Just last week while walking along a beach at Key West pondering about how fabulous my cup of coffee tasted, I came across a momentous event.
First of all, it was huge for me to be there! The plans came together only five days previous!
Smather's Beach had little activity at 7:30 am but that quickly changed. Down the beach there were three men, one in a sports jacket, the other two more casual operating a large camera and a lot of equipment. When they paused from filming I asked them what was happening and I noticed on their camera it said, CNN. I learned about Diana Nyad swimming across from Cuba. She was to arrive in a few hours.
Just a short walk back to our hotel, I informed the rest of my group and returned to witness this record-setting event. Throughout the morning we experienced a small group evolve to hundreds of people waiting to celebrate Diana's accomplishment. We met the fella who parasailed that same distance several years ago and heard about his father who water skied the same 110 miles. Along with us tourists there were many local folks we met and learned about their lifestyle in this piece of "paradise." The mood everywhere was festive.
Diana made it to Smather's Beach some 50 some hours after leaving Cuba. I don't even like the idea of staying awake that long! It was her fifth try! She did not use a "shark cage", as some have done in the past. She was an example of what can be done with determination! Her age - 64!Just after she staggered on to the shore, looking both satisfied and exhausted, she shared with us something I'll not soon forget.
First let me set the scene. It is about 2:15 pm, the sun is really beating down on us, humidity is high. I'm thinking, get her (Diana) out of here, somewhere comfortable. She is on a strecher, has an IV going, her lips are all swollen from taking in small amounts of salt water for the past three days.
She no longer was wearing her prosthetic mask to protect her from jelly fish. She directed her assistants not to exit the beach but to pause in the shade to talk with the group.
Diana shared three main points.
First, you're never too old.
Second, never give up.
And third, it takes a team!
What a day to remember. Thank you, Diana Nyad, for that example.
Look around your life. Acknowledge those who make up your team, those who are there to make your dreams come true. Thank you to all that support mine!