“To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s mind. If a man can control his mind, he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.”


By Missy Hunter

Blaise Hayward believes your life is a choice; it is what you make of it. As father time rolls on, and he seeks Enlightenment, he has purposely chosen his path in life and lives by straightforward rules some of which include; work hard, persevere, be kind, and live in the moment.

Blaise and his family have spent the last 18 summers going to the hamlet of Orient, NY to enjoy the water and beautiful beaches. It is at one of those beaches, at the end of Young’s Road, that 90-year-old Walter Strohmeyer has been swimming almost every day of his life. Swimming in the ocean, in the same spot, year after year is so much more than exercise. Blaise noted Walter is also embracing ritual, swimming regardless of the weather, bringing himself peace and calm and demonstrating that you are only as young as you feel.


“Watching Walter swim over the years and gradually getting to know him, coincided with my getting more involved in motion, and I felt that Walter had a story to tell. After speaking with him, and explaining my idea, he jumped on board. He was great to work with in so many ways.”

Blaise Hayward

This project is an ode to Walter and a testament to self-empowerment. Blaise has been known to talk of his love of the seasons; believing when Spring becomes Summer; it is an opportunity to begin again. Blaise saw The Swimmer as “starting over” every day. Walter, like most swimmers, is alone with his thoughts and lives for the moment.

The Swimmer

“You still have your problems, but they aren’t with you; they are on the shore.”

Walter Strohmeyer

Capturing The Swimmer, prompted some reminders for Blaise. At some point in life, everyone has a cross to bear, no matter who they are, where they are from, or how old they are. It is inherent in our nature as human beings. It’s how we deal with what life throws at us, that determines our happiness and defines our sense of self. Take a look at Walter; The Swimmer is teaching us a multitude of lessons; your task is to look up and take it all in.

Follow Blaise on Instagram for imagery that elicits truth, candor, and a reminder to think #luckyus.