On Monday, 64-year-old Diana Nyad became the first person to swim the 110-mile route from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage. She swam for 53 hours with 35 people accompanying her in boats.
Nyad first attempted this feat in 1978. She then attempted it again three times in 2011 and 2012. Each time she was unsuccessful in completing the swim. On Monday, she finished and was greeted by numerous well-wishers on shore.
As she stood on dry land, she spoke to reporters saying:
“I have three messages. One is we should never, ever give up. Two is you never are too old to chase your dreams. Three is it looks like a solitary sport, but it takes a team.”
I love what she said.
Never, ever give up.
So many people live in resignation. They consider going back to school, changing jobs, moving to a new place, or learning a new skill. They step out and find that taking that next step is hard. In fact, they might experience failure in their first attempt. I am impressed that Diana Nyad failed to finish four times and then tried one more time.
Life often requires resilience, tenacity and grit. Taking the next step will often be “easier said than done.” OK. Most things worth doing are difficult. Yes, I pray and I prepare. However, there are times when you attempt to take on a task and it just doesn’t go well. Do I have the resilience to push through even when I want to quit?
You never are too old to chase your dreams.
Think about this one. We hear so many negative messages regarding age. Some people go on and on about being old. No, I am not talking about people in their 90s but people who are decades younger. Yes, I realize that some people have physical limitations related to aging that might prevent them from certain sports or other activities. However, some people talk about age as if there was little to look forward to. Yet, I think we were meant for more than to sit in a recliner for the remainder of our lives.
Nyad is right. One never is too old to chase one’s dreams. Far too many people shut down way too early.
It looks like a solitary sport, but it takes a team.
She is speaking about swimming, but this is also true about life in general. We need others! We need the prayers of one another. We need the input and counsel of others. We need to learn from others.
Far too many of us get to a point in life where we think we have got it down. We stop growing, learning, and developing. We become stuck in what we have learned in the past and stop stretching.
We need others! We need others who will come alongside us, as well as people who are somewhat ahead of us. Of course, we also need those who may find their encouragement through us.
I don’t plan to swim great lengths. However, I do plan to think more about these three statements. Right now, I find them very encouraging.
Which one of Diana Nyad’s three statements means the most to you?