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Swimmer Diana Nyad reaches her goal: Lessons in persistence we can draw on as writers

“You don’t like it. It’s not doing well. Find a way.” Diana Nyad’s mantra as she swam from Cuba to Florida.

On her fifth attempt, Diana Nyad, 64, met her goal Monday to swim 103 miles from Havana, Cuba, to Key West, Florida. It took her nearly 53 hours.

Nyad, made her first try in 1978 at the age of 28. She made more recent attempts after turning 60, battling jellyfish stings, asthma, dehydration, and sharks. In this final attempt, Nyad swam without a shark cage and had a support team who went before her to clear the way of jellyfish and sharks. She also wore a special mask to protect her face.

For anyone who has goals, whether they’re to make a record-breaking swim or write and publish a book, Nyad’s example offers a lesson in persistence.

One of the things that has helped me reach my personal goals has been finding people who inspire me and whose example I can follow. I followed Nyad’s progress since her attempt in 2010 and this weekend as she met her goal.

According to a CNN story, as Nyad came ashore, she told reporters she had three messages: “One is we should never, ever give up. Two is you never are too old to chase your dreams. Three is, it looks like a solitary sport, but it’s a team.”

Her lessons are also true of writing. While writing is very often a solitary endeavor, we all benefit from supportive family members, friends, and writing groups. Consider how you can draw from Nyad’s experience. Create your own mantra, call on the support of friends and return the favor, and find people who have achieved their goals to see how you can model their success.

To learn more about creating your own mantra, read this post Boost your writing ambitions with a personal mantra

Congratulations Diana Nyad. You did it.

Watch Nyad’s TED Talk:

This post features Information about Diana Nyad courtesy of Wikipedia under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License

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