By Alyssa Bormes

Untitled by Skyler H. via Pixabay. CC0 Creative Commons

My whole bag was packed – my swimsuit, the kickboard, a towel, shower flip-flops, and the assorted other stuff that one takes to the gym. Fantastic! This new commitment to working out was going great. With bag in hand and ready to walk out the door, I realized that I had forgotten one thing – the padlock for the locker.

After going through a million drawers and containers, it appeared to be lost. If you find it, the combination is 36-4-10; go ahead and use it.

In the past two years, having moved houses, broken my ankle, hurt my knee, had knee surgery, followed by a car accident, and a subsequent shoulder replacement, I’ve had a tendency to misplace a few things.

On that day of nearly swimming, I did have the idea that I could stop by the hardware store on the way to the pool and purchase a lock. However, I had a better idea! How about a bath? Cool – with bath-bomb in hand and a good book – I successfully avoided exercise!

Then on Divine Mercy Sunday, I was in the confessional.

No – I did not confess the missed swim day – which is really more like odd-water-walking-kickboard-clumsiness.

But I did confess a habitual sin – the thorn in my side.

And Father, without asking, knew that I had been neglecting my daily rosary. I was to begin it again that day. So I did.

But the clumsy-swimming-avoidance-thing and the lack of attention to the rosary kept itching in my head.

Then there was that moment – the “Aha”’ one. I had neglected something else. I used to do the swim-walk-you-can’t-be-serious-that-you-call-that-exercise-clownish-at-least-I’m-moving-thing for an hour at a time. And, it isn’t exactly easy to keep yourself in the pool and moving in your lane for that long without being wildly bored, so I would pray the rosary. Thirty minutes was one rosary, and sixty minutes was two.

You guessed it; I’ve got a new combination lock, and I’m back in the pool praying the rosary. In other words, every other day of the week while in my pink flowered swimsuit, I have an aquatic holy hour.

And, although it might be funny looking… the combination is good!

About the Author:

Alyssa Bormes is an educator, author, speaker, and retreat leader. She currently teaches at the Chesterton Academy in Edina, Minnesota, writes for the Catholic Spirit, and the W.I.N.E blog, is the host of a weekly show, “Christian Witnesses in the Church,” on Radio Maria US, and is the author of The Catechism of Hockey. You can find her at