Going the Distance: What Channel Women Can Learn From Marathon Swimmer Diana Nyad


This yr, International Women’s Day and the Oscars are inside two days of one another. Which is a cheerful accident, since 2023 noticed the discharge of many movies that includes unimaginable actresses in sturdy feminine lead roles. Among the nominees for Best Actress is a film that speaks on to IWD’s 2024 theme, #InspireInclusion. In reality, I feel it speaks to all ladies of the channel. I’m speaking about Nyad, the account of long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad’s profitable 2013 swim from Cuba to Florida.

Some again story. Nyad was a champion swimmer her entire life. She set spectacular data in her 20s, then didn’t swim in any respect for thirty years. At 60, she resurrected her dream of swimming from Havana to Key West. She educated intensively to get again in form, then made 4 harrowing, unsuccessful makes an attempt over a number of years. In 2013, at 64 years previous, she lastly achieved her aim. She swam nonstop for 110 miles. For 53 hours—that’s greater than two days straight! She continues to be the primary and solely individual on the earth to have carried out this feat with no shark cage.

Nyad is about adversity, journey, and triumph. It’s about inspiring inclusion: what you may accomplish no matter your age, your gender, or your sexuality (Nyad got here out when she was 21). But greater than something, it’s a couple of triumph of mindset, of imaginative and prescient, of a perception in your self. As Nyad (performed by Annette Bening) places it, “I don’t believe in imposed limitations. I don’t believe in any limitations.”

That’s why Nyad’s story is so vital for girls, particularly in our business. We’ve all bought obstacles and challenges, some smaller and a few greater. Our work within the channel is intense and fast-paced. It’s perpetually altering and evolving, as inevitably because the ocean currents and storms frequently disrupted Nyad’s course. Not to say the challenges we might carry in our private lives. So we are able to use some inspiration!

Though I like to recommend the entire film, let’s fast-forward to the top. (No worries about spoilers—the occasion was captured on video and broadly lined by the press.) Nyad stumbles onto the shore after these 53 hours of swimming and is led to the restoration gurney. Before she lies down, she shares some highly effective phrases via swollen lips: “I want to say three things. One, never, ever give up. Two, you’re never too old to chase your dreams. And three, it may look like a solitary sport…but it takes a team.”

These are easy statements; their which means is evident. But when you recognize what she had simply gone via, it will get actually inspirational. Here’s what I imply:

Never hand over

Nyad’s historic swim was years within the making—35 years should you rely her first try when she was youthful. But “never give up” is about greater than endurance over time. It’s about overcoming severe obstacles too. Hers got here within the type of sharks, poisonous jellyfish and severe storms. But we’ve all bought them, they usually can really feel each bit as massive and overwhelming: market forces that power massive adjustments or layoffs, unattainable deadlines or income targets, a well being scare, a toddler’s troubles at school.

You’re by no means too previous to chase your desires

Age offers you an vital new asset: knowledge. Nyad understood that her knowledge greater than made up for any athletic prowess she’d misplaced over the many years. Age is one other vital factor of range within the office and all our communities: ladies of all ages have a lot to supply one another when it comes to experience, mentoring, and expertise. (For extra on this, I like to recommend Arthur Brooks’ From Strength to Strength, an exploration of the particular strengths of various ages.)

It takes a workforce

Nyad was removed from alone in her journey. She did all of the swimming, sure, however she had a workforce of 40 specialists holding her secure, fed, and heading in the right direction. Most of us know that neighborhood is central to success and achievement all through our multi-faceted lives. No one girl can do it alone, professionally or personally. We depend on one another for experience, validation, assets, and generally a great snicker or cry.

Speaking of groups, I’ve an announcement. It’s an idea I’ve been noodling on for a while, and this weblog is its official launch.

Welcome to #ChannelHER!

It’s a platform for you, for us, for the ladies of the channel! It’s an area to rejoice and encourage.

A bit concerning the title #ChannelHER. At its core, it refers to our workscape: this digital thoroughfare the place distributors, distributors and companions connect with serve our clients’ IT wants. But there’s a lot extra! In essence, a channel is a passageway, a strategy to get from right here to there. It’s a physique of water connecting two seas (Nyad makes much more sense now, proper?). As a verb, we “channel” after we direct assets, power or consideration into one thing particular, as in supporting different ladies. And after we’re guided by or impressed by somebody, as in “wow, you’re so unstoppable it’s like you’re channeling Diana Nyad!”

But let’s not cease there. To really assist one another, we additionally should be actual. To join the dots between inspiration and utility, between imaginative and prescient and actuality. We must get down and soiled with our personal sharks and jellyfish, our personal turbulent waters. Because all of us have them—none of us is alone.

So search for extra from #ChannelHER within the months forward! You’ll discover my hand-picked tales, assets, and recommendation for navigating life as ladies of the channel.

I started this piece by mentioning the Oscars. In the spirit of recognizing ladies’s achievements, I need to give a shout out to Nyad actress Annette Bening, nominated for Best Actress! At 64, she’s the identical age as Nyad was when she accomplished the swim. The swimming on this film is all her—they used no physique doubles. During filming, she commonly swam for 3-6 hours per day.

Like Nyad, Bening really went the gap. Let’s #ChannelHER!


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