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Autumn 2008

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Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

Swimmer 18.wmf

Florence Chadwick was an ace swimmer. She set a world record in 1950 when she swam across the English Channel from France in 13 hours and 20 minutes. The following year, she swam from England to France and made history as the first woman to swim the channel from both shores.


In 1952, Chadwick learned a powerful lesson when she decided to swim the 26 miles between Catalina Island and Palos Verdes, CA. The water was frigid that day and sharks trailed her, but these factors did not diminish Chadwick’s resolve; something else did.


After 15 hours of swimming in rough waters, there was no sign of the coastline. There was no sign of anything because fog had shrouded the area. With her goal out of sight, Chadwick lost the desire to continue and climbed aboard an escort boat not realizing that she was less than half a mile from shore.


When asked why she decided to stop, she explained, “It was the fog. If I could have seen land, I could have finished. But when you can’t see your goal, you lose all sense of progress and you begin to give up.”

Her failure was only temporary, though, and a few months later, she made another attempt to swim the same waters. On that day, the sun was shining and with her goal clearly in sight, Chadwick set another new swimming record.


Why Skeletons Must Be Hidden In the Closet

Hundreds of years ago when English physicians wanted to learn about the human body, it was difficult because there were numerous regulations to follow. Doctors were typically allowed to dissect only one body over the course of their education and once the dissection had been accomplished, the physicians were reluctant to relinquish their prized skeletons. It wasn’t socially acceptable to keep the skeletons, according to Webb Garrison in Why You Say It (Grant Press). Consequently, doctors often hid them in a dark corner of a closet where they wouldn’t be discovered easily. Eventually the phrase came to mean hidden evidence of any kind. 



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