Earlier this week, my husband and I intently watched as Diana Nyad staggered out of the water in Key West, Florida, and made history by being the first woman to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage. As I picked up the remote and turned off the television, my husband whispered, “Here we go.” After twenty years of marriage, he was already predicting the future more accurately than Nostradamus.
I sighed, “I don’t think I’m doing enough with my life.” I walked to gaze out the window of my suburban house nestled in the middle of suburbia. “It’s really not hard to figure out,” I said to the cardinal who made the mistake of landing on the deck railing in front of me. “I need excitement.”
There was no need to call the doctor. I already knew the diagnosis: I had just come down with a bad case of adventure envy.
I turned and sat on the couch next to my husband, whose eyes darted about the room searching for a quick escape route. I mentally moved down a list of possibilities. Swimming a long distance was out, mostly because I hadn’t yet been able to make my way across the community pool without first strapping on a life jacket and oxygen. Competing in the Ironman Triathlon was out because … well … see above. Due to my fear of bears, heights, and everything in between, climbing a mountain was out as well. After just a few seconds of contemplation, I was already back to square one in Boringville.
Now that some time has passed, I have come to the realization that Diana Nyad’s record-breaking swim was not just about a woman who sought adventure in her life and found it. Her journey across the sea was more about perseverance, inner-strength, and achieving something no one had ever before. Diana Nyad fought for thirty-five years until she found a way.
You’re never too old to live your dreams.
Life is short. Every day, I have a choice, even here in Boringville. You have a choice wherever you are. Adventure comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, and prices. Adventure comes when we step outside our comfort zones, face our fears, and walk into the unknown simply because we believe we can do it. Each morning when the sun comes up, we are all provided with a chance to do something great. It can be as simple as running a mile at the gym or as monumental as swimming one hundred and ten miles from Cuba to Florida. Or it can be somewhere in between like mentoring a troubled child, starting a business, or writing a book. But first, you have to believe you can do it.
Find a way.
Today, close your eyes, hold your breath, and jump into the unknown. You never know who you might inspire. Do it for Diana Nyad.