To me there is a calm in the water, an overwhelming sense of peace that takes over soon as I step into the waves. And yes, I did watch the movie Jaws, which freaked out a lot of people I know, enough to keep them from swimming in water above their heads.
Not me. Which is why I've been keeping tabs on Diana Nyad for a bit, fascinated by her several attempts to muscle her way through the waters between Cuba and the Florida Keys.
Now that's some seriously tricky albeit beautiful water, teeming with things that can cause pain, from jellyfish to well, the aforementioned Jaws. Let's not forget that Diana's internal body clock is doing some serious ticking as well, way past the age when athletic swimmers would push themselves heavily, never mind trying to set records.
And that she did today, after her fifth attempt, living out an ephemeral dream that carried a whopping physical cost with it, at the ripe age of 64.
I hit a big birthday this year, won't say what but it will say it socked me like a ton of bricks. I was incredibly dissatisfied with my life, had a job I loathed to put it mildly and enduring a messy, snowy and bitterly cold winter. When I heard Nyad was going to try swimming with the jellies as yet again, everything in my psyche rose up and cheered her on. Me and I figure a whole bunch of people of a certain age who at times are made to feel irrelevant and disposable in this extremely youth oriented U.S. society.
She lived out her dream and made 64 the newest version of a woman's little black dress, eminently wearable and a timeless classic.
Thank you, Diana, because tomorrow a lot of us will again pursue our dream with a lot more vigor, thanks to your example that it's never too late.
Amen, and hand me my snorkel and swim fins, please.