Wednesday, May 30, 2012
It was last September when my friend and fitness inspiration said to me, "I want something for my 50th birthday" as she smiled with eager expectation... "I want you to swim 50 - 100's with me!! Now her birthday wasn't until May of 2012 which gave me many months to prepare. I slowly started preparing. I'd been "out of it" since a dear friend had passed away, I hadn't swam since some time in July. Over the months I began working on the goal. It was slow going, I was busy with so much to do that it was hard to fit swimming in, especially in the cold fall and winter months. Now and then I was able to get to the pool. Finally last January I increased how often I swam, and when March rolled around I knew even more that the time was drawing near, if I didn't get busy I wouldn't be able to complete the task! So I started working really hard... And honestly with VERY MUCH PRAYER. I often prayed on my way to the pool. "Lord, please help me to swim as much as it is Your will for me to swim..." and swimming was often a time of prayer for me. As I swam lap after slow lap, I'd pray for nearly everyone I could think of in our church and then some. In about April, I swam with my friend. This was a turning point... Now it became more realistic... In order for me to swim "with" her on her special 50th birthday swim, I was going to need to meet a 1:40 time for a 100, 50 times, starting each 100 on the two minute mark. That day I swam at 2:05 and it was so hard, me, a cup-half-full person - heard my mind saying "I can't do it" because the swim was so challenging. It called for more prayer and more dedication. My friend helped me and encouraged me. Now as my daughter and I set forth to work toward the goal together, we had eachother to encourage one another toward the goal. We swam and prayed and prayed and swam and swam some more. "I'd like to stop..." I would say, but my daughter would encourage me, "500 more..." And on we would swim. On one Friday afternoon my daughter was off to another event and couldn't be with me to swim. I prayed as usual and on that particular occasion I saw the kids swim team coach at the pool, they were almost done. When they finished I asked him, "May I please ask you a question? I'll help you clean up..." And before I could say the second part of that sentence, he openly offered that I could ask anything I wanted... And so I did. I told him my trouble with drag and slowness, what my goal was, and he presented me with a new swimming technique... IT's not "new" overall, just to me. It's called the "Straight Arm Recovery." That night I swam a 5,000 in 1 hour and 30 minutes (an improvement from 2 hours and 17 minutes about 1 month earlier.) WHAT A BLESSING AND ANSWERED PRAYER!!!
The day finally came when we celebrated my friend's 50th birthday. Several of us gathered together at the pool to swim 50 - 100's -- on the 1:40 and starting at 2:00 mark... WE HAD A GREAT AND WONDERFUL TIME!! God answered my prayers and we shared in this wonderful event together!!!
So what's the moral of the story? Well, first, God cares about us, and He comforts us and shows us that He cares about us even in things that seem like they don't matter, something so small as 'swimming.' There was so much fellowship and wonderful time spent with my daughter in working together toward this goal and in sharing the victory together in the goal!
Next, commit your plans to God, submit the plans to Him, ask Him for His will and let Him show you what His will is. There's so much comfort in knowing that it is His will at work.
Finally, working hard toward a goal and having sincere & loving people to work together toward the goal to encourage and inspire eachother is a great, great blessing indeed.
I hope that this somehow inspires and encourages you!