My Experience With The Bronze Medallion And Bronze Cross!

During the first full week of July, (as many of you know), I took two swim courses, called Bronze Medallion and Bronze Cross, both falling under the banner of the Red Cross. To dispel the suspense which I’m sure you all are experiencing, as to whether I passed or not …








I passed!! πŸ˜‚ But for more information, be sure to read til the end of the post!

Day 1

Arrival. We covered some pretty basic stuff, like the introduction of the handbook. XD My friends were praying for me, and I am so glad they did, because prayer is really what got me through the stress and uncertainty of not knowing whether I was capable of finishing. I certainly had a healthy dose of self-esteem, but I knew I couldn’t do it on my own.

One aspect of the first day which I didn’t expect was the Fitness challenge, which (for Medallion) consisted of 6 lengths of head-up front crawl. I’ve got three words for you all: Ow, my neck! After being thrown off that dramatically, and having a long break, I did my endurance swim in 16.5 minutes, the shortest period of time I’ve ever completed it in. But, I still needed to work on it, to get it done in 15 minutes.

As a homeschooler, I’m not used to the classroom relationships between teens. But in a room filled with ten teenagers, (including my brother), most of them being your average secular teen, (or your average secular Christian), it was a totally new, but still fun, experience.

I made a new friend (we’ll call her Tasha.) Thank Yah for Tasha, because it was so nice to be able to discuss the Bible and our faith, and even to pray together, because we both believed in the One True God. Throughout the week, we shared wisdom and experiences, and Tasha, if you’re reading, thank you so much for being a friend, not only in name, but in deed! πŸ€—

Today was so much fun; meeting new people, learning new material that I already half-knew, and realizing just how short life is. At the beginning of the week, I already knew how much I’d miss the fun people and the challenging activities we did.

Day 2

Today was a low point for me. I was frustrated with myself, discouraged because my time for the Endurance Swim still wasn’t where I wanted it – where I needed it – to pass. But I knew that if, after all the prayer, after all the effort, if I simply gave up and told God “If you don’t help me, I can’t do this”, then I didn’t really care that much about it. And I DID care about it – so I kept praying. “God, if you don’t help me, I can’t do this … BUT, I won’t stop trying, just in case You DO want me to pass this.” πŸ˜‰

Day 3

Today was the complete other end of the scale. I had a blast.

Reason #1 – No Endurance Swim. πŸ˜‚

Reason #2 – We got to do Rescue Evaluations, my favorite part! Adrenaline, skill, and lifesaving? Yes please!

We’d covered CPR and AED throughout the week, and today we performed in-water rescues. I might be an anomaly, but I actually L.O.V.E.D. doing ANY kind of rescue. Sure, I got nervous and doubted my skills, but it was honestly comparable to going to a summer camp.

Day 4

Today we worked on spinals with the pool manager, and did our endurance swim for the next level. I FINALLY NAILED IT! Congratulate me. *Kidding!* 🀣 Seriously, I was SO relieved and grateful to God! As I came up from the next lap I heavily breathed out “Thank You, God!” All the other non-Christians around, probably heard … πŸ˜‰

Then, of course, there was a TON of eggbeater. I can’t remember too much else about today, so I’ll skip to …

Day 5

We did rescues alllllll day! (Of course, I was ecstatic!) One of the rescues, the submerged rescue, we rehearsed at the beginning of the day, since everyone was new to it. Being on the bottom of the pool isn’t my favorite thing ever, but it went off smoothly and I was so glad. Of course, you know I passed!

I was confident for this course, but I felt unsure of whether I could make it. I haven’t succeeded so exponentially in something I was unsure of, for quite a long time, and this really boosted my personal confidence in hard work, mental toughness, and, of course, prayer.

Photo by Markus Spiske on

During the beginning of the week, before things got more hectic, I chose to spend about an hour in the morning reading the Bible, singing, and praying. I am so glad I was able to do that for at least two mornings during the week, as it fulfilled and prepared my heart, and strengthened me before the stress really ramped up. I am absolutely grateful for the strength I was given to complete this course and have so much fun while I was at it!

I loved the course, and, although how much fun you have depends on your personality and upon the pool you go to, I would definitely recommend other teens who love swimming or fitness, to take this course. My greatest recommendations to those who plan to do the Bronze Medallion or Cross, would be the following;

  • Book lane swims at least four times in the weeks leading up to the course. You’ll want to be sure you can complete the time swim qualifications for your area, so see if you can also speak to the lifeguards about their tips and recommendations. I found that the lifeguards at my pool are friendly and helpful – some of them my age are also pretty easy to talk to. Don’t be shy, most people love to be asked for advice!
  • Pray about it. The best thing you can do to conquer something difficult, is to ask the One who can do anything, to lend you His strength for a week. πŸ˜‰
Photo by Daria Shevtsova on
  • See if you can obtain a copy of your state or province handbook, and study up a bit before hand. I had planned on doing this course earlier this year, and so I have had my friend’s book in my possession for months, occasionally studying the book. This prepared me more than anyone else in the class, because I already knew the general ideas, the must-dos, the CPR, the carries, and other aspects presented in the course. If you study beforehand, you will not only be able to answer every stumping question, but you’ll feel more comfortable and familiar with the material in what is, for many, a whirlwind course.
  • Relax, make friends, and have fun! Whether you’re in a classroom or a pool all day, try to establish good relationships with your torture buddies! During lunch break, my brother and I were able to have some great conversations with the others in our group, getting to know them better, and also, making it less awkward to be spending entire days with them. I miss many of them already. πŸ˜‰πŸ˜†
  • Practical Tips: Drink a lot of water – Hydrate!! You’ll be in the water most of the time, so it can seem weird to think about needing to drink it, but you will likely be working hard and needing to replenish your water store. Also, bring enough light snacks – nuts, fruit, veggies – in addition to your lunch, to keep your energy up without getting lethargic.
  • Practical Tip: Bring at least two towels! I searched up “tips for taking Bronze” before taking my own Bronze, and was surprised to see this as a tip – but it made sense, especially as I observed what happened during my turn at the course! This doesn’t have to cause extra laundry – I just air dried my towel(s) overnight. After all, it’s just chlorine! XD

