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Motlow State Community College
P.O. Box 8500
Lynchburg, TN 37352-8500
(931) 393-1500

Mimi Hughes to Speak at Motlow

March 24, 2011

Mimi Hughes will speak at Motlow as part of Women's History Month"I don't have any money; I don't have any political clout, but I can swim," a profound statement by Mimi Hughes that sums up how she uses her talent to bring light to causes that can make a difference in the world. In observance of Women's History Month, Motlow College will set the stage for one of their own to inspire others. Hughes will speak Tuesday, March 29, at the Moore County campus from 10:50 a.m. - 12:05 p.m. in the Marcum Technology Center, room 105.

Following the presentation folks are invited to either bring a sack lunch or grab something from the cafeteria as Hughes will continue with a "Lunch & Learn" session in the conference room of the Clayton-Glass Library from 12:30 - 1:15 p.m. Her presentation at the McMinnville Center will be 10:50 a.m. - 12:05 p.m. the following day.

Hughes is a 54-year-old wife and mother of four who lives in tiny Taft, Tenn. In her professional life she is an educator who is driven to help people better themselves through education and inspiration. One of her roles as a member of Motlow College's adjunct faculty is instructor for the ACT preparation classes. In her spare time she swims her way into the heart and conscience of people around the world, as she says, "when something bothers me and I want to make a statement about it; that's how I pick my next swim."

And pick them she does. Her first was a swim across the icy waters of the Bering Strait. Her mission was to demonstrate to people how close the United States is to Russia and how important it is for the two nations to live in harmony. Since that initial event she has recorded many more swims including: the Tennessee, Danube, Drava and Mura Rivers; each swim with its own mission or message to portray.

Her most recent swim was the Ohio River, last summer. She began May 22 in Pennsylvania and ended July 17 where the river spills into the mighty Mississippi. The 981-mile trip was devoted to improving educational and economic opportunities for girls and women in the world. As she gains recognition in the press during her swim events she shares the platform of celebrity with organizations she embraces along the way.

A woman from one such organization, Sandra L. Hogue with the Louisville Writing Project wrote the following poem for Mimi, and Mimi has used it as a swim mantra:

Dedicated to Mimi Hughes

Today, I swim.
stroke by stroke
through the weight
of doubt, fear, aching muscles, monotony.
breath by breath
inhaling the can dos of every woman who ever doubted her strength
exhaling the not-good-enoughs that attempt to hold us back
sunup by sundown
against currents and against issues
that plague great women around the world
Today, I swim.

While the focus of the Ohio River swim was educational opportunities for women and girls, Hughes said, "I had no idea how polluted the Ohio River would be." She chose not to dwell on that too much in the press as some of her other swims were dedicated to those type environmental issues. Now that the swim is behind her she admits, "It's been very challenging for me to get over physically."

Hughes said there are mental and physical adjustments after all of her swims. As she swims 20 miles a day her mind enters a bit of a spiritual mode as she hears nothing but the sound of her own arm slapping the water for 10-plus hours a day. During this reflective time she relies on inner strength to pull her through.

Her presentations at Motlow College will no doubt inspire others as she adds, "My name is not important, but my age is significant. Never let age weigh you down. Use its wisdom to give lift to your flight."

To learn more about Motlow's education department visit the college's website and visit the web address for more information about Mimi Hughes.