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ImmersionMarathon Swimming, Embodiment and Identity$
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Karen Throsby

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780719099625

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719099625.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 28 June 2022

Unexpected pleasures

Unexpected pleasures

(p.45) 2 Unexpected pleasures

Karen Throsby

Manchester University Press

This chapter argues that while marathon swimming is commonly understood through the lens of suffering, swimmers are also drawn to it by its potential for intoxicating pleasures. The chapter explores the different kinds of pleasure experienced by marathon swimmers. This challenges conventional sporting narratives of mind over matter, opening the way instead for a more nuanced account that emphasises the process of becoming not only as transforming what the body can do, but also how it feels. The chapter argues that the autotelic pleasures of swimming constitute a form of ‘existential capital’ among swimmers, which can only be known by those within that social world.

Keywords:   Pleasure, Suffering, Sensation, Belonging, Existential capital

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