I hope these tips and my sharing my personal experiences have helped y’all in deciding whether you’d like to take the Bronze courses! Let me know in the comments what y’all have been up to lately – how’s it been? I’m glad I’ve been able to give you a bit of an update on my life, since I’ve been MIA for so long! XD Have an amazing day, everyone!


July Goals + Inspiration!

Well hello hello everyone! HOW is it already July?!

I’m excited to start this new month and even more excited that I’m actually getting my goals post out in time! YES!! What have y’all been doing in the last … few days? πŸ˜‚ I’m keeping cool during the heat wave in my area and doing some school to finish off the last day of June! Farewell, beautiful June! *gets sentimental* But hell-lo July! *spirit revives*

Is anyone else craving some rich spiritual meat right about now? Me too. I don’t consider myself a provider of wise words that satisfy, but perhaps my thoughts on this first day of July can be somehow beneficial to my readers and encourage them in some way! 🀍

Lately I’ve been thinking about my future a bit (as mentioned in this post). I found an amazing verse that helps me in the stage I’m in, as a teen girl with fewer responsibilities than a career-woman, wife, or mother. While I’m here in my current phase, with certain responsibilities as a daughter, I’m curious as to what I can do right now, for the future ahead. Within Ecclesiastes, (a book some believe to have been written by Solomon, the wisest man in the world,) is a little jewel that gives me a bit of relief.

“Nothing is better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that his soul should enjoy good in his labor. This also, I saw, was from the hand of God.”

Ecclesiastes 2:24, NKJV

Although this certainly relieves pressure, we do carry a certain responsibility during the teen years. Near the end of the book of Ecclesiastes, there lies an encouraging yet sobering message.

“Rejoice, O young man, in your youth,

And let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth;

Walk in the ways of your heart,

And in the sight of your eyes;

But know that for all these

God will bring you into judgment.

Therefore remove sorrow from your heart,

And put away evil from your flesh,

For childhood and youth are vanity.

Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth,

Before the difficult days come,

And the years draw near when you say,

“I have no pleasure in them.”

Ecclesiastes 11:9-10 – 12:1, NKJV

There are ways that in my heart I long to follow. There are desires I have that are unfulfilled as of now, and dreams that may never be fulfilled. But as the verses above show, we have a responsibility to remember that while we pursue our dreams, we pursue them in a way that honors God and His plans for our life. May we pursue our future in a way that let’s our light shine as a witness to the world.

Additionally, I’d like to encourage all of you to let it go, if you’re feeling overwhelmed. I believe that our Father wants us to do His Will with ALL of our hearts, not grudgingly because we think we should. So if you feel guilty, pressured, or uncertain, my friends, just cast your cares and burdens on our Father, and He will give you His perfect yoke, which yields freedom and peace.

“Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.”

Psalms 55:22, NKJV

” ‘ “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” ‘ “

Mathew 11:28-30, NKJV

(These three songs are some of my favorites! Listening to these songs would be a big favor to your musical ear! XD)

Alrighty, let’s get into July Goals! see below! πŸ‘‡πŸ™Œ


#1 Drink in the sun, but stay wise! (The last few days I swam outdoors, but I wasn’t very careful about applying sunscreen, so right now my face and arms are .. unbelievably red! So, going forward, I’m going to treat my body with a little more TLC when in the sun!)

#2 Swim at rivers, lakes, dugouts, wherever I can! I need practice in order to complete my next goal ..

#3 Pass my Bronze Medallion and Bronze Cross. (I have never been a competitive swimmer so I’m a little intimidated by the idea of timed swims. I’ve been praying so hard that I’ll be given strength and energy to pass!)

#4 Hike two related trails *hopefully!*

#5 Read one Proverb and five Psalms a day (This will enable me to get through the books of Proverbs and Psalms in one month, without burning out, especially throughout the week of the Bronze courses.)

#6 Wake up at 5:30 so I can train for volleyball before the day gets hot! (And, of course, to give me an incentive to wake up earlier!)

#7 Get to lesson 140 in school, 29 lessons in both subjects.

My own pic! (drinking sunlight counts as a drink, right?)

So there we go!! A little inspiration for the month ahead, my goals, and some pretty pics! What thoughts are running through your mind as July shines down into your backyard? Do you have any goals you’ve got planned to smash? I’d love to hear about it all, down in the comments!

Farewell my friends, and we’ll hopefully talk again next time!