No secret formula is responsible for my swimming success. I have just learned to apply the same thing that has worked for centuries - having my priorities as God, family and then vocation - in that order. That is what made America great and it still works in the lives of individuals.
There was a time, however, when I did not have my priorities in order. As a freshman at the University of Texas, I wanted to do it all-academically, athletically, socially, relationally and even spiritually. But I learned the hard way I could not do all those things.
After too much partying and too many late nights I came down with a severe yet undiagnosed illness. I ended up having to go home for two weeks and was literally feeling at the bottom of the barrel. Unable to move, I took time to reflect and realized I needed a change in my life.
God brought me to a place where I had to look up at him. He slowed me down, and I was able to listen to him. He gave me the faith and courage to respond to his truth-that Jesus Christ is who he says he is. The reality of who he is and his credibility was overwhelming to me. I knew that the right thing to do was to follow him.
Placing my faith in Jesus Christ meant that I wanted to obey God's principles laid out in the Bible. Over the years I have grown in my relationship with God and learned more about God's character and what it means to be a Christian
As a professional swimmer there have been a couple times where the training and my racing career has been frustrating. Those have been learning times. Those times of trial are good. They have allowed me to get back the proper perspective that my self-worth is not based on my performance. Those are the times God really teaches me how to prepare for my sport.
I am motivated to be a good steward of the talents God's given me. The definition of a steward is someone who's been given something on loan to take care of. In my life, I've been given a gift to swim fast, and I think God expects me to use that talent to the best of my ability to reach my potential. On top of that, he has given me the gift of eternal life. That and what Christ did on the cross supply me not only with the proper motivation but also with an everlasting motivation.
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