GREATER LANDOVER, Md. — How far can faith take you? A local young woman is convinced it can take her from being homeless in Prince George's to the Olympic podium in Tokyo.
Faith Newkirk has loved the water since she was six-years-old.
"Swimming for me, you're just immers(ed) in water, you can't hear (anything). It's just you and the water, and everything is muted," she said.
But water, like life, can push back.
"There's resistance in the water, there's resistance in life, and it's your choice, just pull, use that resistance," she said. "You're going to get tired, but if you want to touch the wall…it's your choice. We have choices in life, and I choose to persevere. I choose to be resilient."
Newkirk moved to Prince George's County a year ago, a young woman alone, who dove in when a coach offered time in the pool.
"I had maybe $7 in my pocket, but I was determined to make it," she said.
But things didn't work out with the first people who had offered her a place to stay.
"I didn't know where to go... I didn't have a place to stay. And through God's divine connections, he really connected me with people," she said.
Someone called and offered her a room.
Now she swims with the Elite Rays at Prince George's Community College.
"I would walk maybe four to five miles from Upper Marlboro to PG Community College to train with Anise Foreman at Elite Rays," she said.
Her coach said she has the mindset to make the Olympics. What she doesn't have is the time.
"I work like eight jobs," said Newkirk.
She spends twelve hours a week in the pool. Her coach said she needs to spend twelve hours a day. What does she say to the doubters?
"It just pushes me to be a better version of me. I like pushing the highest of heights. If it's the Olympics, I'm going to try, and I'm going to get there," she said. "And I know for sure, I'm going to win gold, without a doubt."
She's set up a GoFundMe in hopes of finding a few people who have just a measure of the faith in her that she has in herself.
"Just sit back and watch," she said. "If you believe it, you can achieve it."