Written by: Anne Bolender
On Monday September 2, 2013, Diana Nyad, a 64 year old grandmother, stepped out of the waters onto a beach in Key West Florida. Diana had entered the ocean from a beach in Cuba. Swimming for 53 hours straight, across the Straits of Florida, through 110 miles of shark and box-jellyfish infested waters without a shark cage or any extraordinary protection, Diana became the oldest person on record to successfully complete this extreme swim.
But this wasn’t the first time Diana Nyad attempted this swim. Her first attempt was in 1978, 35 years ago.
Reading about what this amazing woman has managed to accomplish highlights, for me anyway, two very important life lessons:
- You are never, ever too old to go after your dream. Regardless of what your dream is, age should never be the criteria upon which you base your decision to go after it or not. Something you failed at when you were 29 years old could be successfully accomplished when you are 64 years old, and
- Never, ever give up on something you are passionate about. It might take 5 or 15 attempts to achieve your dream but once you have gotten there, it will all be worth it!
Angela Lee Duckworth provides this enlightening TED talk on perseverance and grit, and the role they play in success:
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Wow, that must’ve taken a lot of courage! I bet she felt more alive then than ever in her life before.