On Tuesday, August 5, one day after his 85th birthday, Ken Huffman swam one mile at the Greater Milford Boys & Girls Richard Y. Johnson Aquatic Center. Told by his doctors in 2012 that he may never walk again, Ken continues to swim three times per week as the exercise of swimming was the only physical activity he could do to stay healthy.
A member of the United State Air Force, Kenneth Huffman is know locally for his years of service as a Pastor at the Church of Nazarene in Milford. With an ever-present mind on God’s influence in everyday life, he believed that second to a relationship with God was a focus on a healthy lifestyle. In the morning hours before church services, his congregation could find him running along the roads as he completed a several mile route. In 2011 he competed in swimming in the Senior Olympics and brought home four medals from the events.
On Ken’s 80th birthday he decided to swim his first mile in the pool in an attempt to realize one of his many health goals. One year later, the B&G Club pool would offer a surprise as he found a companion, Bernadette, who later became his wife. During a swim session one morning, Ken decided to swim over to her and introduce himself. Attracted by “her smile”, Ken says that the couple’s common faith is what brought them closer together over the years. After a year of talking with each other they decided to marry.
“The Lord brought us together, if the Lord was not the center of it, I do not know if it would have happened,” said Bernadette. Sharing a common faith, the couple also shared a common focus on exercise. “We both believe that exercise is something we need.”
In 2012 Ken had a stoke and it became almost impossible for him to walk. His cardiologist told Hoffman that it was very important for him to get back into a routine of exercise to stay healthy and to not slide backwards into poor health. Walking with a cane, Hoffman turned to the pool at the Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club and began his rehabilitation by swimming three days per week.
“When I began, I could hardly swim from one end of the pool to the other,” stated Ken. “I now swim better than I can walk.”
With his wife by his side, Ken believed that now two years after his stroke, it was time again to attempt the mile swim. Swimming all 36 laps on Tuesday, August 5, Ken swam for a total of 72 minutes as he reached his goal. Back on track to continued growth in his health, Ken states that he is contemplating another run at the upcoming Senior Olympics.
“It was a great accomplishment for me,” said Ken. “I set a goal and it gave me a sense of accomplishment.”