Leap In

Leap In

A Woman, Some Waves, and the Will to Swim


'Remarkable' Observer
'A joy to read' Daily Telegraph
'Soaringly beautiful' Sunday Times Magazine
'Genuine and persuasive' Guardian

Alexandra Heminsley thought she could swim. She really did.

It may have been because she could run. It may have been because she wanted to swim; or perhaps because she only ever did ten minutes of breaststroke at a time. But, as she learned one day while flailing around in the sea, she really couldn’t.

Believing that a life lived fully isn’t one with the most money earned, the most stuff bought or the most races won, but one with the most experiences, experienced the most fully, she decided to conquer her fear of the water.

From the ignominy of getting into a wetsuit to the triumph of swimming from Kefalonia to Ithaca, in becoming a swimmer, Alexandra learns to appreciate her body and still her mind. As it turns out, the water is never as frightening once you're in, and really, everything is better when you remember to exhale.

What Hemmo's readers are saying:

‘This book is funny, engaging, entertaining, informative, suspenseful, motivating, and inspiring... I've never read anything quite like it
­– Nina on Goodreads, 5 stars

‘Just like Running Like a Girl, this was an absolute joy to read. A beautifully written story of swimming, family and being a woman’
– Violet on Amazon, 5 stars

‘Fantastic book… Entertaining – often laugh-out-loud funny – and full of really useful advice’
– J. Edwards on Amazon, 5 stars

‘A fabulous book that’s beautifully written’
– Nik on Goodreads, 5 stars

‘I can't recommend this book enough! I absolutely love Alexandra Heminsley's writing, her attitude towards exercise and her passion for swimming’
– Sarah on Goodreads, 5 stars

‘an inspirational and encouraging read’
– Stephanie on Goodreads, 5 stars

‘the author’s enthusiasm is contagious… one cannot help but yearn to join in. … A thoroughly inspiring book with a likeable narrator unafraid to share her personal life’
– Eleanor on Goodreads, 5 stars

‘This is a delightful book, a pleasure to read… Unbelievably well written, it flows like the water she loves’
­– Bobby on Amazon, 5 stars


  • A joy to read . . . another triumph for Heminsley, a champion of sport in the truest sense, and a wonderfully compassionate voice.
    Kat Brown, Daily Telegraph

About the author

Alexandra Heminsley

Alexandra Heminsley is an author, ghostwriter, journalist, broadcaster and speaker. Her bestselling non-fiction work includes Running Like a Girl and Leap In, and her first novel, Under the Same Stars is to be published in 2022. She lives in Hove with her son, and proudly co-parents her LGBT+ family.
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