I was profoundly awed by one woman this week. With little fanfare, Diana Nyad became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida. The stats were impressive–over 103 miles, 53 hours, 23 knot squalls and 3 foot waves. This was her 5th attempt at 64 years old, 35 years after her first attempt when she was 29 years old. Amazing!
To achieve her goal, the challenges were formidable. Sharks, jellyfish stings and other sealife issues, hallucinations, tongue swelling, and nausea were just a few. Yet she did it! She trained. She researched and found successful shark deterrents, she wore a specially designed, thin-nylon “jellyfish” suit and applied a special face cream to prevent bites and stings. She also had a team of five boats, several divers, physicians, and kayakers along on her quest. Then she looked out over that expanse of ocean, dove into into the water and began swimming.
When Diana finished, she shared her three messages, “One, never give up; two, you’re never too old to chase your dream; and three, it looks like a solitary sport, but is it a team effort.”
How inspiring for everyone—especially those of us sixty and older. After hearing of her feat, I’m applying her lessons to my life and my dreams. Are those dreams lingering from my twenties still possibly attainable today? Yes, definitely. (Fortunately, they don’t entail water.) Can I identify the obstacles and figure out ways to overcome them? Yes, with research and continually seeking answers to issues as they arise. (Interestingly, I don’t even consider age an obstacle.) Are there people who can be part of my “team” to help me achieve my goals? Absolutely! Some I already know and others I will meet along the way. My determination factor could be kicked up, but I find that one small step forward generally leads to another and another.
Diana Nyad also had a mantra to get her through all of the physical, emotional, and mental challenges along her journey. Her mantra “find a way“.
What dreams linger just below the surface, waiting for you to get going? I encourage you to dive into your dream.
As I stand looking out to my ocean, I’m diving in. I am going to definitely “find a way”. Stay tuned!