Florence May Chadwick was an American swimmer who was the first woman ever to cross the English Channel both ways in 1950. On the 4th of July 1952, Florence, then 34, had set her goal at being the first woman to swim the 26 -mile distance between Catalina Island and Southern California coastline, just two years before her victory in Europe. Florence swam hour after hour. However, after about 15 hours, a thick, heavy fog set in. Florence began to doubt her ability. She told her mother and her trainer, who were in one of the boats following her, that she didn’t think she could make it. But they encouraged her to persevere. You are close to the shore!
Florence returned to the water to continue her task once more. This time was different. She swam from Catalina Island to the shore of California in a straight path for ten miles. Florence made it because she said that while she swam, she kept a mental image of the shoreline in her mind. Florence Chadwick became the first woman to swim the Catalina Channel, eclipsing the men’s record by two seconds!
She did not lose sight of the shore because amid the thick fog, she became focused on her goal. She pictured in her mind that the coast was just directly behind the fog.
We may be able to connect to the experience of Florence in our day-to-day life. At times, we live in a fog of uncertainty because of various concerns and problems we face, be they relational, financial, health, or others. At times, we may feel hopeless. We may be tempted to focus on the fog because we can’t see the shore in front of us. We may want to give up because we don’t have the strength to stay above the surface.
Let us look and remember those times when we won over adversities. Amid the challenges in our lives that seem like a thick fog, we can see behind it, our shore. The good Lord always brings new hope in our life. Let us remain patient and strong. Let us not think of giving up.