I resolved to follow my dream. I wanted to push every boundary. I wanted to swim further than anyone else. I wanted to cross seas and round capes that no one had dreamed of swimming before. And I wanted to swim in waters that were so cold no one thought it was possible to survive in them. And though it promised to make me poor and would take away the security provided by a career in law, that didn’t worry me.

Achieving The Impossible - A Fearless Leader. A Fragile Earth. (2010)

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More from Lewis Gordon Pugh

Never, ever did I think that there would be a debate in this arid country about which was more important – gas or water. We can survive without gas. We cannot live without water.

Karoo Anti-Fracking Speech to Shell in Cape Town, 25 March 2011

Everywhere water is under threat. It is our most precious resource. And there is no alternative to it.

Address to Cape Town Press Club, 13 May 2011

There’s nothing more chilling than swimming across open sea, where recently there used to be a solid glacier.

Address to the House of Lords (19 November 2010)

If we pass on an unsustainable environment to our children we have failed them.

Address to the House of Lords (19 November 2010)

You must not dither – swim like you’re running through a minefield.

Outside Magazine, 13 April 2009