Editorial: Encouragement in her splash for all of us

Sep. 03, 2013 @ 05:24 PM

There’s the right way to benefit from the advancements in our world today, and then there’s the YouTube or America’s Funniest Home Videos way.

The latter is one which too many of us are familiar.

Out in the backyard, maybe it’s the trampoline. It could be the children’s basketball basket that is not up to 10 feet high. Might just be a skateboard or a bicycle. If we’re inside, there’s no telling what gadget we’re trying to do something with while someone has a “phone” making video.

In this day and age, do something outlandish enough, and we can be viral in an instant.

There’s a daredevil in all of us.

Charles Blondin, born Jean Francois Gravelet, did it by walking tightropes. When it became blasé for him, he did it a little different, such as walking a tightrope across Niagara Falls blindfolded.

Then there’s Evel Knievel, born Robert Craig Knievel. Snake River Canyon, the Grand Canyon, or fountains in Las Vegas — you bet we stopped to look at him on a motorcycle.

They thrived on taking something accessible to anybody, but then doing something nobody else had done.

Over the Labor Day weekend, 64-year-old marathon swimmer Diana Nyad fulfilled a longtime goal with a purpose. She swam from Havana, Cuba, to Key West, Fla. That’s about 110 miles of sharks, jellyfish, sun and salt water.

She’s the first man or woman to do it without a shark cage or flippers.

She tried it in 1978, then three times in 2011 and 2012. In her fifth attempt, she wore a full bodysuit, gloves, booties and a mask at night, when jellyfish rise to the surface.

After she emerged, before getting precautionary medical care, she managed a few words of impact.

“I have three messages. One is, we should never, ever give up. Two is, you’re never too old to chase your dream. Three is, it looks like a solitary sport, but it is a team.”

Her feat is incredible, but her words of encouragement are resounding for all ages, from the youngest child to the oldest adult.