batttle - what battle ?

Doak is a 27 year who made it to Olympic Trials - good for him.

Carter is a 45 year who is trying to promote a book and will not make it to Olympic Trials -- any wagers are more than welcome - will donate proceeds to Kevin Doak who is raising money for his training.

Good point, sorry. I am really not trying to stir anything up, just know anytime on here anyone criticizes someone else, people think it is some sort of personal attack.

jaegermeister
May 23rd, 2008, 12:00 AM
I read Hodding's article when it came out in Outside as well and was very amused by it. Glad to see a follow up.

Of course his public goal of making the Olympic team is outrageous, but that's some of the fun of it as well. Its cool that he has the nerve to be himself, be bold, but be humorous at the same time. I'm not sure he really takes himself that seriously, which is good by me. Any time someone can create a great story line in swimming, I'm all for it.

I looked for him at nationals and didn't see him.

knelson
May 23rd, 2008, 12:37 AM
How can I put this in a nice way -- there are many swimmers out there around his age who actually have a shot at making it to the Olympic Trials, who are not just swimming to get publicity for a book.

I doubt that's the only reason he's swimming. And, yeah, I'm sure he didn't really think he had much of a shot, but that's the kind of tagline that helps sell books. If he had said he was trying to make the USMS Top Ten list that probably wouldn't have been quite as impressive to the general public :)

Bottom line is it's a book about a guy in his 40s who got back into competitive swimming and wanted to see how well he could do. That seems like a topic that would resonate with a lot of people in this forum to me.

orca1946
May 23rd, 2008, 11:09 AM
I'll add it to my list of things to read. Thanx.

Hod
June 8th, 2008, 11:28 AM
This is my first post. I've been too chicken to post for about a year now but when I saw there was a thread concerning my book, I thought I could/should finally say something. I'll try to explain my book in a nutshell: I got back in the pool 4 years ago and insanely thought I could equal my times from my senior year at Kenyon with just a few months of training. I went to the 2004 New England Masters Champs at Harvard to swim with the "old farts"--in other words, men and women my age--just for fun and got my behind handed to me. I literally had to crawl on my hands and knees after the 200. I quit for a few months but I'd been bitten. Sometime later I returned and for some sick reason still believed I could equal and beat my old times--on one level tongue in cheek, on another level wide-eyed and more than a little insane. Did I say I wanted to make it to the Olympic Trials to sell books? No, I said that and still say it because it motivates me and I like non-athletes' reaction to an old guy trying to be fast. They don't understand how fast men over 40 like Mike Ross, Dennis Baker, Paul Carter, the Smiths, and some of you who have posted here can swim (they seem to get the women swimming fast, though--explain that one) and I like to tell them how the face of elite athletics is getting a lot more wrinkly. Why the book? I write about what I do, plain and simple. It's meant to be a funny book--I believe there are a few chapters that many of you with a sense of humor can relate to--and I hope some of you enjoy it. I got very sick recently (staph infection, renal failure) and thus didn't make it to Nationals, but I will be back in action soon--now shooting for 2012, I guess. And thanks for the support, Tom.

anita
June 8th, 2008, 02:06 PM
Bottom line is it's a book about a guy in his 40s who got back into competitive swimming and wanted to see how well he could do. That seems like a topic that would resonate with a lot of people in this forum to me.

There is a book with the similar storyline, different sport. They Don't Play Hockey in Heaven, by Ken Baker.

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/They-Dont-Play-Hockey-in-Heaven/Ken-Baker/e/9781592281497/?itm=1

This is about a goalie who had talent as a teen, and then came back as an adult to try to make it to the NHL. Very inspiring for any reader, even those who don't play hockey.

anita
June 8th, 2008, 02:08 PM
Why the book? I write about what I do, plain and simple. It's meant to be a funny book--I believe there are a few chapters that many of you with a sense of humor can relate to--and I hope some of you enjoy it. I got very sick recently (staph infection, renal failure) and thus didn't make it to Nationals, but I will be back in action soon--now shooting for 2012, I guess. And thanks for the support, Tom.

I'm looking forward to reading it. Best of luck in your endeavors, and I hope you have a smooth recovery. All the best.

knelson
June 8th, 2008, 11:37 PM
I did buy the book and it's next on my list.

ehoch
June 20th, 2008, 12:25 PM
By MARTHA WAGGONER, Associated Press Writer
Fri Jun 20, 12:39 AM ET



CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - When W. Hodding Carter IV slides into the pool for another day of training, he's not merely a former college swimmer seeking to become the longest of long shots by qualifying for the Beijing Olympics at age 45.

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He's also seeking escape from his name the son of a well-known official in President Jimmy Carter's administration and the grandson of a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist.

"The really great thing is that swimming is an escape from all of that," Carter said. "It's not something they did. And it's this place where there's no expectations of me and from them, so it's great to be going back to that after all these years.

"I have this place where I get to go that has nothing to do with being named Hodding."

There is no doubt Carter is a bad bet to even qualify for the U.S. Olympic trials, let alone make the team. To get a chance to participate in the trials on June 29 Carter will need to qualify this weekend at the New England Master's Long Course Championship meet at Vermont's Middlebury College. His event of choice is the 50-meter freestyle, a distance where the two-time defending gold medalist American Gary Hall Jr. was beaten earlier this month by a 19-year-old Nathan Adrian in a tune up for the trials.

Carter's personal best in the 50-meter freestyle is 24.5 seconds slightly better than his college best of 24.6. By comparison, Adrian posted a time of 22.01, beating Hall's 22.20 to win the Mutual of Omaha Swimvitational.

