It has been a minute since we last contributed on here, or shared a story…..Well, its been a little over 164,000 minutes, but here we go.
Over the last few years, I have written several times about how I’m terrible at swimming. I’ve written about my first experience trying to swim laps and how I barely made it 25 meters before nearly dying of exhaustion, and suffocation. It was a literal near death experience.
Subsequently, I wrote about how I made small improvements, and, over time, was able to refine my technique into something that resembled a stroke that could support my life in the water for a longer period of time. I even survived a couple of half Iron Man events (I owe a lot of that survival to a buoyant wet suit). I thought it was as good as it could get with me, given that I don’t have a ton of time to practice or refine the way I swim. I thought I was capped out.
But, now, I bring you the next step in my journey in the water. The story you’ve both been waiting on for hundreds of thousands of minutes, and also the principle it taught me on the way home this evening after spending an hour in the water.
Several weeks ago, I stumbled upon a random guy on an instagram post. His name was Adam Walker. His instagram account is @adamoceanwalker. More on that name to come. His story is that he was a competitive swimmer before a shoulder injury stopped him from competition. He had to have surgery to repair it, but he never really healed in a way that would allow him to swim in the same way, so he invented/tweaked his stroke to support his now limited range of motion in his arms.
I won’t bore anyone too much with the details, but it has taken off. His ideas are simple, and efficient, and they have made a difference for people like me, in our quest to not die in the water.
I was intrigued, so I splurged, and spent the 20 bucks on his instructional video that looked like he had filmed it on a flip phone propped up on his kitchen counter. But, it has made all the difference in the world for me. It took me about 2 weeks to really relearn how to swim using his techniques. But, ever since I’ve switched and improved the way I do things, I can go so much longer, and even have energy to spare at the end, which is a full-blown miracle.
As I look back at the first time I attempted to swim up and back in the lap pool, and being ready to succumb to an early death after merely 45 seconds. It baffles my mind that tonight I was able to swim 2,500 meters without stopping, without even getting winded. It makes no sense to me. I was doing everything just a little bit wrong. I had the basic principles down, but there was a way that was just a little bit better, a way that made just a bit more sense, a way that fit just perfectly for what I wanted to do. It has taken the anxiety of swimming 1.2 miles, or 2.4 miles during iron man events off of my shoulders. Now I can simply worry about sharks eating me, the ocean swells, and being flogged with flailing feet and hands.
So, what was the principle I learned, you might ask?
As I thought on the way home about how this made such a difference to me, I was struck by the name he chose to use for his account. Adam Ocean Walker. I’m sure it was intended to reference the way in which simplifying and easing the strain makes it so that you expend the least amount of energy in the water and trying to simulate a nice brisk walk. But, it reminded me of the original ocean, or sea walker, Jesus Christ, and of the time He taught a flailing Peter his “technique”.
I thought also about how many people in this world know of Jesus Christ, and of his miracles, and of his stories of walking on water, healing the sick, etc. Yet, they don’t have all the knowledge, or techniques completely right. They are somewhat like I was, they know the basics, but there are some key elements that are missing, or being done “almost right”. I thought of how the true techniques can be learned by following the original One who walks on water.
There are many, many people in this world who believe in Jesus Christ. They love him. They try their best to follow his teachings, treat others as he did, and do as he taught us to do. These people are amazing, and are doing everything they can to improve themselves and be worthy followers of Christ. In many ways, I want to be just like them in my pursuit to follow Jesus Christ. But there is always room for improvement.
We all can improve the way we live, and follow Christ. We are blessed, as members of the Church of Jesus Christ, to have the “techniques” available to us to maximize our potential!
We have a living Prophet receiving revelations to customize the gospel message to us for our specific needs.
We have the Book of Mormon that testifies of this same Jesus who walked on water in the old world, and who visited the people here in America, and taught his Gospel.
We have living Apostles who teach us about the true nature of God.
A few weeks ago in Sunday School, we read a quote from Thomas S. Monsen from the Ensign in 1990. I loved it. It perfectly described our busy days, our flailing about trying to swim the wrong way, and the ways in which we seek Jesus. We should look to him to help us improve our “techniques” in life. We should look to him to calm our fears. We should look to him to take away our pain or grief. We should look to him when we are sinking in the busy ocean waves of life.
“Before we can successfully undertake a personal search for Jesus, we must first prepare time for him in our lives and room for him in our hearts. In these busy days there are many who have time for golf, time for shopping, time for work, time for play—but no time for Christ.
Lovely homes dot the land and provide rooms for eating, rooms for sleeping, playrooms, sewing rooms, television rooms, but no room for Christ.
Do we get a pang of conscience as we recall his own words: “The foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” (Matt. 8:20.) Or do we flush with embarrassment when we remember, “And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:7.) No room. No room. No room. Ever has it been.
As we undertake our personal search for Jesus, aided and guided by the principle of prayer, it is fundamental that we have a clear concept of him whom we seek. The shepherds of old sought Jesus the child. But we seek Jesus the Christ, our Older Brother, our Mediator with the Father, our Redeemer, the Author of our salvation; he who was in the beginning with the Father; he who took upon himself the sins of the world and so willingly died that we might forever live.
This is the Jesus whom we seek.”
I look at what we enjoy and have access to in The Church of Jesus Christ, in much the same way I see the knowledge of a better way to swim. We can always improve, we can always do just a bit better. But, in order to do it, just as in swimming, we need to truly seek out and learn from the One who walks on water.