Fourteen-year-old Kelsey Hall is proving she can swim the distance.
Hall can swim every stroke and her coach says Hall can even outrace the guys, and when the waves of life got rough, she faced those challenges head on.
Yvonne Thomas shares the inspirational story of a young woman learning to keep her head above water.
Kelsey Hall can swim every stroke in a race against the clock.
“She likes back stroke and freestyle the best,” said her coach, Mary McMahan.
“I was 8… maybe 9 when I first started swimming here,” said Hall.
Like a fish, she took to water naturally.
“It was like that kid curiosity, but I tried and liked it and I went on from there,” said Hall.
After diving into the sport, it became obvious to her coach that Kelsey had the drive to swim the distance.
“Whether it's to get points from the team or to round out a relay, she says sure. She doesn't even hesitate,” said McMahan.
It was around that same time that Kelsey noticed something was off.
“At the time, mom just thought it was growing pains,” said Hall.
As it turns out, the pain in her left knee was cancer.
“The doctors took out my knee and turned my foot around,” said Hall.
But even a prosthetic leg and six months of chemo couldn't keep her out of water.
“I continued to do my swimming whenever I could,” said Hall.
Through the pain and throughout her journey, Kelsey just kept swimming.
“She just takes it all in great stride that people are going to look at her. She seems very confident in who she is and whatever she decides to do, she won't leg that leg stop her,” said McMahan.
“I'll get people that walk up to me that say, 'hey you have a cool leg,' and then they walk away,” said Hall.
Now at the age of 14, Kelsey treads water with the best of them knowing that she has what it takes to make it through the rough waters of life both in and out of the pool.
Kelsey's swim coach Mary McMahan says the sky is the limit and that a trip to the Paralympics could be an option for the young athlete if she chooses.