Addiction is a very serious and heartbreaking issue for everyone involved. It can not only hurt you but everyone around you; especially the ones who love you the most. So when you have that moment of clarity that encourages you to seek help and get clean, it’s a moment to be truly celebrated. Denton County local Lauren Rose celebrated her 10 year anniversary of getting clean in a really big way; by swimming a 10K for her 10 years of sobriety.
Lauren has been clean for 10 years, but it’s only been the past 5 years that she’s become really vocal about her journey. “I’ve spent the past 5 years really celebrating living an addict-free life and offering hope to those that need it that recovery is possible,” Lauren said.
Lauren began swimming at the young age of 13. “I was the team captain on our school swim team and I also participated in club swimming. I even got a college scholarship for swimming,” Lauren said. “My freshman year of college is where I started getting into drugs. I actually quit swimming during that time.” It wasn’t until she found out that she was pregnant with her firstborn that she got the motivation to get clean and get her life back on track. “She saved me,” Lauren said.
However, it wasn’t until 2020 that Lauren felt emotionally ready to swim again. And from the moment that she got back in the pool, she hasn’t stopped. “I’ve swam almost every day since,” Lauren said.
Lauren has always been a long-distance swimmer, so doing a 10K wasn’t something out of the ordinary when it came to what Lauren enjoyed doing. “I’d rather do 44 laps in my own time than sprint 4,” Lauren said.
The idea of swimming a 10K came to Lauren when her swim coach told her to set a goal for herself. Originally it was intended to be a private 10K swim. But then the idea kept growing. “God said, ‘you’ll build an arc. You’re going to do something big’,” Lauren said. Lauren reached out to Winning the Fight (WTF) with the idea of raising $10,000 by swimming a 10K for her 10-year addiction recovery that was coming up in December of 2021.
Lauren reached out to a good friend of hers to see if he wanted to participate in her 10K swim and his response was, “I’d do it for you.” From there, Lauren got in touch with people to create a logo design. Her church, 121 Community Church, also really stepped up to help with
The event began to grow beyond anything that Lauren imagined. “There were people participating that I did know and that I didn’t know,” Lauren said. “I thought that I would be the one that donated to the cause myself but the event surpassed every single one of my expectations.” In the end, they raised
“One of the coolest parts of the event was that my mom, sister, and two kids swam the first 2 laps with me,” Lauren said. The event was a true testament of relationships being restored.
Lauren hopes to make this a yearly event. “I can’t ask for a 10K every year. You can’t just swim a 10K. There’s a lot of prep work that goes into that. I’m absolutely open to it, but it definitely makes the event exclusive,” Lauren said. There is talk about changing the 10K to a 4-mile swim. Their overall goal is to bring in more people and to raise even more money.
Lauren couldn’t have gotten clean or seen such success with her 10K event without the support of her church and WTF. Both 121 Community Church and WTF are incredible resources for addiction and recovery. Lauren’s dedication to bringing awareness to addiction and aiding in recovery, however, doesn’t end with this yearly event. “I want people to feel empowered. I don’t want addicts or recovering addicts to feel like they can’t talk about it,” Lauren said. “I want them to know that they can live the life they want and that it is possible.