"I have three messages:
1. Never, EVER, give up!
2. You're never too old to chase your dreams.
3. It looks like it's a solo act, but it's a team!"
-DIANA NYAD, upon leaving the water, standing on the shore of the Atlantic coast of the island of Key West, Florida immediately following her historic swim from Cuba to Key West.
Photo Credit: KCRW.com
The Stuff of Legend, and Becoming One (again)!
In a life-long voyage to conquering a seemingly impossible feat, Nyad, 64, began her odyssey at the age ot 28.
She has managed to accomplish that which others have only dared dream about.
As a young child, standing on the Cuban shore, she knew that the Florida Keys, were somewhere out there in the distance. At that moment, she decided that, one day, she would swim the void between the distant shores.
Today, is the day that her fanciful childhood proclamation, became the stuff of legend. She herself, becoming one in the process.
In her fourth, falied attempt, in in August of 2012 she had to cancel the swim due to inability to withstand the toxic effects of Box Jellyfish stings.
These beautiful, ethereal creatures, and their touch, nearly cost her her life.
Meet the Lady! The Athlete! The Woman!
She was adopted, following the death of her father, by a Greek developer of great reputation. She proceeded to live, what some might call, a "privileged" life.
A reasonable singer! A visionary! She is a survivor of the damaging, demoralizing horror of sexual abuse. She also happens to be a lesbian.
SHE'S A LESBIAN!?!?!?!?!?!?
But, her personal preference has nothing, whatsoever, to do with her ability, drive, skill or mettle. It is only an infinitesimal portion of the whole, and matters not one bit. Or does it?
Is there any significance to her earth-shattering achievement for gays and lesbians? You bet there is!
As with anyone who enjoys having a hero, whether culturally, racially, socially or in any other manner, LGBTQI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex) people, especially the youth, now have another icon and role-model in whom to have aspiration and admiration. We live in an era, where true icons are few and far afield.
Millions of LGBTQI people, the world-over, are now able to see and say to themselves, that "we can do anything--- we can BE anything". And that, in this writer's view, is a critical, priceless, example of something of which to be proud.
This is particiularly critical when living in a world in which, LGBTQI people are routinely ostracized, insulted, underestimated, lynched, murdered, and seen as the lowest life form among the brass-plated, rancorous bigots of the world.
So many American heroes are LGBTQI, and more and more, are being heralded and acknowledged for beneficial contributions to life for all people, all over the planet. Yet to some of the bronze relics of our society, will we will never, ever, be seen with respect for our achievements, and accomplishments in the world community.
Those same relics often ask "why do they need a (gay, black, women's, Asian, et cetera) parade, day, month, festival!?!?!?" Well? Why do we need a holiday for Columbus? Lincoln, Washington, King, Veterans???? BECAUSE. THEY. MATTER! It's not hard. And all people who make significant, positive, contributions DESERVE to be acknowledged. No matter "WHAT" they are.
Because the ruling class has failed to acknowledge, recognize or tip a hat to ANYTHING that didn't look, speak, act, or live like them for centuries.
Historically, clearly, if we don't celebrate our achievements, the class in power, won't.
A Hero for All Times, and for all People!
For the rest of the world, made up of people of good will, imagination, fairness, vision and love--- I'd like to shake your hand, and be certain to tell anyone who will listen, that this human being is an achiever of the highest order!
Diana Nyad, has morphed from her namesake (Naiads), to conquer and rule the sea, in addition to all the bodies of fresh water in existence! I will work to get her to appear as a guest on my radio show. Thank you, Diana Nyad, (!!!!!!) for giving me someone to admire, respect and to applaud again! Thank you for proving that dreams DO come true... if you work your ass of to achieve them!
She is a dreamer, a visionary, and a warrior! In her ability to conquer all the odds against her... her constitution to fight through all the risks, dangers, and agonizing pain... she is... ABSOLUTELY... a superhero to me!