Labor Day Swim

Posted: October 10, 2013 in Articles, Exercises, Thought of the Day
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On Labor Day, Diana Nyad completed her childhood dream of swimming the more than one hundred mile distance between Cuba and the Florida Keys, becoming the first person to do so without a protective cage. Not only did Nyad have to complete this journey without a protective cage, for her record to be official, she had to swim continuously until the journey was complete. This requirement caused eating and staying hydrated to be a difficult task. Additionally, staying awake for fifty three hours straight was a bit of a challenge as well. Perhaps the most difficult part of Nyad’s swim was the large amount of salt water she ingested with every breath caused by the protective jellyfish mask she wore, which put her in a severely dehydrated state.

To me, act of athleticism did not seem like much fun. Initially, this appeared to be a senseless act to accomplish a personal goal and not to mention, downright crazy. I told one of my clients that if they ever hear about me participating in such a heroic endeavor, to find me and remind me that it is not something I want to do. Conversely, the truth is there is much to learn from Nyad’s swim. The truth is I have nothing but respect for what was accomplished. The efforts put into preparing for the swim and the extreme conditions that were endured are something we all should admire.

However, what I admire most about Nyad’s Labor Day swim is that she completed this swim on her fifth try and at sixty four years of age. Let me be clear, I do not feel sixty four is old. Undoubtedly, Diana Nyad has proven that. But, I don’t think any of us would blame a sixty four year old for giving up on such a physically exhausting goal, especially after failing on four previous attempts over the past thirty five years. But, she didn’t give up. She continued to improve both mentally and physically. Nyad didn’t care that she was sixty four; she simply wanted to get better. She wanted to accomplish a goal, set a record and catch the dream she had been chasing since she was eight!

While Nyad’s swim was a bit crazy, it was not just a senseless act to accomplish a personal goal. Nyad swam to inspire us to not give up and to prove that we are never too old to chase our dreams. Many of us may not be old or ever dream of attempting a physical feat such as previously described. But, I hope we are at least inspired to undertake a new task which may have previously seemed unattainable, continue to work on a previous goal that may have become too challenging and realize that we shouldn’t let trivial difficulties get in the way of things that would be beneficial, fun and enjoyable.

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