I'm sure the first words out of the Dr.'s mouth when I was born weren't "It's a swimmer!", nevertheless that was life's ultimate plan for the years ahead. All growing up we spent summers in our grandma's pool and for a lot of us Gram would be our first coach. With my brother and sister along with cousins we would learn basic technique and the water became our second home. 'Reunions' were weekly if not daily. Swimming was my first love but sometimes life forces us to give up the things we love. At the age of 3 I was diagnosed with Chronic Renal Failure, more specifically Prune Belly; A kidney disease effecting 1 in 40,000. Attacking the immune system, reducing energy, and holding kidney function at 12-14% getting out of bed in the morning is nothing short of a miracle and everyday truely a blessing. When I was a Jr. in high school my swimming times began to slip and at first I didn't pay it much attention but I soon realized I was headed down a difficult road, a road that only went in one direction. Physically I didn't feel any different and for the next several weeks I wrestled with myself as I practiced. "Should I stay? Is it worth it anymore? What about the team?" Failure was knocking at my door and threatening what I loved. Without my hand on the knob the door opened and passion died. There was a moment standing waist deep in the water inbetween sets, everything slowed down and reality settled in my heart and sank to the bottom of the pool. Failure was not a choice but something I had to accept...or so I thought. For years after quiting the team I was bitter and angry, I didn't want to swim or even hear about swimming. I dont think my family understood where I was and quite frankly neither did I. Part of me died when I left and for those who have had a broken heart for whatever reason understand what I mean. Somewhere along the way my brother started to dabble in triathlons and other athletic events, soon my sister joined and before I knew it I had been sucked in as well. Emersed in a new journey, high school was in the past and another chapter in life was starting. Bitterness melted away and anger faded. "If you love something, set it free..." I don't recall who originally said this but for me this came true. I had a renewed love and a refined understanding and acceptance of the past. I moved on and gained a burning desire to rise above circumstance. Before I layed down and didn't fight, life will always find ways to knock us down but we only lose when we give up or give in. I'll push through the pain, I'll kick a little longer, I'll reach a little farther...I'll swim towards redemption

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Great Salt Lake Open Water Swim Marathon


   Josh and Gordon put on an awesome race this afternoon that was a huge success.  I had the opportunity to volunteer as kayak support/photo taker and had a great time.

   There were several out of state swimmers that came just to participate which I thought was pretty cool.  I consider my a swimmer although I may not be the strongest so my favorite part was just the chance to spend yesterday and today chatting and hanging out with all these amazing swimmers.

   Everyone that checked in and started finished both distances.  There were 11 for the 8 mile swim and 25 for the mile.  The only bad thing of the day on my part was spacing putting sunscreen on my ears so they are like crispy bacon...although not nearly as tasty I'm sure.

   Again my hats off to all of the awesome swimmers accepting the challenge and being so strong.  Also to all the help by the harbor master and volunteers and other sponsors that played big rolls in helping Josh and Gordon getting this swim back up and hopefully going for years to come.   Lets make some new legends!  Good job everybody!

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