Diana Nyad. World record for an open water swim. 5th attempt. Age 64.
At age 64, Diana Nyad made her 5th attempt at an unprecedented record - one which experts and scientists thought was impossible. Even for someone of a different gender. Even for someone much younger.
She had started training at age 60, to become the first person to swim the 110 miles (180km) from Cuba to Florida non-stop, in open waters, without a shark cage. She wanted to do so, "Because I'd like to prove to the other 60 year-olds that it is never too late to start your dreams."
Unpredictable currents, jellyfish stings, tropical storms, and asthma derailed her previous attempts. But she wasn't going to give up. 53 hours later, suffering from hallucinations, vomiting, hypothermia, a swollen throat from constant exposure to saltwater and a swollen face from a jellyfish mask, she set foot onto a beach on Florida.
When I first started training for this, it wasn't just about the ego and about achieving this. But more importantly, it is "how much life is there left? Let's face it. We're all on a one-way street, aren't we? What are we going to do as we go forward, to have no regrets looking back? (I recall the) Teddy Roosevelt quote: 'You go ahead and sit back in the comfortable chair, and you be the critic and the observer, while the brave one goes into the ring and engages and gets bloody and dirty and fails over and over and over again. But yet isn't afraid and lives life in a bold way.' What a tremendous build-up in character and spirit, as you reach for those horizons.
Find a way. You have a dream, and you have obstacles in front of you, as we all do. None of us ever get through life without heartache and turmoil. But if you believe, and you have the faith, and you can get knocked down and get back up again, and you believe in perseverance as a great human quality, you find a way. Never, ever give up. You can chase your dreams at any age, you're never too old.
Every day in our lives is epic. I'm 64, and I'm in the prime of my life.
When you achieve your dreams, it's not so much what you get as whom you've become to achieve them. I stand proud because I am that bold, fearless person, and I will be, every day until it's time for these days to be done."
She really says all the right things, doesn't she? But the power and with which she says these things. Wow.
If you're later into your life, don't give up. There's time. There are dreams still waiting for you, and effort to try will be most rewarding.