Did you know that before the women’s one piece bathing suit was invented, women basically swam in a dress? The style of swimwear was heavy, ugly and dangerous in the water. But no one really fought it because swimming wasn’t considered a hobby or activity.
That all changed because of one woman, Annette Kellerman. Kellerman became a competitive swimmer as a young girl to overcome a weakness in her legs. She began completing large endurance races, including swimming across the Thames river and attempting to swim the English Channel. She was the first woman to do so. Her success made her a star, but she had to do it all in a men’s swimsuit.
So what did she do? She created the first women’s one piece swimsuit. At the time her right to do so was very controversial, and she was even arrested once for indecency! But she persevered because she knew that the current styles were dangerous. Thanks to her women can now safely swim without the fear of drowning because of heavy clothing!
Kellerman’s life is a tribute to perseverance, hard work and ingenuity. She later used her popularity to start a career on the vaudeville stage and in film. She was always looking for ways to succeed, and she often did.
So next time you go for a swim, remember her hard work and feel a little inspired. Like Kellerman you can see a problem and think of a solution. You can find a way to succeed even when the world tells you no. As we’ve all learned from Dory, in the children’s movie “Finding Nemo,” “Just keep swimming.”