Tuesday, August 21, 2012

To Dream, Quiet or Extreme: Inspiration is Contagious, a Thank You

I've spent the past two days obsessively following Diana Nyad as she made her fourth attempt to be the first person to swim without a shark tank the 103 miles from Havana to Key West.

You heard me: 103 miles.

She didn't make it.

I know she cares, but I don't.

She swam in shark and jellyfish infested waters for over 51 hrs, no wetsuit.

Oh, and did I mention tomorrow is her 63rd birthday?

Diana, swimming through her second night in shark and jelly-filled waters.

Me, a few summers ago,
trying out my new wetsuit
This Saturday, I attempt my first five-mile swim. And, yes, it seems piddly next to such an accomplishment.

I have to remind myself that it is an accomplishment. That merely two summers ago, I was fearful of the unknown -- of even stepping in.

And that I barely finished my first 5K.

Honestly, a 5K is easy for me now. A no-brainer. I do them -- or close -- on my own (with Pod friends) recreationally now, all the time.

But there's a big difference between a 5K and 5 miles (er, 2 miles, to be almost exact).

Still, absent some unforseen circumstance (weather, cramps, bites (um)) I have no doubt I will make it.

In fact, I'm both excited and already feeling like it's not enough.

And, yes, I know that last sentence might be a bit skewed, but it is me. It is how I feel.

Me, this summer in mynon-wetsuit longsuit
Maybe it's not always the best way to be, but it also keeps me striving.

It's the voice that pushes me to try new things and do more.

Do I want (need) to swim 103 miles? No, of course not (well, not yet ;)), but I do want to keep pushing myself. I don't want to become complacent.

And I do want to be brave.

And bravery hasn't always been my strongsuit.

So, thank god for Diana.

She's a personal hero.

She's a constant source of inspiration.

She's proof that age is just a number; that you can always
dream big and do more.

- gae

*not sure of exact mileage. Will amend when I find out. It's over 50... I think close to 55.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Having just turned sixty, it goes without saying that I like this sentiment!

  3. she sure makes it look powerful, huh, Jody? And you make it look talented and beautiful! <3

  4. I think it was Eleanor Roosevelt who said, "Do the thing that scares you!" Keep on pushing yourself. That's what makes this crazy life worth living.

  5. Good luck on Saturday! I will be sending you some good "swimming" vibes.

    I was disappointed to see Diana's swim end. I'm not sure how much of it you watched, but at one point she was swimming with a pod of dolphins - HOW COOL! What an amazing story! What an amazing woman! A true inspiration to young and old!

    This summer, I once thought that I was swimming with a pod of dolphins, but as it turns out they were just really fast college and high school swimmers.:) I am getting old!:(

    Enjoy EVERY stroke of that five mile swim on Saturday!

  6. Andy, I not only saw the dolphins (gorgeous!) and every blog post, but I followed her and thought about her so obsessively, I'd actually wake up in the middle of the night to check her progress anxiously.

    As to the dolphins turning out to just be (faster younger) swimmers, been there done that. And I'm way, WAY older than you!

    One day, you'll come swim in the open water with me here on LI. It will be fun!

    xox gae