by Vladimir Lugo
I was dying. I was desperately gasping for air and struggling to remain above water. Sweating cold and thinking to myself, “why am I doing this,” I stopped; then rested for a couple of seconds. I looked back to see how far I had gone. “What? Half a pool?” I said in a loud voice. I was there all by myself treading water when I mumbled: “What’s the struggle? I can stand on my feet.”
Things get easier when you can stand on your feet. When you can depend on your own strength; on your own resources, you feel proud. But standing on your own feet doesn’t get you that far, does it? To go far you need to learn how to swim. And to do that, you need to learn how to trust others; how to depend on the guidance of experts and rely on other people’s helping hands.
I admit it: I didn’t know how to swim. A friend guided me to join the LMU Masters Swim program, coached by Bonnie Adair. I met Bonnie after a very disappointing experience I had during my first triathlon (you can read about it here). Bonnie told me: “forget everything you know about how to swim and follow my advice.” So, I did. And I learned. Thank you, Bonnie!
A couple of weeks ago, my good friend Marc Nolan stopped me to ask why he hadn’t seen me in the water lately. I explained that I had not been able to swim with them as often as I would like because I was providing support to my ill wife. I mentioned our plans to temporarily relocate to Colombia so that she could get her treatment.
I am not sure if I’ve seen you at Bonnie’s noon LMU swims, but I hope this contribution helps get you across the finish line. – Kent Yu from LMU Masters
Mark asked for my wife’s fundraising information and if he could share it forward. And so he did. Then also Bonnie shared it forward. The response has been very moving. The LMU Masters Swim program has been able to raise almost 12K in just a few days. They are teaching me that the waters may be troubled, but there is always a group of people willing to share in your struggles and keep you going.
Good luck Vlad. Keep on swimming! – David Paris from LMU Masters
I ask you to do the same. Share our story. Be part of it. Together, we can get learn the value of relationships, the power of community, the perseverance of friendship. Together we can swim far. And swim we will!
Vlad, my prayers are with you and your family. Stay strong! – Coach Jackie from LMU Masters