They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but sometimes you just need to tell a good story!

Achieving the Impossible tells how I went from pioneer swimmer to environmental campaigner, through my life-defining North Pole Swim. 21 Yaks and a Speedo is a collection of stories about all my most impactful expeditions, and the life lessons I learned from them.

Lewis is an inspiration! This book will make you want to stand a little taller.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Laureate

Lewis is a gripping storyteller. He has gone places few would dare to go, and for good reasons. The dreams, the hardships, the hard work and the sheer heart behind his expeditions will inspire you to rethink your own ‘impossible’. I can’t wait to see what he does next …

Jack Canfield, Co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and The Success Principles

Reflections of a deep-thinking action man. Compelling.

Financial Times

Lewis travels to the ends of the Earth and explores the frontier of the soul.

National Geographic

An extraordinary journey! I could not put it down.

Lucas Radebe, Former Captain, SA National Football Team

21 Yaks and a Speedo

A collection of beautifully told short stories about how to achieve your own impossible.

Lewis Pugh has pioneered more swims around famous landmarks than any other person in history.  He swam across the icy waters of the North Pole to highlight the melting of the Arctic sea ice, and across a glacial lake on Mt Everest to draw attention to the impact of climate change on the Himalayan glaciers.

It was there that he met his first Yak.

Trekking behind them up the icy slopes, watching them cross dizzying ravines, and listening to them breathe outside his tent each night, Lewis got thinking about the things he most admires in a yak. He found that those qualities were not unlike the ones that enabled him to meet his own challenges – and achieve things that people believed to be impossible.

The ’21 Yaks’ collected here are the key lessons Lewis took home from his expeditions. These were not just feats of physical stamina and endurance, but about overcoming the psychological obstacles to success. Which is why his strategies are as applicable to business and personal development as they are to extreme sports.

In 21 Yaks and a Speedo Lewis shares his ability to dream big dreams, build crack teams, and get the job done.  You’ll be inspired by his devotion to excellence, his loyalty to his crew, and his belief in never giving up. The principles are simple, but effective. Stick by them, he says, and they’ll see you through.

Achieving The Impossible

Lewis’s best-selling autobiography.

At a little after midnight on July 15, 2007, Lewis stood on the edge of the sea ice at the North Pole. It was the fifteenth anniversary of his father’s death and he was wearing just a Speedo swimsuit, the old-fashioned one that barely covers all that needs to be covered. Air temperature at the North Pole that night was below zero, the water into which he was about to plunge was minus 1.7ºC (29ºF) although this was no in-and-out dip into the world’s coldest water. Lewis was about to swim one kilometre across the North Pole and the thought did cross his mind that he might die.

This is a remarkable story and, ironically, extraordinary testimony to one man’s belief in life. Yes Lewis wants to help protect the most wonderful places on the planet, yes he wants us to reverse the damage we have done to our environment and yes he has given up everything to dedicate his life to this purpose. And it is not like he feels he is wasting his time.

Lewis spent the first ten years of his life in England, the next 17 in South Africa, and since then has lived in both countries, not forgetting great times spent in Norway. He is a maritime lawyer by training and a pursuer of dreams by inclination. There wasn’t an ocean or a sea that he didn’t want to swim, nor a mountain he didn’t want to climb and it was no surprise when he quit his well-paid lawyer’s job in the City of London for a life more interesting.

He spent five years in the British SAS, devoted his free time to preparing for and swimming in the world’s most hostile places; the North Cape, the Antarctic, the North Pole and developed an understanding of the beauty, the preciousness and fragility of life and its many eco-systems. Driven by nothing more than deep belief, he has achieved things most would regard as impossible. He doesn’t tell us what we must do but shows what can be done.

Lewis’s book is a fabulous read. I couldn’t put it down. It is about one inspired and courageous man who followed his dreams, overcame huge obstacles along the way and has accomplished more than most people could in two lifetimes. I can’t recommend his book highly enough.

Jack Canfield, Co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and The Success Principles


Southern Ocean




In Action