The Story Of Florence Chadwick


Florence May Chadwick was an American swimmer who was the first woman ever to cross the English Channel twice both ways.

On the fourth of July 1952, Florence aged thirty four years, had set her goal at being the first woman to swim the twenty six miles between Catalina Island and the California coastline. As she began this historical journey and had spent about fifteen hours swimming, a thick, heavy fog set in. Florence began to doubt her ability, and she told her mother, who was in one of the boats, that she did not think she could make it. Her mother and her trainer continued to encouragement her to continue, but all she could see was the fog. They urged her not to quit. But she did. She never had to quit until then.

Two months later, Florence got back in the water to try her task once more. This time was different. She swam from Catalina Island to the shore of California in a straight path for twenty six miles. The same thick fog set in, but 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 hours!

She didn’t lose sight of the shore because she focused on that image of the coast in her mind, and in this way, she reached her goal.

Helen Keller wrote: “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.”

You should never give up on your goals.

How many blessings first appear as troubles? How many opportunities come in the form of problems? If you give up when trouble first arrives, you will miss out on the good fortune that is in disguise.

Never give up. Nothing can bring you down unless you let it. Refuse to cooperate with your problems. Somewhere, there is a way to turn anything to your advantage. Know it is there, find it, and do it.

No matter what happens in the outside world, your mind and spirit are always free for you to use as you wish. They are yours. Use them to your benefit. Use them to move past the challenges. Use them to turn negative situations into positive energy.

You are incredibly effective. You can get the results you desire, no matter what obstacles come your way. Giving up is not an option. You have every reason to keep going. See it through to the end, and you will like the way it turns out. Florence Chadwick did just that and she became a world record holder and an instant heroine.

In 1952, young Florence Chadwick stepped into the waters of the Pacific Ocean off Catalina Island, determined to swim to the shore of mainland California. She had already in the past been the first woman to swim the English Channel both ways. The weather was foggy and chilly; she could hardly see the boats accompanying her. Still, she swam for fifteen hours. When she begged to be taken out of the water along the way, her mother, in a boat alongside, told her she was close and that she could make it. Finally, physically and emotionally exhausted, she stopped swimming and was pulled out. It was not until she was on the boat that she discovered the shore was less than half a mile away.

At a news conference the next day she said, “All I could see was the fog.…I think if I could have seen the shore, I would have made it.”

Can you relate to those words? We live our lives in a fog of trouble, worry, doubt, depression, health problems, unemployment, financial uncertainty, strained relationships…and loss of loved ones like the Dana plane crash that claimed the lives of many souls.

We have times of joy and celebration. But let us face it—we live in a world of struggle, suffering, and death…the devastation of the bombing by the Boko Haram, the kidnapping and killing of innocent people and armed robbery operations all over the place have been a terrible reminder. But many of us have been facing personal and emotional boko harams, kidnapping and armed robberies for a long time. All these things create a fog which is difficult to see in front of us. We end up focusing on the fog because we cannot see the shore. Sometimes we feel like giving up because we do not have the strength to stay afloat any longer. This is where the people of God throughout the ages had a source of strength and perspective that for some reason we do not talk much about today, and that is Heaven. It was their north star by which they could navigate their lives. It was their great reference point. But Heaven has fallen off our radar screens today. We do not know where we are and we do not know where we are going. But my honest advice is to forget what is behind and straining toward what is ahead and press on toward your goal in life.

Consider Florence Chadwick’s words: “I think if I could have seen the shore, I would have made it.”

You too can make if you don’t give up.



Filed under Food For Thought

2 responses to “The Story Of Florence Chadwick

  1. Emilia Odiete

    Wow it inspiring and motivating ,food for thought .thanks so much.

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