I have an outrageous dream boiling in my heart. For years, every time I see a row boat on the Willamette River I want to cry. Last spring (2009) I noticed a picture in our office that has a row boat on it that says "Teamwork". Every time I walk by that picture I feel a stirring in my heart. It looks so peaceful, frantic and fun. I began to wonder if I should look in to this sport and maybe give rowing a try.
To get started I thought it would be a good idea to share my dream with someone. I ran it by my husband and he said to go for it! I started putting rowing pictures up in my office, on my computer desk top at work and at home. (I have a picture from the Station L website, on my home computer, of 4 women in a boat (in blue uniforms) - Ladies you have no idea how inspirational you are to me. You're smiling faces have brought me through some very dark times - thanks and many Blessings to you!!) While having lunch with my prayer partner, I shared my dream with her. I was beside myself with excitement. Before our lunch was over, she asked if she could pray for me and my new dream. While she was praying for me, I felt the Lord tell me that this was a "turning point day" for me. Just as soon as I heard this, my prayer partner says, "Lord, please let this be a turning point day". I about fell off of my chair. I left my friend that day feeling so excited and hopeful that I might be able to make this dream happen.
That night I was really tired, but decided that "rowers" push through all obstacles and I went to my water aerobics class. After the class my face felt funny and I thought I had a stroke. (Some turning point huh?) Immediately I was rushed to the hospital for the first of many months of tests & doctors. I have to tell you that this dream of rowing saved my life! During that time I was not able to drive or work for a few weeks, I spent many hours thinking of being on the water rowing. I could see myself in the boat with my row team, I could feel what it's like to take the oars in my hands and to push my body hard to reach the goal. Every test I endured, I thought of rowing. When I was in the MRI machine, with the loud noise it makes, I would time the noise was my rowing strokes. Sometimes the machine went fast and I rowed fast in my mind, sometimes it was slow. It all helped me make it through.
After 5 months of doctors and tests I was starting to get my life back. I eventually was diagnosed with Hemi Facial Spasms, which is a lot better than a stroke!! I started feeling better and getting my energy back. My mind went back to getting in shape to row.
The next thing I had to over come was fear. Would I even be able to fit in a boat (I was 274 pounds), what do I wear, will there be people my age, what if I have a facial spasm, what if, what if, what if.... My first goal was to make a call to the boat house and get my questions answered. Do you know that I fretted for about 2 weeks to get this done. Geez!! Finally I made the call and got my questions answered. By the time I got around to calling, it was fall and things were winding down at the boat house. They did not have any classes on the water, but they did offer land rowing classes that I could take to get ready for the next season. So each week, I told myself that I would get down there to row, but nothing happened. Time went on, then it was Thanksgiving, a new grand baby was born, then it was #1 grand baby's birthday, then it was Christmas and then it was January 2010....So about 3 weeks ago I decided enough was enough and I was going to the boathouse on a Wednesday. Unfortunately the Sunday before it was time to go I hurt my knee (from exercise over use) and could not go. Frustrating!!!
This time I was not going to let an injury get in my way. I did everything the doctor said to do and when I shared with my physical therapist my plans to row he advised that because of the damage to my knee, I would never be able row. Talk about crushing news. Even before I was able to try to row, I was told I could not do it. When he left the room, I started to cry and I asked the Lord why he would allow this to happen and I heard him say, "Nothing is impossible with me". From that moment on I was determined to keep going forward and try!!
So things were looking up and my knee was getting better. I knew that I could not row just yet, but I read on the team website that they were having a work day at the boathouse the next Saturday. I was so excited, I thought I would at least get there, meet some people and help where I can. The Tuesday before the work day I got the Chest Wall Contusion (from exercise over use) so I could not go. What in the world?
So I've been given a dream that seems monumental, unreachable and unachievable. But I am not discouraged! Each day I do a little bit more, push a little bit harder, want it a lot more and I'm doing all I can to get there. I don't think I was given this desire and passion for no reason. I believe, with the Lord's help, I can achieve this dream and so much more!
What about you? What dream have you been given? What are you doing to achieve your dream?