“Off the deep end” is the true story of W. Hodding Carter’s quest to qualify for the 2008 U.S Olympic swim team. Hodding was a stand out All American swimmer for Kenyon college in 1984. It had always been his dream to qualify for the Olympic Trials. When he graduated from Kenyon he was seconds from the qualifying time in the 200 freestyle. When he told his father that he wished to put off getting a job to keep training and qualify, his father said “absolutely not“, that he needed to “grow up and live in the real world.” Carter would later become a talented writer, marry a lawyer, and have 3 kids. When Carter was in his forties, he started having a midlife crisis, he started swimming through it. Carter trained harder than he ever had in his life, and learned many new things. He found that his specialty had shifted to sprints, the 50 and 100 freestyle. He trained with the best sprinter America has ever seen, Gary Hall Jr. He also returned to his roots to train with his old school, Kenyon College. Carter was inspired by Kenyon’s legendary coach Jim Steen, and picked up a new training regimen that was more age specific. Carter even swam in a marathon race through the Manhattan River, and swam around the Virgin Islands. At the peak of his training, Carter was nationally ranked in his age group, and a mere second away from qualifying for the Olympic Trials in the 50 freestyle*. Carter proves that anyone, even a 40 something, can defy the age limits and be better than ever before. This book was extremely appealing to me due to the fact that I am a swimmer, and there aren’t to many books out there for us.