But Carter, a former Division III All-American and NCAA national champion at Ohio's Kenyon College, is swimming faster now than he did in college. His decision to return to a sport and make an unlikely run at Beijing isn't without precedent. Eight years ago, Melanie Roach herniated a disc in her back eight weeks before the trials in weightlifting. She quit the sport to raise a family and is now a 33-year-old mother of three.

She's also headed to Beijing after finishing this year's U.S. weightlifting trials as the nation's top-rated lifter.

"I think that just learning to enjoy the process is a concept that we all have to learn at some point," she said.

The process is at the heart of Carter's new book, "Off the Deep End" ($21.95, Algonquin Books). Published this month, it recounts his decision to try to make the 2008 games at a time when his marriage is on the rocks and his take-home pay from writing is not even minimum wage.

"Certainly, I needed a fix, and swimming had always done its part in the past, helping me through the sketchier times in my life," he writes. "So perhaps that's all it was: an unreflective fix to a faltering life."

The story includes none of Carter's famous family history. There is no mention of his grandfather, who won the Pulitzer in 1946 for his editorials on racial and religious tolerance that appeared in what was then the family-owned newspaper, the Greenville (Miss.) Delta Democrat-Times. There is no mention of his father, who served as the State Department spokesman for Jimmy Carter.

Carter's name even appears on the book jacket without the "IV" but with the "W.," a change that his father noted with approval at a book signing party on Father's Day at his home in Chapel Hill.

"It is something that I really understand and respect, having suffered, as anybody does, from having a father whose name was going to be my curse as well as my adornment," Hodding III said. "He's gotten way past the curse."

The way the youngest Carter tells it, he began swimming at the age of 11 months when, while under the care of family friends, he fell into the pool. The adults pulled him out, dried him off and as soon as they turned their backs, he toddled back into the water.

He was learning strokes at the age of 3 and began competing when he was 5, continuing through his time at college before leaving the sport for real life the Peace Corps, marriage, children. He lives today in Camden, Maine, where is a writer and the swim coach at the Penobscot Bay YMCA.

Though it may seem unlikely that Carter will get to race against Adrian and Hall at the trials, his attempt isn't any less novel than beer truck driver Deontay Wilder's decision three years ago to walk into a boxing gym for the first time.

The 22-year-old from Tuscaloosa, Ala., will fight in China as a heavyweight.

"I wasn't destined to be on the team, but I was determined to be," Wilder said.

When Carter returned to serious training, he refused to listen to most advice, even though he paid good money to attend swim camps where he was supposed to learn new ways. He wasn't going to wear the long-legged tech suits. He now owns three. He insisted on training the way he did at Kenyon, and wound up swimming too many laps for his age.

He now swims less, often with a parachute behind him for added ballast. He has, he said, only trained the right way for the past year. It's that training that gives him the illusion of defying the odds of aging, when he truth he said it's no longer going to be unusual for older athletes to compete. He points to four-time Olympian Dara Torres, who at 41 is trying to become the first American to swim in five Olympics.

"I like to say the future of athletics is going to be a whole lot wrinklier than it is now," Carter said.

Carter has been slowed recently by a bacteria-resistant staph infection, which landed him in the hospital and ate up valuable training time. He admits that he would be happy to make just the trials, while adding he's planning to train seriously for the London games in 2012 at age 49.

"The great thing is the air quality in London is a lot better than Beijing, so that 2012 looks a lot better," he said.

Redbird Alum
June 20th, 2008, 01:06 PM
Since we all like it when swimming gets a plug... Congratulations to Hodding on getting to plug his swimming book on National Public Radio!

I found the interview amusing, and Hodding's ancedotes hit close to home!

Best Regards and good luck with the book!

ande
June 22nd, 2008, 09:06 AM
Carter's going to be in Austin on the 24th but
I'm going to be out of town
http://www.statesman.com/life/content/life/stories/books/06/22/0622carter.html

gull
June 22nd, 2008, 09:48 AM
Carter's going to be in Austin on the 24th but
I'm going to be out of town
http://www.statesman.com/life/content/life/stories/books/06/22/0622carter.html


Thanks, Ande. I missed that article--I think the paper is still on my driveway. I will try to be there.

CaliSwimmer
June 22nd, 2008, 06:52 PM
I picked up Carter's book Friday and finished reading it Saturday. It's quick and fun. I found it to be interesting and funny, particularly the part where he goes back to college to train with his old coach and live in the dorm for a week. We're the same age, graduated from college the same year, and his efforts to balance family, work and swimming resonated. Of course, my swimming goals are A LOT different than his. I started swimming two years ago at age 43 by joining a masters team, having been a land-animal growing up (soccer, mostly). Thanks to a new coach who has more patience for new masters swimmers (that sounds like an oxymoron) than my first coach, I've just learned all four strokes and am now up to 5 x 90-minute practices a week, about 15,000 -18,000 meters total. My goal is to someday compete in a 400-IM and to one day do a 1:10 100-yd swim. I guess I relate to Carter's drive and persistence. And to his most humiliating moments -- for me, learning to swim at this age when surrounded by super fit athletes who have been doing it forever (and have the world and national masters records to prove it) has been the most humbling experience and has taught me a lot about myself (the value of just working hard at something, how to not give up when you feel like such a loser, appreciating incremental, unexpected successes that in other areas of your life you would just take for granted). I bet Carter would say the same thing, and that's a gift no matter the how, why or what of your goal.

Congrats on the book! :wine: