I recently saw an interview with Diana Nyad, the 64-year-old woman who swam from Key West to Cuba. It was an amazing story and what I really found interesting was when they were talking to her doctors, exercise physiologists, and all the people on her team they all said that it was physically impossible. They explained that all the physiology and circumstances (her age, the distance, the lack of nutrition, the jellyfish stings, etc.) would make her dream impossible. Regardless, she tried it and, sadly, she wasn’t successful. They had all been right and I think no one would have faulted her if she decided to give up!
Instead, she decided to try again and again and again! She FAILED 5 TIMES before she actually did it on the 5th attempt! For me, this was a great metaphor for life! There are going to be a lot of people along the way who tell you that you can’t do something and a lot of times they’re well-intentioned people. They’re your friends and your family and people who really love you, but maybe they just truly believe you can’t do something. No matter what that is: start your own business, do an exercise program, lose weight, etc. And if you CHOOSE to believe them- then you can! Or you have the opportunity to keep trying and to prove them wrong! If you fail at something the first time- that’s ok!
“Winners are not people who never fail, they are people who never give up!”
You might fail and that’s okay! Consider it a stepping stone, a learning lesson, and keep trying.
The other thing the interview drove home for me is: Your mind is amazing!! Your mind can push your body past its physical limitations. No matter what physically you should or shouldn’t be able to do, if you decide that you want to do it, then you can do it! That’s pretty amazing!
So, if you’re thinking about starting a new journey: committing to daily exercise, improving your diet, spending more time with family, reading more books, starting a business, whatever it is, start with 30 minutes EVERYDAY! 30 minutes is roughly 2.5% of your day. Then work your way up to an hour a day!
I want to encourage you to remove all the self-imposed limits that you put on yourself. We all have a story we tell ourselves, “this is just the way I grew up eating”, “this is the way my body will always look”, “this is the job I’m supposed to have”, or “this is what my life is going to look like”. I want to tell you that your life can be anything you want it to be and you can do anything you want! If you really want something in your mind and heart and you commit, then you will find a way to figure out the rest. Your mind is POWERFUL! And you can do ANYTHING you set your mind to!
To your health, happiness, and your dreams!
Sabine Gempel, DPT, PT