Do You Know How to Swim?

In 1952, Florence Chadwick set out to swim the shore of mainland California. She dove into the waters of the Pacific Ocean off Catalina Island, determined to add to her accomplishment of being the first woman to swim the English Channel both ways.


The weather was foggy and chilly, and although she could hardly see the boats accompanying her, she swam for fifteen hours. Exhausted and bereft of stamina, she asked to be taken out of the water. Her mother, who was in one of the boats alongside Florence, encouraged her to continue, telling her that she was close and could definitely make it. But Florence stopped swimming, and was eventually pulled out of the water. While on the boat, she realized that the shore was less than a mile away.

When questioned about her experience at a news conference the following day, Florence said, “All I could see was the fog!” She said she would have finished her mission had she been able to see the shore.

Sometimes we stop swimming because we can’t see the shore. We give up because of uncertainties, setbacks, and disappointments, not realizing that these negative occurrences are temporary. If you keep swimming, you will eventually reach the shore.

Surround yourself with people like Florence’s mother. When they encourage you and let you know you are close to the shore, keep swimming!

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