My husband and I volunteered to serve at a week long children's camp this past summer. He was in charge of worship, I was in charge of crafts. Until a couple days before camp, I thought I was going to also serve as a counselor, and I was not super thrilled about that. Me, in a cabin in July with 10 girls ranging in age from 3rd-5th grades just didn't sound like the best situation for anyone involved. I was the most grateful person at that camp when I found out that enough counselors had been found!
Even as camp craft lady, I had to take the swimming test if I wanted to swim in the deep end. While I've never taken any formal lessons, I can hold my own in the water. Bill had warned me that the test involved swimming across the swimming area, and then a swim out to the pontoon that served as the lifeguard stand for the deep end, where I would be expected to tread water for 3 minutes. WHAT?!?!?!
The swimming was easy, both parts. Then came the treading. I am the first to admit that I am out. of. shape. No two ways about that. I was not confident at all that my arms and legs were going to be able to keep pumping for that amount of time. I don't even think that I have even attempted to tread water for that long. I know the mechanics of it: move your legs like you're riding a bike, and periodically use your arms to lift you up. Oh, and breathe. About the time I thought I was going to call it quits, the lifeguard told me that my 3 minutes were up. My legs were burning, my heart rate higher than I'm sure my doctor would have wanted it, and I was sucking air like I had run a marathon, but I passed the swim test!
My reward? The green bracelet hanging in my cubicle, and the ability to swim in the deep end all week long. Now I use the bracelet as a visual reminder during my busy day that I can get my work done, and I can do it well. That's well worth the effort I put in.