Will you still be reaching for your goal at 64? | An Eventful Life

Will you still be reaching for your goal at 64?


Equestrian sports are one of the few where youth is not essential. In some ways, the older and more experienced our two-legged athletes get, the better they become; we celebrated this in our article Top 50 Over 50 Eventing Club in January when nine of the top 50 ranked riders on the FEI World Eventing Rankings were aged 50 or over and five of those were ranked in the top 15

This TED Talk by Diana Nyad reminded me of that fact but it also reinforced the concept outlined in the previous TED talk with Angela Duckworth about True Grit – never give up

In the pitch-black night, stung by jellyfish, choking on salt water, singing to herself, hallucinating … Diana Nyad just kept on swimming. And that's how she finally achieved her lifetime goal as an athlete: an extreme 100-mile swim from Cuba to Florida at the age of 64 after over 40 years of trying

“As I said, when I turned 60, it wasn't about that concrete "Can you do it?" That's the everyday machinations. That's the discipline, and it's the preparation, and there's a pride in that. But I decided to think, as I went along, about — you know, the phrase usually is, "reaching for the stars." And in my case, it's reaching for the horizon. And when you reach for the horizon, as I've proven, you may not get there. But what a tremendous build of character and spirit that you lay down; what a foundation you lay down in reaching for those horizons”

When she finally made the long longed for sand of Florida she had three thoughts to share;

  • Never, ever give up. To be is to do. So I don't stand up and say, "Don't ever give up." I didn't give up. There was action behind these words.
  • You can chase your dreams at any age; you're never too old. At sixty-four, a thing no one, at any age, any gender, could ever do has done. And there's no doubt in my mind that I am at the prime of my life today
  • And the third thing I said on that beach was, it looks like the most solitary endeavour in the world, and in many ways, of course, it is. And in other ways, and the most important ways, it's a team.

The Henry David Thoreau quote goes, "When you achieve your dreams, it's not so much what you get as who you have become in achieving them."