Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Stopping Isn't Failing!

Photo courtesy of

As I was drinking my coffee and watching the morning news yesterday morning, I heard that Diana Nyad was debating whether or not to continue her swim from Cuba to the Florida Keys.  For her sake, I was hoping she could continue.  Whether or not Ms. Nyad continued her swim, she was a success and a hero to me!  However, she had been trying to achieve her dream for over 35 years and she deserved to achieve her goal.  On her fourth attempt she'd already endured 41 hours of swimming, numerous jellyfish stings on her lips and face, hypothermia, and a bad overnight storm.

Diana Nyad's plan was to celebrate her arrival in the Florida Keys along with her 63rd birthday, which is today.  Unfortunately, she arrived in the Keys ... without achieving her dream.

Ultimately, the jellyfish were her greatest challenge and the main reason for stopping her swim.  As she said on the Today Show, "It was devastating.  On the other hand, it's like life isn't it?  We don't always get what we want.  All our dreams don't come true. This is a big, big, larger-than-life dream.  This journey over the last three years has been magnificent.  What I've learned, and the spirit of it, I don't have any regrets."

This morning I saw a clip on the news of Ms. Nyad, and she said, "I'm not a quitter.  Maybe this isn't possible.  Things aren't like they used to be ... those jellyfish".  Her words really struck me.

When hearing her comments about the jellyfish, I recalled hearing about the invasion of giant jellyfish in Japan and how it's thought to be a cause of pollution in the ocean.  I couldn't help but wonder of Ms. Nyad's experience with jellyfish was also an indication of man's bad habits.

Another thing that really struck me was her statement about not being a quitter.  I totally agreed with her, and was hoping that she wasn't beating herself up for having to put her health first.  As her news story was being introduced, some idiot reporter said something to the effect of ... "Diana Nyad's attempt to swim from Cuba to the Florida Keys was a failure".  I got so angry when I heard that.  A failure?!  Just the fact that she'd attempt such a thing ... for the fourth time, and at 63 years of age ... come on man!  How insensitive!

The final thing was her words about not always getting what we want and her magnificent journey over the past three years in her attempts to achieve her dream.  All of this made me wonder, "What is considered a success?  What's considered a failure?"

I think that going for your dreams and doing your best is a success!  The end result may not be the desired result, but it does NOT mean failure!

My thoughts then went to our dream and plan to go cruising.  WHEN we go, will we be considered a failure if we hit a reef the first six months and sink our boat?!  Will we be considered a failure if we decide we've had enough after a year or two ... or ten?  What if we realize that we hate cruising?  Does that mean we've failed?  My answer ... hell no!

It takes guts to go for one's dreams, no matter what they are.  Stopping after making every effort and doing your best is not a failure!  Never trying because of fear and insecurity ... that's the failure!

So, "Happy Birthday" Diana Nyad!  You are amazing and a true success story!

Hasta luego ... until then.  Mid-Life Cruising!


Sandee said...

That reporter is a failure at reporting. He sees the glass half empty. That's a failure. She did not fail. She's a doer and I too am proud of her. How many folks would even attempt this swim? Not many.

Excellent post.

Have a terrific day. :)

Tropic Heat Studios said...

Great post! I totally agree with your point of view. Diana Nyad is the definition of success & bravery!

Neophyte Cruiser said...

Forgive me, but here is a quote from Theodore Roosevelt which is apropos:
"It's not the critic who counts; Not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit goes to the one who is actually in the arena; Who strives valiantly; who errs and comes up short again and again; Who knows the great devotions, the great enthusiasms, and spends himself in a worthy cause. Who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and, at the worst, if he fails at least he fails while daring greatly; so that his place will never be among those timid and cold souls who know neither victory or defeat."

Latitude 43 said...

Excellent post. Don't hit a reef.

Unknown said...

I agree with Tropic Heat Studios, This was a great post. You have hit the nail on the head. If only everyone would strive to achieve their dreams, what a wonderful world this would be. We are dreaming of setting sail in just a few years and are preparing ourselves and the boat to set sail. said...

I'm sorry for her that she didn't make it. What a woman.

Ken n Cheryl said...

Glad ya'll agree!

Neophyte Cruiser ... LOVE the quote! So true. May have to post this on our Facebook page!

Scott ... hope to see you out there someday!

Dani said...

Yeah I watched that story too. Amazing what that woman did!

You would not be a failure. Simply leaving the dock is a success. If we were considered failure for not doing everything we planned to do in life, We would live a life in failure.

And that's just absurd!

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