In September 2011, at age 61, American Diana Nyad attempted to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage.
Imagine swimming for hours and hours in salt water, through the day and night, experiencing hypothermia and other physical ailments, and then suddenly tangling with an animal that is not supposed to be in those waters: the box jellyfish!
Because of injuries sustained from the jellyfish’s venomous stings, she had to abort her mission. The good news is that she will attempt her dream again in 2012.
Diana describes that adventure in a great speech on Ted.com. She goes into excruciating and unflinching detail about encountering this deadly animal not once, but twice! And yet she shared bits and pieces of her unwavering optimism about accomplishing dreams.
As an athlete, I have had my own “extreme” dreams, but they’ve been pretty tame compared to hers. I have competed in several triathlons, and that’s as far as I’ll get in the extreme department. But I know that when I have a goal to strive for, watch out! It really takes all the physical and mental resources one possesses to accomplish something like a triathlon.
Take a look at Diana’s talk and get inspired. Oh boy, I want to look that good when I am in my 60’s!!!
There were three simple messages I liked:
- Don’t waste time on negative thinking. “There’s no time for regrets.”
- When the going gets tough, “Find grace in the face of…defeat.”
and the best one of all:
- “So what are you doing with this wild and precious life of yours?” Mary Oliver, poet