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Her mother and her trainer were in a boat at her side. Failure Fifteen hours and fifty minutes after she began her swim, the support team reluctantly agreed to pull Florence from the water. Then there is the struggle, the time when you hit the proverbial wall, when there is the urge to quit and only discipline and tenacity carry you through. The moment when the goal is within your sight and grasp, that last rush, that knowing that the end is near if you just press on a little bit more. We’ve each been called to a journey “And let us run with endurance the race that God has SET BEFORE US” (Hebrews 12:1) And what do you do when you’ve lost your direction, when the journey is confusing?Several hours later, after she warmed up, she realized she had given up only a few hundred meters from her goal! And ultimately, there is the joy, the satisfaction that comes when you have completed that which you set out to do. “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2) Training Training is essential to success.As we celebrate Independence Day, let us also remember our independence from a life of sin and to never lose sight of Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.Her goal was the California coastline a 34 km swim from Catalina Island.July 4th, 1952 Millions watched on national television, as 34 year old Florence Chadwick began her swim.The water was icy cold; the fog so thick she could hardly see the support boats alongside her.As the hours passed, she was repeatedly stung by jellyfish. Yet she pressed on, determined to achieve her goal.


Although she was a seasoned long-distance swimmer with incredible stamina, she trained arduously to prepare herself to achieve her goal.

If she had continued just a little while longer, the waves would have carried her to the beach. Training is not a single event, completed and done.

“If I could have just seen the land for myself, I would have made it! She told reporters it was not the sharks, the fatigue, or even the cold water that defeated her. It had obscured her goal and blinded her reason, her eyes and her heart. 1952 was the only time Florence Chadwick ever quit. The water was still ice cold and still inhabited with sharks. But this time she pressed on, BELIEVING that somewhere beyond that fog, her goal would be reached. Training is not something done once-in-a-while, when time allows.

Not only was she the first woman to swim the Catalina Channel, but she beat the men’s record by two hours! In the beginning there is anticipation, excitement, eagerness to get started. And training certainly isn’t something that is only done when you feel like it. And depending on that goal, your training will be different.


This coming 4th of July, we want to remember Florence Chadwick and celebrate her determination some 60 years before.It wasn’t the day of her greatest triumph, it wasn’t her most glorious moment. It was also the time she decided never to give up ever again.


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