Could you swim 16 hours in the open ocean?
I think most people would say absolutely NO! I would be willing to bet that Rob Konrad would have said no also…until that’s what he had to do to survive.
If you don’t know the story, here is a little synopsis. In January of this year, Rob Konrad went fishing alone off the coast of Palm Beach, Florida. He was nine miles out in the ocean with the boat on autopilot when a wave knocked him into the water. Since the boat was on autopilot, it just kept on going (eventually ending up in the Bahamas), leaving Rob all alone in the water nine miles from shore. He had no way of letting anyone know he was in the water and few people even knew he had gone fishing.
He decided the only way to have a chance to survive was to start swimming. Sixteen hours later, at 4:30 in the morning, he crawled out of the ocean onto the sands of Palm Beach, exhausted, dehydrated, and suffering from hypothermia. But he was alive. Konrad played professional football for the Miami Dolphins from 1999-2004. He is 38 years old. Yes, at one time he was an elite athlete, but probably not now, and being a pro football player does not make you a great swimmer. In fact, people with less boy fat and more muscle don’t float as easily, so a football player would have to swim harder.
But Konrad did it. I can’t imagine what he must have been experiencing. The emotional roller coaster of seeing the lights of the shore for hours on end, but seemingly getting no closer much of the time. Swimming through waters that are known to be highly shark populated. But he swam and swam knowing that to stop would mean to die. But he did it.
He did something that given the choice to attempt he likely would have said “no way I can swim 16 hours in the open ocean.” Yet, he was capable of doing this mind-blowing feat.
So what does Konrad’s adventure show us?
That we are capable of way more than we can imagine. Too often we shy away from things when they become difficult. Succumbing to the thinking that we can’t do it. But most of the time we can, if we will just push ourselves further and further.