Diana Nyad never gave up on her dream

I first heard about Diana Nyad last year in this magazine article. The story gripped me. I hadn’t been able to get it out of my head. She was so inspiring and yet the story left me feeling a little sad – I was worried Nyad might never reach her goal. But ye of little faith.

So just who is Diana Nyad?

She’s a swimmer, for one. And an inspiration for many.

This Sunday September 2nd, Nyad became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida – without a shark cage. The 110 mile swim took her 52 hours, 54 minutes and 18.6 seconds. And guess what? She’s 64 years old and this is her fifth attempt.  She said one of her biggest challenges was vomiting caused by swallowing sea water from wearing the jellyfish mask. She told the news broadcasters later she was sick almost the entire time. The jellyfish mask she wore for part of the swim, combined with saltwater and sun also caused her lips and face to swell.

Besides the physical pain, think of the mental challenge of completing that swim. Can you imagine how scary it would be to swim at night in the ocean knowing there were sharks, jellyfish and who knows what else below in the dark? Not to mention being sunburnt to bits and being delirious from lack of sleep?

She stopped for nourishment from time to time but wasn’t allowed to touch the boat to make the record.

After landing in Florida on Sunday and barely being able to speak or stand, Nyad shared three messages:

“One is we should never, ever give up. Two is you’re never too old to chase your dream. Three is it looks like a solitary sport, but it is a team.” – Diana Nyad 

If you ever need some inspiration to go after your goals watch this video and go to minute 0:58. It actually brought tears to my eyes.

And did I mention that even Obama tweeted at her:


This story reminded me of a woman named Kim Lumsdon I met one morning while swimming at Cherry Beach in Toronto. Her goal is to be the oldest woman to swim across Lake Ontario. While she didn’t complete the swim this summer due to navigation and weather issues, I have no doubt that someday she will.

What are your ultimate goals? Share with us on Facebook and Twitter!