Weighty Matters

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Never, Ever Give Up

“Never, ever give up,” said swimming legend Diana Nyad after completing a swim of around 110 miles from Cuba to Key West in around 53 hours, without the protection of a shark cage and while wearing a special mask to protect her face and eyes from jellyfish stings.

She’s 64 years old and this was her fifth try at accomplishing this marathon feat. She’s living proof of something else she said. “You’re never too old to chase your dream.”

I’m a little sorry that I didn’t drive to Key West to join the crowd that welcomed her when she reached Smathers Beach. I bet everyone felt an exhilarating, joyous energy when they saw her leave the water and walk ashore. The woman had just completed swimming for more than two days. How the hell she was able to walk is beyond me.

Instead of driving to the southernmost city, I went out on my boat with a friend. (After taking advantage of my day off to go to a Monday morning Zumba class.) We had a beautiful day on the water. Although I didn’t get to snorkel due to a massive number of moon jellyfish, it was lovely to be out on the salty sea. We hung out for awhile looking at the jellies, which are quite zen and beautiful, and then cruised over to the sandbar for a couple of hours. Very relaxing. I thought about Diana a lot during the day and swam around my boat a few times in her honor. (Okay, I also figured it was a good way to incorporate extra exercise since I was in the water anyway at the sandbar.) When I heard that she’d finished the swim, I cheered and I very much took her words to heart. “Never, ever give up. You’re never too old to chase your dreams.”

Sometimes I get angry with myself for not having weight loss surgery years ago. I wasted so much time and so squandered so much quality of life.

When those times hit, I do my best not to wallow, but instead try to cancel the thoughts from my head and heart. Regret is a wasted emotion to some extent. I can’t rewind and relive those years. I can only continue to make today, and all of the future todays, the best. Living my best life is the most important thing, no matter what the challenge.

For today, I’m not going to dwell on the fact that I’m already in my 50s. Instead, I’m going to focus on Diana’s message. I’m never too old to chase my dreams. In my case that means living my best life. I’m never, ever going to give up my recovery.

Thanks, Diana. Congratulations.

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