Hilary Swank
Her childhood lake gave her the courage to make a splash.
I grew up in a tiny town called Bellingham, Washington. We had little money, yet the trailer park where we lived was surrounded by the most beautiful scenery ever and I feel rich with these memories. Some of my fondest involve the lake that bordered us, Lake Samish. Now, this is not just a beautiful body of water, it is one of my best friends. I say that because I shared all my dreams, desires, happiness, fears, and sadness—and every waking minute I could—with it.

I used to sit on the end of the dock with my dog, Buddy. I remember the lush evergreens on the mountains and wind so fresh I wish I could bottle it and take it with me everywhere I go to breathe it when I need comforting. All the while I had Buddy by my side looking at me with her big brown eyes that made me feel everything was going to be okay.

I dreamt on that lake. Dreamt big, big dreams. I dreamt about my life, about my future and all I wanted to do and be.

A few months ago, while filming in Vancouver, British Columbia, I got the opportunity to visit Bellingham. I don't have my dog Buddy anymore, but I did bring my new best buddy with me, my husband Chad. I said, "Come on, let's do what I did as a kid!" He knew all about my days dreaming on that dock, so first we rented bikes and rode around the lake to get nice and hot. (It was early summer, but the water didn't seem to know that yet.)

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