Did you know there is an athlete who swam 110 miles (177 km) non-stop, while avoiding sharks and deadly stinging Box Jellyfish? It might sound like a feat for a young, daring Iron Man.

But in fact, it was Ms. Diana Nyad, age 64, who claims this historic swim from Cuba to Florida!

Image: Diana Nyad - Find a Way!

Diana Nyad’s scars from Box Jellyfish Venomous stings.
Source: NY Times

She has a fascinating story to tell us, and the gift of an insight we could all use every day.

Find a way!

Let’s dive into this inspiring story:

There are only 12 people in history who have swam 48 hours strait. Diana is the only person to swim 49 hours continuously. The most revealing part is that she was 64 years old when she accomplished this.

What does this say about possibility?

What does it say about the wisdom and hardened perseverance we can gain through life, and then have access to when we are “seniors”?

From the stories we will share with you today, youth had nothing on experience in this extreme sports story. Today we’ll share with you the science and philosophy behind success and we’ll use several videos about Nyad’s feat to demonstrate patterns we can all tap into, at any age.

First up, a quick video to get you up to speed…

Via: ABC News 1

Now here’s Diana herself, on the TED stage, telling her story with a gift for us…

Via: TED 2

Fabulous!

“Find a way!”  – Diana Nyad

Recently I happened to watch a few documentaries that left me with the most extraordinary sense of possibility, even though they could not have been more different in their subject matter. One was an amazing film about the monumental airlift of people out of Siagon in the last 2 days of the Vietnam War, and the other was a documentary about the struggles of a rare species of monkey’s in the jungles of China.

Why did they leave me feeling uplifted?

Because both – oddly enough – echoed Diana Nyad’s mantra “Find a way!”.

They were vividly compelling stories of resilience and indomitable spirit. The people who worked to bring as many others to freedom in Saigon, and the orphaned baby monkey who survived on his own, miraculously, they found a way.

I’m going to hang on to that simple sentiment through the next few weeks and see if it doesn’t change my outcomes.

EWC’s Fascinating Science Bonus:

As I was researching this story, I came across more than a few places where people had left comments about Diana Nyad’s dreams and accomplishments, and I must tell you that I was taken aback by the many people who diminished or ridiculed aspects of the attempt that they did not understand.

It was rather sad that so many people could be so uninformed and quick to dismiss such a great example of human potential.

After I composed myself, and realigned with our EWC mission to prove – unequivocally – that the world is still an amazing place, I went in search of the science behind this amazing swim.

Oh boy, if only the nay-sayers had done a little more homework before commenting, they would have found this gem of a video about the fascinating science of how her team helped Diana avoid sharks, about the groundbreaking science that this inspired on the deadly box jellyfish, and on the brain science that was advanced by her willingness to be “studied.”

Now we know a lot more about ourselves! Take a few more minutes to enjoy this amazing look at what it takes to beat the odds…

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals. – David Thoreau

Now THAT is a quote for all of us to remember on both our best and our darkest days. Lovely.

Stay open, curious, and optimistic.

~Dr. Lynda

 

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Notes:

  1. “64-Year-Old Diana Nyad Swims From Cuba to Florida.” YouTube. ABC News, 2 Sept. 2013. Web. 24 Sept. 2015. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2B_XqN0vjMU>.
  2. Nyad, Diana. “Diana Nyad: Never, Ever Give up.” YouTube. TED, 23 Dec. 2013. Web. 1 May 2015. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zx8uYIfUvh4>.
  3. “The Science of Diana Nyad’s Swim from Cuba to Florida.” YouTube. Motherboard, 19 Feb. 2014. Web. 1 May 2015. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unI27NxC4j4>.

Dr. Lynda is a dentist, artist, global traveler, and philanthropist who looks for potential and shares it with the world.