Swim For Your Life
January 22, 2015 4:45 am / Category: Uncategorized
When I first moved to California, I lived a brief stint with an amazing family in Thousand Oaks who I affectionately refer to as my California family. They are a great group of people and I got to be real close with them as well as do a lot of activities with them. One of my favorite activities was Master’s swimming with the Dad of the family, Steve. He was swimming to stay in shape but also for a more serious (and somewhat comical) reason. He was practicing his swimming so that if he ever was stranded in the ocean and needed to swim to shore to survive, he would be able to do so. Not a bad reason if you think about it.
This past week, I stumbled across an article on ESPN titled something along the lines of “Ex-Dolphins Fullback Swims for Life”. This obviously piqued my interest, so I clicked on it. The focal point of the story, Rob Konrad, recently found himself in a “boaters nightmare” off the coast of Florida. He was fishing when his boat was hit by a wave and threw him overboard. His boat was on autopilot and sailed itself off into the distance as he was stranded without a life jacket.
Konrad realized very quickly that his only option was to swim for it. He had a wife and two kids waiting for him at home and there was not another boat in sight. So, he set off to swim back to shore. During his trek, a boat came within 50 yards and the coast guard unknowingly had a spotlight on him, but neither of them saw him. He was on his own. He washed up on shore at 4:30am after a 16 hour, 27 mile swim filled with chilly waters, bites from sea life, and circling sharks.
The biggest takeaway I got from the story is that we are training not only for our events, but also for our lives. You never know when extreme endurance and athletic ability will come in handy on a day to day basis. Letting yourself go isn’t an option.
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Jack McPheron, Performance Lab Director