Entering our extreme dreams

“This hope is still alive. Let me walk onto that shore carrying the message we can’t be afraid of failure.” ~ Diana

As I scrolled through my Twitter feed this morning I saw the news that Diana Nyad was preparing to get in the water to again attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida. I’ve lost track now of how many times she has attempted this feat. It’s the goal of her lifetime that she tried when she was young then revisited when she was 60. Yes. Sixty. She’s 62 now and still chasing her dream of completing the grueling and dangerous open water swim.

Diana Nyad begins her swim from Cuba to Florida. (Photo from diananyad.com)

Diana Nyad begins her swim from Cuba to Florida.
(Photo from diananyad.com)

There is so much to love about Diana Nyad’s story. There is the inspiration that you truly are never “too old” to pick up a dream, no matter how dead you once thought it was. There is the inspiration that no dream is too extreme, that it’s fantastic to dream big and bold. And by the way, while you’re dreaming big and bold, it’s perfectly fine to stumble and fall. It’s perfectly fine to land flat on your face. Because the regret comes in not trying.

So what’s your extreme dream? What ocean have you been longing to swim? What mountain have you been aching to climb? Maybe you have a nemesis in the marathon. Or your gremlins are shouting down your idea to run a 5K. Or maybe you really want to take the stairs at work or get to the gym three days next week.

What if this weekend, we just let our hearts wander into our extreme dreams? While Diana Nyad is tackling her dream, let us explore what our inner athletes are longing to do. Because we all have an inner athlete. She may want to charge up Denali or tackle an Ironman. She may want to develop a consistent yoga practice or ride her bike to work more often. But whatever she wants to do, for one weekend, let’s listen to her. Without judgment. Without dismissing the feasibility. Without a worst-case-scenario plan. Without our gremlins.

Let’s enter our extreme dreams. That’s the first step. Then we can take the example of Diana Nyad for the next step, the bold step on to the shores where we are no longer afraid of failure.

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