Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Dare to Dream: The Key to Passion

Like thousands of others around the world, I was inspired recently by Diana Nyad’s record-breaking Florida Straits swim. Watching her complete the final few strokes, stagger to her feet, unaided, and walk into the arms of one of her support team members brought me to tears. And when she spoke, as whipped as she was, her very first words were focused, unbridled joy, celebratory and inspiring. Paraphrasing, she said to never give up; she said you are never too old to chase your dream, and she said that while swimming looked like a solitary sport, it was a team effort. (She might as easily have meant life, that life is a team effort.) There she was, just out of the water after a grueling journey that lasted 52 hours and 54 minutes, and she was cheering us on! She’s 64. 64! And she did that. At another point, she raised her fist and said, “Boomer power,” I think it was. Something like that. It made me laugh. I fell in love with her. She’s wonderful! She’s an antidote...

Against so much of the conditioned thinking in our society about aging that writes off a person over 60. Heck, you’re 40 and in some people’s minds, you’re done, especially if you’re a woman. (Sorry, guys, it’s true.) It’s easy as you’re getting older to allow that mindset to overcome your imagination. (Does imagination age?) You can lose track of the kid in you, the thing inside that feeds your passion. In fact, Diana did. She quit swimming for thirty-one years. I didn’t know that until I watched her TEDx talk. I’m sharing it here, because I was so lit up by it.

It meant so much to me because I’m embarking on my own version of Diana’s swim, uprooting my life and relocating to another part of the state. And not only that but designing and building my house, a garage + potting shed, and a new garden. I’m going to be helping my son who is in the start-up phase of building his aquaponics farm venture, which I’m thrilled about. I’m working on a new novel, too, and I’m so excited about writing it. And lately another idea for an equally exciting story came to me. Suddenly, I’m on fire with all I can do. I’ve re-ignited my passion. I didn’t have words to describe all that I’ve been feeling just lately, and so much of it has been confusing to me, and a little unnerving, but then Diana Nyad did her incredible swim, and she described her process in this TEDx talk, and she gave me the words. Every time now I think I can’t do this, I’m too old, too tired, only one person, blahblahblah, I think of Diana, and her three things: don’t give up; you’re never too old; it takes a team. Following one’s passion is hard, grueling, beautiful work. It takes grit, so much grit. It’s messy and joyful. I hope I can always live it, and I hope you’ll tune in and watch Diana’s TEDx talk. It’s wonderful! 

No comments:

Post a Comment