Thursday, January 8, 2015

Lewis Pugh: My mind-shifting Everest swim

Lewis Pugh: My mind-shifting Everest swim


               In this ted talk, Lewis Pugh reveals the story behind his mission to swim across Lake Pumori, a lake that was formed from the melting of glaciers in the Himalayas. After his success to raise awareness on climate change by swimming on the North Pole, Lewis vowed to never do a cold water dip again. However, once he learned about the climate change occurring in the Himalayas, he decided to raise awareness in the one way he knew how- to complete another cold water dip. After travelling to the Himalayas, he soon realized the difficulty of the task at hand. Because not only was the temperature cold, but the higher altitudes mad breathing difficult. In the past, whenever he face these challenges, Lewis would always raise his aggression in a controlled manner, allowing to swim faster and thus completing the course. However when he tried using the tactic he has always used, he realized that it was difficult to maintain his breath, which resulted in him losing oxygen, chocking, vomiting, and then nearly drowning (twice). After taking a break and thinking it over for the next two days, he decided to change his style of swimming.  Instead of using aggression and rushing it, he used a method more suitable for the environment of the Himalayas; going slower while keeping his composure. This method allowed him to complete the challenge by swimming across the lake. He then closes of his speech by relating his experience to that of humanity’s.
I really enjoyed this ted talk, because the challenge that the speaker faced is what I believe outdoor ed class is all about; adapting and changing to fit that of the environment. I personally believe that the importance of outdoor ed class isn’t about strength or willpower, but rather focusing more on the mental capability to learn, change, and adapt to the environment your introduced to. Even if your methods have worked continuously in the past, that doesn’t make it the definitive answer to any situation you are thrown into. We can see this when Lewis described how he had to change his method of swimming, a method he has used for years and has continuously worked for him, in order to better fit the demands met by the environment. The result was that he was able not only complete the task, but he completed with less difficulty then if he were to use his previous method.

"My Mind-shifting Everest Swim." Lewis Pugh:. Web. 9 Jan. 2015. <>.

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