This was Diana Nyad’s mantra. She was asked by Robin Robert’s on Monday if she used any motivational techniques to help get her through her swim and she said she used the mantra: Find a way.
I’ll admit that when I got the breaking news alert on my phone that she had accomplished the swim from Cuba to Florida, I thought to myself: Meh. I was kind of like those people who bitch every year on Marathon Day about how running isn’t a “real sport” and all that nonsense. But when I heard the interview with her and what she actually went through I stood firmly corrected. Here’s the highlights on what I recall:
- She swam for 53 hours (in a freakin’ row!)
- She had to stop last time due to the pain of being repeatedly stung in the face by jellyfish.
- She swam in this Nixon-like mask this time to keep the jellyfish from stinging her.
- She was followed the entire way by a team that would guide her and feed her liquid protein for nourishment.
- She was trying to not swallow saltwater the entire swim so as not to dehydrate or get sick.
- She’s 64.
There was a lot more, but damn, does really need to be more? The life lessons from these few points alone are many and deep, but it boils down to this:
As I type this, I’m coming on the first 24 hours of my new blog. I’ve been working on this redesign for about 8 weeks or so, and here’s a few things I can think of off the top of my head that have happened to me since I set my launch date of 9.3.13:
- Kept my one and only newly graduated high school son alive to move him into Bridgton Academy at the end of August
- Went to the emergency room for a kidney stone and end up with yet another ovarian cyst and a scheduled surgery this fall
- My pug, Rocky, finally lost his vision as a result of his diabetes
- Learned enough WordPress to get my site designed, up and running
Plus doing the laundry, making dinner, the laundry, and dinner, and then laundry, and vacuuming, the dinner followed by laundry.
I see people like Diana Nyad and think my life just doesn’t compare. And that’s because it actually doesn’t compare. She’s got her thing and I’ve got mine. It’s all relative. But the one thing we have in common is that we will both face challenges in our lives. Some will be what my husband likes to call “First World Problems” like, how can I figure out my new blog design. Some will be monumental. Some will be handled quickly and efficiently, others will drag on and on and be a crying, snotty mess. Diana has taught me to:
- Be prepared for the long haul
- If a tool to the problem doesn’t exist, make one.
- Get a good team.
- Mantras can be powerful.
- Nourish yourself.
- Try to avoid taking in things that will cause harm.
- Age is just a number.
But mostly, I love that she tried, failed, learned from the failures, and then succeeded. She put herself out there a few times in a really big way and failed. Then she put herself out there and made it. She found a way.
Creating (and Failing) on a Limb,