Diana Nyad Rocks the House

Oct 21, 2015

 If you ever have the opportunity to hear the swimmer Diana Nyad speak, do it. Run, don’t walk, to buy your tickets and get there early because it’ll sell out. Trust me.

On September 2, 2013, Diana completed an epic swim from Cuba to Florida. “Epic” is over-used on the internet now, so let’s establish a rule that we can no longer describe things as “epic” unless they compare to her swim. This was:

  • her fifth attempt
  • 111 miles door-to-door
  • 53 straight hours of in-water time, with no option to hang on to the boat for a breather (never mind take a nap)
  • through waters infested with sharks and the kind of jellyfish who had nearly killed her and a crew member on her previous attempt
  • when she was 64

As someone who frequently craves a nap on a good day, this sounds mythic to me.

It was fun, inspirational joy to see Diana in person as she told stories about her swimming and her life. Throughout the hour, the audience reaction included cheers, heads bobbing in agreement, hysterical laughter, and a sudden silence in which you could hear a pin drop.

One of my favorite stories was a pep talk she got from a teammate as she prepared for the race that could get her to the Olympic Trials. Diana was stressed and felt the weight of the world on her shoulders. Her teammate challenged her: “How fast can you swim the length of the end of your pinky finger nail?” Diana said “I don’t know, maybe one thousandth of one thousandth of a second?” Her friend said “If you give everything you have, knowing that you couldn’t swim a fingernail faster, then you’ve done all you can. No regrets.”

This was a game-changer for Diana, especially when she didn’t qualify for the Olympic Trials in that race. She said she headed to the locker room, but didn’t beat herself up, because she knew that she had given it everything she had. No regrets.

No regrets. Can you say that? If not, what’s stopping you?

The first step to amplifying your life is simplifying your day.

Enter your email to receive The Simple Start: A strategic toolbox to help you simplify your email inbox, your priority to-do list and your morning routine, starting TODAY.