In March, I wrote a blog post titled JUST KEEP SWIMMING.
It related the trials and tribulations of swimmer Florence Chadwick to those of a writer.
Yesterday, Ms. Chadwick's perseverance came to mind as I sat in awe reading about Diana Nyad.
If you were “unplugged” over Labor Day weekend, on Monday, Diana Nyad became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a protective cage. The feat alone is amazing, but Nyad also accomplished it at age 64! Having sailed from Florida along the coast of Cuba two weeks ago, I cannot imagine swimming that 103 mile stretch of ocean…or 103 miles of any ocean…or body of water. One mile in the local YMCA pool is my limit. Nyad’s accomplishment both astonished and shamed me. (Note to self: Next time you’re whining about crowded lanes at the pool, think Dian Nyad and SHUT UP!)
Both Chadwick and Nyad embody the spirit of perseverance. They faced painful failures in their quests for their dreams, but learned from each setback and didn’t give up. Like Chadwick, who reminded herself to keep her goal in sight even when obstacles and doubt obscured her vision, Nyad pushed through pain, doubt and exhaustion to reach her goal. It took the 64-year-old swimmer five attempts and 35 years to get there, but Monday, Nyad reached her destination. In an interview after her swim, Nyad said throughout the 53-hour swim she held her mantra close: "You don't like it. It's not doing well. FIND A WAY."
Diana Nyad’s “never give up” attitude is now on the wall of my writing space and at the forefront of my mind as I deal with the ups and downs of submitting my manuscript and entering writing contests. She and Chadwick have proven to me and the world that when working toward a dream, you need to “Just Keep Swimming.”
The shore may be closer than you think.