“Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.” Eleanor Roosevelt
On September 2, 2013, Diana Nyad, a 64-year-old American long-distance swimmer became the first person to swim from 110 miles across the Florida Straits from Cuba without a shark cage. It took her over 30 years and 5 tries to complete her journey.
“Her face sunburned and lips swollen, with barely enough energy to speak, Nyad waded ashore at Key West after a 53-hour swim and delivered a simple message to onlookers: ‘We should never, ever give up . . . You never are too old to chase your dreams.’ ” –Reuters
Despite her extraordinary courage, 53 hours of swimming, 4 unsuccessful attempts to complete the swim and her awe-inspiring attitude of “never, ever give up,” there have been some hard-core swimmers speaking up, mainly on online forums, that they believe she had assistance and that essentially, she did not really accomplish the feat.
Diana Nyad has reminded people across the world that no challenge is too big, that anything is possible and to never stop trying. The skeptics that have spoken out are a beautiful reminder than anything important enough to do comes with criticism but that shouldn’t become a deterrent. There will always be those who live to prove others wrong and who focus on the negative instead of the remarkable. It takes just as much courage to ignore the critics as it does to follow your heart and do what you know can be done.