Friday, May 11, 2012

Maryl trains: To follow her dreams

That’s not a picture of Diana Nyad, the championship long distance swimmer training to cross the Straits of Florida. It’s only me getting ready to swim across my pool. We just opened it for the summer and I’m looking forward to jumping in, stretching out my muscles and gliding to the other side and back and back. I remember being afraid as a child to put my face in the water at summer camp. Now I do multiple strokes without taking it out and have completed three Danskin Women Triathlons. Was it easier when we were younger to overcome our fears and do the unthinkable?

My daughter and me finishing our 1st triathlon
Because now I think of the mammoth projects I’ve taken on with my start-up business and the film I want to produce. I question whether I still have the stamina and mental acuity to do it all. I’m not going to swim any channels or straits but believing in your dreams and yourself is where I can connect with Diana Nyad and her message. She rejects that her generation lacks relevance and vitality and that their best days are behind them. Her planned third attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida is not about breaking records and enhancing her own notoriety. It’s about feeling the passion and vigor once again and carrying the message to women that “middle age is their prime, not the beginning of the end.” Like many, Diana believes “retirement” doesn’t mean the same thing anymore. “I want people to see me and say, ‘Wow! That’s the new 61!”

I thought I had little in common with this water wonder woman and that my challenges paled in comparison to hers. Then I heard her speech from the last TED MED conference about losing her mother, turning 60, reflecting on how she might have wasted some of that precious time and how she was going to make the best of the rest. Have you ever heard a TED Talk? If you have you know how spellbinding and stimulating they are. I know you have other web pages and videos to open but just look at least the first few minutes of this 15 minute video and feel the joy and complete satisfaction of following one's dreams. I dare you not to watch it all the way through to the end.

Opening photo by Svetlana Blasucci


  1. I suggest you read "Healthy at 100" and it will change the way you think!
    I believe that we can do whatever we want when we have passion, and a will. Of course being healthy at any age helps to fuel the fire.

  2. Love the title, Patricia. Thanks for the book recommendation. As they say if you have your health you have everything and can do just about everything too.

  3. Her comment about time wasted on negative thinking really resonates. After a frustrating morning, I listened to her from beginning to end. I can't believe she quoted Mary Oliver, one of my favorite poets.

    Thanks, Maryl, for the much-needed, nicely timed pep talk!

    BTW, I'm a swimmer too -- it's my only addiction.

    1. I just watched the video again. Now I'm ready to start my day...after my swim. Thanks.