CUBA, FLORIDA, & IN BETWEEN — At 64, she swam more than 100 miles from Cuba to Florida. Yes, she's Diana Nyad, and yes, her story has been all over the news. But it was just today that a reader emailed me a link to an incredible TEDTalk that Diana Nyad gave in December, and I'd like to share it with all of you.
For those of you unfamiliar with this story, Diana Nyad has done the impossible. For more than half a century, the greatest swimmers in the world have been trying to swim from Cuba to Florida. Men, women, all young. Certainly not near retirement age. But Diana, at 64, has become the first person to achieve this incredible feat.
Starting out in Cuba, Diana swam in the pitch black of the night with sharks and deadly jellyfish, singing John Lennon's Imagine, over and over and over again. She swam about 110 miles in the open sea with its unpredictable currents and tides. She swam with a team nearby for survival, but entirely alone in her pursuit and her will to finish. It was her fourth attempt at achieving this unusual dream, this dream to swim from one country to another, and her doctors, a neurological team, and even her own teammates told her this time, this fourth time, her dream would be impossible to achieve. Diana was, after all, 64.
|Diana Nyad, from The Huffington Post|
But here's what Diana has to say about all that, in her TEDTalk: "Find a way. You have a dream and you have obstacles in front of you as we all do… None of us ever gets through this life without turmoil and heartache… You find your way!" Later, she adds, "You can chase your dreams at any age! Sixty-four?! Find a way!"
On the last day of Diana's swim, the swim that would rocket her to fame and Oprah's couch and CNN, she saw lights off in the distance. She'd been swimming all night, and when she saw those lights in the distance, she was relieved that the sun was rising, that she'd made it through another day. That's when Diana realized it wasn't just daylight that was breaking; it was the shore of Key West off in the distance. She'd made it. (Well, almost. She had to swim another fifteen hours to get to the shore!)
If you're feeling flimsy today and relying on excuses, I urge you to spend your procrastination time (because we both know that's what you're doing reading this blog!) watching Diana Nyad give her TED Talk. And then write me about the dream you're following! I'd love to hear from you.
'LIVE from Mongolia' is the true story of what can happen when you pursue a lifelong dream. It's available on Amazon (hardcover and Kindle), Barnes & Noble, and in bookstores internationally. Join us here for this weekly blog series about dream followers from all over the world. Who knows, you may be up next!