Lora Hogan > Recipe  > Just Keep Swimming

Just Keep Swimming

“When life gets you down, what do you do?

Finding Nemo

When I was a four year old I loved to swim. I was good at swimming. I was a super speedy four year old butterfly machine on the swim team. (It probably helped that I was the only one who knew how to actually do the stroke!)

In one of my first competitive swim meets, little for year old me jumped ferociously off the block for the 25 freestyle. I was ready to win! Once I was in the water, I kicked kicked kicked and was off with record speed.

As I took a breath I looked to my right–could it be? I was winning! Time to go faster. Kick kick kick with the legs. Pull pull pull with the arms.

I heard a weird noise. Followed by some whistles. They seemed loud and strange, but distant under the water and my swim cap. I was in the zone. The four year old zone. I was gonna win!

Then a rope came down in front of me. That was even weirder. Coach hadn’t talked to me about ropes in the water. So I just swam over it and kept swimming. I wanted to win!

Another rope came down.

I swam over it again.


Coach jumped in the water and crossed to my lane.  She put her arms around me to stop me from swimming. Then she lifted me out of the water.

I started sobbing.

Someone (not me) had had a false start. But my team hadn’t yet learned about false starts, disqualifications, so forth.  So I had just kept swimming–intent on victory.

Coach told me I had to stop and began to swim me to the side of the pool. She lifted me out of the water, tears streaming down my face. (Come on, I was only FOUR. It was pretty traumatic to get pulled out of the water!)

Coach said that we would have to redo the race. I cried some more, confused.  She told me that I didn’t have to go back in. That I wouldn’t have to swim again if I didn’t want to.  I shook my head. I cried some more.  I put my goggles back on.

“No,” I said, between the loud hiccups that come when you’ve cried too much. “I’ll do it again.” I cried a little more behind my goggles and lifted them up to wipe the tears off my face.

I turned back around. I went back to the starting block. I took my position. And when the race began, I dove in and started over.

I didn’t win the second time–the tears and previous exertion had removed the wind from my sails.

But victory wasn’t important.  What mattered was that I got back in the water.  I raced again.  When given the opportunity, I didn’t give up.  Even four year old Lora understood–you have to “just keep swimming.”

And so, when faced with a challenge. A set-back. A disappointment. A momentary hiccup in life. Whatever it may be. You’ve got to keep going. “Just keep swimming.” And if you can do it with a smile on your face, all the better!

I also find that having an amazing breakfast helps. Here’s my recommendation to get you on the right track for a fantastic day: a strawberry peanut butter smoothie!

Strawberry Peanut Butter Smoothie
Makes one large smoothie


  • 1 medium to large banana 
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt (I used White Mountain Bulgarian Yogurt)
  • 2-3 tablespoons organic, natural peanut butter (creamy)
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds

Combine all ingredients in blender.  Serve topped with a dash of your favorite granola–preferably one that is naturally gluten-free. Savor slowly and get prepared for an awesome day!


  • erin

    March 21, 2013 at 8:44 am

    Oh! That can be hard for a four year old. My son is 5 and I just started him in soccer, along with my 6 year old. During practice, he was GREAT. They kick the ball back and forth and do footwork and drills. During the game he FREAKED OUT that the other team wouldnt share the ball with him. They had to take him out for that quarter, but when they brought him back in he understood and did great. We can learn a lot from kiddos!

  • Liza

    March 21, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Your strawberry peanut butter smoothie looks amazing! Thank you for posting the recipe! I can’t wait to try it!

  • runningbetty

    March 21, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    Do you soak your chia seeds first?

    • Lora (Daily Southern Sunshine)

      March 21, 2013 at 9:24 pm

      No I didn’t. Do you normally? They blended smaller so it wasn’t an issue of crunchy crunchy in your teeth. Sometimes those chia seeds get stuck in your teeth but seemed okay in this instance.

  • Amber

    March 21, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    The smoothie looks yummy! I will have to try it soon! 🙂

  • Nichole

    March 21, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    Oh man, totally re-pinning that smoothie!! YUM

  • Jenna {Real Simple Girl}

    March 21, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    Aww, I really loved your cute 4-yr-old swimming story! Funny how things like that stick with us and teach us things as we get older! 🙂 Definitely a good lesson to remember.
    And that smoothie looks so yummy!

  • yogainbloom

    March 23, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    What a great memory to carry with you – the part where you tried again. A wonderful reminder to find that kernel of strength that has always been a part of us.