Creativity

What Diana Nyad Can Teach Us About Unwavering Passion, Writing, and Life


triathletes, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii (Oct. 15, 2005) U.S. Navy, public domain

triathletes, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii (Oct. 15, 2005) U.S. Navy, public domain

On Monday, September 2, 2013, author, journalist, motivational speaker, and endurance swimmer Diana Nyad was the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage.

Diana Nyad website

Here are some interesting facts about that sentence:

Diana Nyad tried to complete this swim four other times. She finally did it.  At age 64.

Spending 53 hours straight swimming 110 miles from Havana, Cuba to Key West, Florida, facing sharks, rough Gulf Stream currents, and the stinging jellyfish that derailed her last three tries, Nyad walked up on shore and announced she had three messages:

  1.  “Never give up.”
  2.  “You’re never too old to chase your dreams.”
  3.  “It looks like a solitary sport, but it’s a team.”

Once Diana decided to chase her dream, she wasn’t going to let go. She trained day after day, month after month, year after year. Even when the dream looked crushed. Repeatedly.

See  what she says is her ‘unwavering passion’ here:

What dream are you willing to chase? What book longs to be written? What obstacle are you willing to overcome? What work are you willing to do to make it happen? 

Dreams without hard work are nebulous fantasies that float away.

Diana could have given up after her first attempt. She could have admitted to failure at her second attempt. It would have been understandable for her to determine that her dream was out of reach after her third and fourth attempt. She could have blamed the jellyfish, the lightning storms, old age closing in. She could have blamed her asthma.

But she says for over thirty years she pictured herself walking up on the Florida shore.

What do you visualize yourself accomplishing? What do you see coming to pass in your mind’s eye when reality gives a different view? What vision of hope do you have for yourself and your life?

Diana didn’t train alone. She didn’t make her final attempt to cross the ocean alone. She had a team of 35 people believing in her dream with her, supporting and working alongside her.

Writing, like endurance swimming, seems like a solitary sport, but it ultimately takes a team.

Who is your dream team? Who believes in you and your vision? Who can you lean on when dream crushers come your way?

Surround yourself with those who want to believe and invest in you and your dream.

Diana Nyad never gave up. Maybe some people thought she was crazy. But she did what she set out to do. And proved it’s never too late.

What dream will you never give up?

5 replies »

  1. Wow, what a testament of strength and perseverance. She is truly an inspiration. We had no idea about this wonderful lady, Kristin, so we’re very glad your brought her to our attention. Writing has definitely been a dream of ours and to finally be published authors was a milestone that we’ll never forget. Now, working on our second novel and short story compilation, it feels quite surreal to be where we are in our career. Of course, we never stop shooting higher and trying to better ourselves, though swimming 110 miles through jellyfish and shark infested waters won’t be a task we’ll be taking on anytime soon. We’ll leave that for the experts like Diana. 😉

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  2. This is a really great post!! I am a great fan of Ms Nyad. We’re both swimmers you know. The few times that I have been to the beach I have gazed out over the ocean and wondered what it would be like to just swim and swim to the horizon. I’ve followed Ms Nyad through her other attempts. She is an incredible inspiration. Thanks for writing about her.

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  3. First, thanks for visiting my blog. And thanks again for writing this impressive post and including the video of Diana Nyad’s talk. Very inspiring and very challenging. I’ll be reblogging this for sure, but right now I’m going to finish listening to this again. 🙂

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