Extraordinary Women

Fish Tale

I caught a fish THIS BIG…No really I did!

On a trip to Alaska, my husband, Sean, and I visited a quaint little town called Homer, on the Kenai Peninsula. We spent time walking on the beach and watching the bald eagles; then, we decided to book a halibut fishing charter.

We were told to let the hook down until it hit the bottom, and then reel it in just a bit…you see, halibut are bottom feeders. So, that’s what I did and within 20 minutes, I had a fish on my line; 60 minutes later, I had the halibut in the boat. While reeling it in several people on the boat offered to help me. I declined. Because the way I was raised, if you don’t reel in your own fish, then you don’t get to say you caught it.

It turns out I caught the biggest fish on the boat that day, and I happened to be the only girl on the boat, except for the deckhand. It was 67 pounds, which is actually small for a halibut. It was great fun fishing and reeling it in; and, it’s always good when the girl beats the boys!
-Maryann

 

 

Iron Woman

Do not despise the day of small beginnings; when I started endurance sports a few years ago, I could barely swim, had only run a max of 4 miles at one time, and didn’t own a road bike. I still remember my first time swimming 400m, I thought I was going to die.  But I’ve learned that it is a process to accomplish this goal and that through each level of triathlons, I’m getting stronger and closer to attaining my goal.

I was blessed to have found a triathlon group that trains newbie triathletes. I started with sprint distance triathlons which were: half mile swim, 12 mile bike, and 5K run. I learned during these races that although there is pain, stopping is not an option. Then, I moved up to Olympic distance triathlons: 1 mile swim, 24 mile bike and a 10K run. This boost in distance required a more intense regimen of training, nutrition, and mental toughness. I even had to overcome my fear of swimming in open water, because I had almost drowned a few times as a child. I learned to rely upon my relationship with the Lord, and He literally coached me through my swims.

Last year I decided to sign up for my first Half Ironman, 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and a 13.2 mile run. The workouts were a lot longer, I needed to get stronger on all levels, and my focus and patience had to increase dramatically. The day of the race was cold and rainy and because of the weather the officials cut the bike race to 15 miles. This was disappointing, but nevertheless, it was an accomplishment and a great race.

What may seem physically impossible to you now, may become one of your greatest accomplishments with God’s help. Train hard, stay focused, remain patient, and when you do…you can accomplish any goal!                                                                                                           -Laura

 

Balling with Class

At the end of my collegiate basketball career at the University of Colorado, a scout from the Harlem Globetrotters offered me the opportunity to participate in a try-out with this elite exhibition basketball team that combines athleticism, theater, and comedy. My competition at the try-out included all Division I men basketball players.

In 1989, I became only the seventh (out of nine) female to play for the Harlem Globetrotters. My theatrical name was “Bardo” – a lady and a ball player. I had the opportunity to play for the international team and I traveled to places like Greece, Italy, Spain, Luxemburg, Russia, Yugoslavia, Belgium, Australia, and the United States. I performed in arenas where legends such as: Larry Bird, “Doctor J”, and “Magic” Johnson played. I sat in their lockers in amazement. Highlights from my career with the Globetrotters, were throwing an alleyoop pass for a dunk to one of my teammates, and my personal “trick” shot which was a half-court granny shot. When I wasn’t on the court, I went into middle and high schools across the United States speaking to the youth.

I was blessed to see and bring smiles to kids’ faces all around the world.  I’m grateful to God for this unique, professional opportunity and for allowing me to witness and demonstrate the fruit of the spirit to my teammates.
-Bridget

 

 

 

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