What You Can Learn From Diana Nyad: Never Give Up.

I have added a name to my rather short ‘favorites’ list of fitness icons. It’s not that I don’t follow people in the fitness industry like Jillian Michaels and Kelly Coffey Meyer.  But I only have three people that I am semi-obsessed with meaning that I faithfully follow them on Facebook, watch for their tweets and anxiously wait to see what there next venture is going to be.  They are Tony Horton, Cathe Friendrich and Chalene Johnson.

I now have a new fitness icon to add to the list. Diana Nyad. The 62 year old swimmer that is the first person to swim 110 miles from Cuba to Key West, Florida without a shark tank.

It isn’t the physical feat of making the swim that is so inspiring – not that that in itself isn’t incredible.  It’s her amazing spirit and incredible tenacity that fascinates and inspires me.


Flickr photo by Cuba Gallery

Not An Easy Swim

It took Diana 52 hours and 54 minutes to swim from Cuba to Key West.  During the swim she vomited constantly, making it nearly impossible to stay hydrated.  She was sun burned, endured jelly fish stings, and had unbearably swollen lips from the salt water.  Yet she kept going.  How?

At a news conference on Tuesday she revealed some of the tricks that she uses to keep swimming such as counting her strokes in English, German, Spanish and French and singing songs to herself.  She says there’s a song list of 85 tunes in her brain. Neil Young is her favorite.

But for most of us there are no songs that we could sing in our head, or any language that we could count strokes in that would keep us swimming through salty, churning ocean waves for 110 miles while vomiting, getting bit by jelly fish, and suffering from dehydration and extreme exhaustion.

Inspiration From Diana Nyad

After reaching the shore at Smathers Beach in Key West, Diana was surrounded by news photographers and fans that wanted to know how she did it.  Here are some of her responses along with quotes from the new programs she was a guest on the following day:

  • On CBS This Morning “…. All of us suffer heartache. All of us suffer difficulties in our lives. And if you say to yourself ‘find a way,’ you’ll make it through.”
  • Upon reaching Smathers Beach Diana had three things to tell her onlookers: “One is, we should never ever give up. Two is, you’re never too old to chase your dreams. Three is, it looks like a solitary sport, but it’s a team.”
  • Remarking on her motivation to keep going:   “I am stunned, at age 61, at how fast it all flies by. My mom just died. We blink and another decade passes. I don’t want to reach the end of my life and regret not having given my days everything in me to make them worthwhile.”
  • “Never, ever give up. And find a way. … And my age, they’re looking at me as a baby boomer, saying life is not over at this age by any means. So I’m more of, shall we say, a human spirit story than I am a sports story.”
  • In a Today Show interview: “You can dream, you can be vital, and you can be in your prime.  I may not look it right now, but you catch me on a good day, I’m in my prime.” (check out Diana here and I’m sure you will agree that she is in her prime.)
  • “You’re never too old to live your dreams.”
  • From PBS News Hour – “The thing about aging is, it’s true that the clock seems to be ticking faster as you get older. It isn’t, but it seems to be. Time seems to be running out. And I wanted to swim this endeavor not to just be the athletic record. I wanted it to be a lesson for my life that says, be fully engaged.

Never Give Up

Diana had attempted the swim four times without success prior to the September 2013 swim. Once, in August of 2011, she was unable to complete the swim because of shoulder pain and winds that blew her miles off course.

In September of 2011 she attempted the Cuba to Florida swim but was defeated by box jellyfish and Portuguese man of war stings.  In August of 2012 her swim ended before she reached her goal again due to bad jelly fish stings and a lightning storm.

The final attempt landed her on the shore of Key West, Florida on September 2, 2013 at 1:14 p.m.  Her web site simply says, “She freaking made it.”

What can you and I learn from Diana?

Never, ever give up on your dreams.

“I think that a lot of people in our country have gotten depressed, pinned in, pinned down with living lives they don’t want. I do write all the time about — you tell me what your dreams are. What are you chasing? It’s not impossible. Name it.” –Diana Nyad (CNN news article)

Are you inspired by Diana Nyad?

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Eight Motivational Web Sites To Help You Find (Or Keep) Your Mojo

Having a little trouble with motivation? Was the resolution you made on New Year’s Eve forgotten by the first of February? Maybe you continue to make a monthly donation to the local gym but never use the facility.

Or you decide that you’re going to take a healthy lunch to work every day, but by Thursday you’re sleeping too late to put something together.

Life's Plan

It’s not easy keeping all of the balls in the air.  The job, family, financial worries, stress and lack of time all contribute to burn out.  Burn out dampens our enthusiasm and our ability to accomplish our dreams. It might seem like a no-win situation but it’s not.  While winning the lottery, spending a week at the beach or hiring a trainer to come to the home might help us reach our goals, for most of us, these aren’t realistic solutions.

But there is plenty of inspiration out there just waiting for you to tap into it.  I’ve  found eight resources to help you do just that.

