“FIND A WAY”
How much do we want something? Next question – how easily do we give up? How much effort do we put into it before we say – Hey, I tried, once, maybe twice, but it didn’t happen.” Then we move on. Often times we are still holding on to the dream, but not having the courage and perseverance to see it to conclusion.
Dina Nyad’s record and groundbreaking swim from Cuba to the Florida Keys this weekend is the kind of affirmation that gives everyone hope and a tangible example of - if you want it badly enough you will “find a way”. Nyad is the first person to complete the life threatening swim between Cuba and the Keys without a shark cage.
Nyad set out to swim the killer waters for the first time when she was thirty years old. She made four futile attempts. Futile may be too strong a word, as she got further than any of us would, but her life long dream was repeatedly dashed by the frightening combination of rough currents, sharks and jellyfish.
All three of these being the literal version of what we all bump up against as we swim through the choppy waters of life.
We swim into rough currents that toss us back to shore or make it extremely difficult for us to make any headway.
No matter what we do, we are constantly running into sharks of one sort or another. And then there are the jellyfish of life, the slippery slimy things that sneak up on us and sting us when we think we are in peaceful seas.
These were the things Nyad came up against in all of her attempts, and was up against yet again when she saw her three and half-decade dream come true this week.
Just ponder that for a moment – for thirty-five years she wanted to do this.
Now it’s one thing to say at thirty, when she was young and strong, and in tip top shape, that she wanted to swim the 110 ten treacherous miles between Cuba and the Keys: But today she is sixty-four years old.
How many people would have said, “Well, it would be nice but hey, I’m two years into Medicare. I’m way too old to attempt any thing like this. That ship has totally sailed.”
But Nyad did not let it go. She kept her dream alive and at sixty-four, against many odds, including age, she achieved her life long goal
She said it was the repeating of a mantra that made the difference this time. Even though she was apparently sick as a dog for the entire fifty-two hour swim. Yes, she was swimming for fifty- two hours; getting continuously stung by jelly fish. Worrying about sharks. And she was swallowing so much water, she was literally throwing up the entire time. Think about that.
How many of us would have climbed back on the boat and said, “Take me to shore.”
But with each stroke, each time she thought she did not have any thing left to give, each time she could not imagine throwing up for another ten, twenty hours while she swam to her dream, she said “ FIND A WAY.”
And she did.
So for all of us, with whatever problems we may be facing, obstacles that are in our way, lifelong dreams we would like to see come to fruition. Health problems we would like to see cured or at least managed. The loss of jobs and the need to find a new one or the right one. Weight we are tired of dragging around that is dragging us down. Addictions we would like to leave behind. Trying to get along with people we love who may put up boundaries and walls with their behavior and perhaps addictions as well. Finding our way to love those who might be unlovable at first glance. You fill in the blank in whatever way your heart tells you – but there is a way. It’s up to you to find it.
If Diana Nyad at sixty-four could do what she did, then take that lesson and apply it to yourself.
It’s hard. You will swim into rough currents. You will encounter sharks. There will be naysayers who tell you you are too old, too fat, too short, too poor, not holding the right degrees, past your prime, your best, your whatever…they will be there surrounding you like jelly fish.
But just jump in that water and don’t look left, don’t look right just FIND A WAY.