Leanne LaFave Flies To Wrightsville Beach For ZOE

Leanne LaFave Flies To Wrightsville Beach For ZOE

Leanne A LaFave, a physical education teacher at Holly Tree Elementary School is an open water swimmer who completed an unprecedented 10-mile swim from Carolina Beach to Wrightsville Beach in North Carolina, U.S.A. in 5 hours 9 minutes.

As can be expected, the water was choppier than her practice swims in the area leading up to the event. But the wind was howling in the direction of her swim. “I felt as though the chop was throwing me forward, like the waves were clapping for me the whole way.”

Leanne definitely found her niche. “Swimming gives me such a joyful feeling – exhilaration and exuberance. I feel as though the water is happy to see me when I swim.

I’ve tried all sports being a physical education teacher and found nothing as wonderful as swimming. Even though I was swimming with the wind, I wasn’t always swimming with the current. I had to start out the first mile and a half against the current, and finish the last two miles against the current as well. It didn’t matter to me. What mattered was the cause I was swimming for – the AIDS orphans in Africa that I had ministered to a few years ago were still fresh in my mind, giving me the propulsion I needed in those last couple miles to reach the end. My whole family from New York came down just for this swim. Their support, along with my husband and two teenage boys kept my spirits up, my head down, and my smile between breaths
.”

Her swim was a fundraiser for ZOE Ministry, an organization dedicated to empowering orphans in Africa. But Leanne has the charisma and linguistic talents to make her swim sound so romantic, so charming, so adventurous. “The Coast Guard’s support, the other swimmers from our local masters swim team who tagged along for a few miles beside me, lots of friends in their boats, kayaks and paddle boards, and my swim director who mapped out the course were welcome souls at each half hour stop for liquid nutrition.” She stopped for two minutes every half hour to rehydrate as the water temperature was 85°F (29°C).

Her support continued to build through to the finish. “When I swam up to the Dockside Restaurant, I could not believe the noise of the crowd. It was truly an incredible experience to see the joy in everyone’s faces. It was quite a spiritual experience for me. In this economy, we ended up raising over US$25,000 – and I’m still depositing $20 bills to this day. That’s how great this event was around here.”

Copyright © 2011 by Open Water Source