Eight Motivational Web Sites You Need To Bookmark Now 

  1. Pick the Brain – Pick The Brain is one of my favorite websites.  It has four main sections:  Motivation, Productivity, Health and Self improvement.  Articles are updated daily, if not more often.  Pick the Brain, started in 2006, is one of the most popular self-help sites and has over 52,000 Facebook fans.  If you are a writer and would like to submit an article pertaining to one of these topics, Pick the Brain is actively seeking guest bloggers. For daily motivation, check out the site here.
  2. Sources of Insight – Awhile back I based one of my posts on a Sources of Insight article by J.D. Meier:  What You Can Learn From Chris Cardell, J.D. Meier, and Pink. Sources of Insight’s purpose is to “share patterns and practices from the great books, great people and great quotes” that J.D. Meier finds.  J.D. believes that life is not a spectator sport, and that success if a journey, not a destination.  There’s a lot you can learn from this site.  Access the site here.
  3. Advanced Life Skills – Jonathan Wells will work with you to recreate your reality and help you make rapid progress on your goals.  Jonathan isn’t a psychologists or ‘motivatonal superstar’.  He is a Certified Personal and Breakthrough Strategy Coach and dedicates Advanced Life Skills to helping people live the extraordinary life. Check out Advanced Life Skills here.
  4. Positively Positive – With a focus on optimism and inspiration this web site has oodles of contributors that make Positively Positive a pretty amazing place to land. You’ll find short videos, quotes, posters and articles to keep your motivation high and, for lack of a better word,  positive. Find the positivity you’re looking for here.
  5. Tiny Buddah.com – Tiny Buddha is all about reflecting on simple wisdom and learning new ways to apply it to our complex lives.  It covers a variety of topics: happiness and fun, love and relationships and change and challenge.  And while it has its roots in Buddhism it’s not a sight about religion but rather about wisdom and life. Check it out here.
  6. The Change Blog –  The Change Blog is a comminuty site that publishes stories from people of all ages and backgrounds from around the globe.  Since 2007 The Change Blog has published more than 500 posts on topics related to personal change.  If you’re a writer and would like to learn more about getting an article published at The Change Blog you can read about the guest post guidelines here.  If you just want to peruse the 500+ change articles, click here.
  7. Life Optimizer – Life Optimizer’s author, Donald Latumahina, believes many people exist without ever realizing their full potential.  This site lets you explore ways to unleash your ‘underdeveloped potential’ to fully optimize your life.  Get started reaching your full potential by clicking here.
  8. The Positivity Blog –  Henrik Edbert has been publishing articles at the Positivity Blog for seven plus years and shares his own experiments and experiences that have helped him figure out how to build a better life. Henrik’s focus is to stay positive and productive and practice mindfulness.  You can access The Positivity Blog here.

Go ahead and browse around the sites, subscribe or book mark your favorites.  While you’re at it, go ahead and bookmark, subscribe or follow Put That Cookie Down Now!, another source for motivation and inspiration.

What’s your go-to source or web site for motivation?  Be Social! Share! 


What You Can Learn From Sheldon Silverstein

Listen to the Mustn’ts, child,
Listen to the Don’ts
Listen to the Shouldn’ts
The Impossibles, the Won’ts.
Listen to the Never Haves
Then listen close to me —
Anything can happen, child,
Anything can be.

Anything Can Be

I remember as a child I would lie for hours outside in the grass under big white cumulus clouds and dream that they were alive. One cloud was a pig that effortlessly morphed into an angel. Another was a gentle giant that dissipated into a small mouse. As the clouds floated across the sky they would take on shapes and lose them just as quickly creating a world that I could escape in.

It was very make-believe, yet at the same time, very real.

Dreams and make-believe are a big part of childhood. But as we grow up, our dreams begin to change shape. We become so busy and are under pressure from unending obligations that we’re no longer able to find the time to dream.

Or worse, our dreams have been squelched because we’ve allowed ourselves to be affected by the mustn’ts, shouldn’t’s and won’ts.

Learning to dream again is a big part of goal setting and achievement. If you’re stuck and are finding it impossible to push through a weight-loss plateau, can’t seem to find the motivation to exercise, and are finding it hard to be excited about life in general, the only way to get unstuck is to start dreaming again.

Take a step back and start creating a vision for your future self that looks just like you wish it did. Ask yourself the question, “If I rubbed a magic bottle and a genie came out and granted me three wishes, what would they be?”

Now, rub the bottle again and pick three more.

Write your dreams down and start putting a plan in place to make them happen. You might even want to start a Dream Jar where you can stow away your written down dreams. Keep the jar in plain sight and it will be a reminder to stay focused on achieving your goals.

Go ahead and dream big dreams.  There’s no need to set boundaries for your ideas.

Anything can happen, friend.  Anything can be.

The poem the Mustnt’s is included in a collection of children’s poetry, “Where The Sidewalk Ends” by Sheldon Silverstein. Silverstein’s poetry resides somewhere between written for children and loved by adults.

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This Week Your Monday Motivation Is In Pictures

Sometimes It’s Hard To Get Your Mojo Going On Monday Morning.

Bloggers are always searching for just the right words to inspire, encourage and motivate. Pictures are a huge part of motivation and sometimes move us when words cannot.  To get your Monday and week off to a great start, here’s a motivational pictorial that I hope will inspire you, or at least make you smile.

My Favorite

Flickr photo by stevendepolo

Seize The Day! 

Flickr photo by Nono Fara

Keep Going!

Flickr photo by Dawn-Pink Chick

You Must Believe

Flickr photoo by SweetOnVeg



More Awesomeness Only Higher Up

Flickr photo by mnapoleon

Amazing Photo – I wish I could jump that high! 

Flickr Photo by laurenlemon

Mood Enhancer

This Is A Workout!

Yoda’s (and my) Motto!

Flickr photo by Eastern Western University

Busted!!   (It’s okay. I think I can help.)

Put That Cookie Down Now!

Happy Monday!  Have a great week!!

Be sure and click FB Share or Tweet if you enjoyed the pics.  I hope you have a week of total awesomeness.

Most of the pictures are from Flickr Creative Commons –  a blogger’s best friend.  To link to similar photos by the same artist, click on the picture.