I have to admit, I didn’t know much about Diana Nyad before yesterday. But as news updates kept popping up on my screen about her Cuba-to-Key West swim, I became increasingly interested and inspired.
When it was reported she could be the first person to complete the swim without a shark cage, I admired her bravery.
When she persevered despite exhaustion, dehydration, swelling and sunburn, I shook my head in awe.
And when I found out she is 64-years-old and has tried this feat four times before, I immediately thought… “she should be the poster child (woman) of Green Mountain at Fox Run.”
Nyad’s previous tries were cut short because of boat trouble, storms, unfavorable currents and jellyfish stings that left her face puffy and swollen. And yet, despite these “failed” attempts, she tried again.
How is this journey much different than a woman who has “failed” diets her entire life? Yes, I get that it’s not an exact parallel. But similar in many ways.
The self-defeat, negative self talk, the way we think we “should” look — these are the sharks, venomous jellyfish and storms that we have to navigate to end our struggles with eating and weight. And sometimes, they feel insurmountable.
But despite what history told her and what her birth certificate said, Diana knew she could make the 110-mile journey. And that’s what should help us remember that it’s never too late to think bravely, act boldly and believe in possibility.
We can reach our goals. In spite of how many times we’ve tried before and perhaps failed, Diana Nyad has shown us that we can live the life we want – whether it’s walking 2 miles, overcoming binge eating, or developing a positive body image.
When she finished and came ashore, the very first things she said were we should never, ever give up and we’re never too old to chase our dreams
Thank you, Diana, for this important reminder.
How has Diana Nyad inspired you?