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Aurora

Learning to face, overcome challenges



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July 16, 2013 | 02:48 PM
On July 4, I crossed the finish line of my first 5K race in two years.

It was an exhilarating rush. All adrenaline, all smiles, all sweat.

On July 9, I celebrated a one-year anniversary with the Regional News.

Passing this milestone with the Regional News was an exhilarating rush, too.

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I've always been a sucker for milestones, for keeping time, for celebrating segments of life.

I love birthdays, anniversaries, saint days and holidays.

It's the same idea that made me sign up for a 5K after not racing for so long. Passing the finish line is another reason to celebrate.

The celebrating is part of the preparation for the next race, a four-mile run coming up in a month.

I celebrate because I know the next four weeks will be tough, adding an extra mile to my training while speeding up my pace.

Last Thursday's run was about the challenge.

This past year was a challenge, too, the kind of challenge that makes a person stronger, that turns a person into who she's really supposed to be.

This reporter won't be sliding through life avoiding challenges.

No, this past year at the Regional News has taught me a person can't survive without testing the waters.

As the anniversary approached, I decided to find other challenges to overcome and celebrate.

I took a boat tour of the lake.

This is only daring for someone who can't swim, myself included.

While I was on the boat, looking at houses and kids on inner tubes, I thought about not being able to swim.

I don't even know why I can't swim, why I'm afraid to go in the water.

So, after working up some courage, I bought a swimsuit.

This was daring in itself.

Then, I went to the lake, Geneva Lake, the lake that draws you in like a magnet.

I jumped right in before I could lose all this anniversary courage.

I'm reporting now that I did not die, but the part of me that attested I "couldn't swim" did.

I tried some of the moves I remembered from watching Olympic swimming on TV.

They didn't work for me.

While I can't swim in the traditional sense of the word, I do not drown immediately upon entering the water.

I just flail around.

It was way too early on a Saturday morning for anyone else to be on that stretch of shoreline. No one was there to judge me but myself.

While I did not fall in love with swimming, I did fall in love with being in, on and near the water. It's so good, yet so simple.

Being in the lake is a celebration itself.

In July 2012, I wrote that I was content with my life after starting at the Regional News.

That is still true, but after a year with this paper, I need to make sure contentment doesn't become complacency.

I may not be seen on a Jet Ski anytime soon, but I do plan to try new, daring things as often as I can.

Bolack is a reporter for the Regional News.

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