Iconic Female Athletes Share The Secrets Of Survival On #DayoftheGirl

Diana Nyad and Norma Bastidas discuss grit, guts, and grace.

Diana Nyad and Norma Bastidas. Image by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Visionary Women.

It takes more than guts and grace to keep going when the going gets tough — and yet that’s exactly what champions do, day in and day out, to achieve greatness. But we don’t need to be working on a feat of historic levels to apply the principles of persistence — also known by researchers as “grit” — to our everyday lives.

In honor of the United Nations’ International #DayoftheGirl on Oct. 11, two extraordinary female athletes, Diana Nyad, motivational speaker, author, and renowned long-distance swimmer, and Norma Bastidas, a survivor of sexual violence and Guinness World Record breaker for the longest triathlon, are sharing their top tips for athletes of all shapes, ages, and sizes at this week’s Visonary Women salon in Los Angeles.

Here are three key mantras the women live by and urge us all to live by too.

Never, ever give up.

When Nyad says to “never, ever give up,” we should listen. In 2013, she became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without the aid of a shark cage, swimming 111 miles in 53 hours from Havana to Key West. It was her fifth attempt. She was 64 years old.

“I shouldn’t even be alive right now,” she said, referring to the deadly jellyfish and sharks that could have killed her along the way on her journey to break the record. “But I’ve learned that if you just don’t quit, you will reach that other shore, whatever it may be.”

Nyad stressed the value of what she calls “noble friendships” that helped her along the way — and how important the team was in reaching what was ultimately a personal goal. It’s a great reminder about the importance of collaboration in and out of sports.

Make each day worthwhile.

For Bastidas, her athletic career has not just been about escaping shame; it’s about empowerment. After growing up in Mexico, she suffered egregious sexual violence before escaping a human trafficking ring in Japan and starting a new life in Canada. When she became a mother, she decided she no longer wanted to just survive, she wanted to thrive — and set an example for her children and for girls everywhere that victims have the power to overcome.

“I don’t want to live a life of nightmares anymore,” she said. “From now on, I just want to live a life of dreams.”

Her 64-day journey to complete the longest triathlon in the world was chronicled in a documentary called “Be Relentless.”

Nyad and Bastidas don’t come across as women who fear much of anything, but the struggles of their past still linger and push them forward. For Nyad, her biggest fear is wasting time. She believes that if you make each day worthwhile, that’s a worthy enough goal because, at the end of your life, you’ll look back and have no regrets.

Know boundaries, not limitations.

Both women reject labels, such as old, immigrant, survivor, woman, because they feel they’re too limiting when it comes to setting goals. “My circumstances are not who I am,” said Bastidas.

Nyad agrees: “You’re never too old to chase your dreams,” she said.

Importantly, the athletes did, however, point to setting boundaries rather than limitations when it comes to prioritizing training and good health each and every day. Knowing how easy it is to find numerous excuses for not getting a workout in or taking the time to rest when it’s needed, they each stressed that learning to say “no” to distractions is a crucial part of staying focused on success.

via David Leavitt / Twitter

Anyone who has ever worked in retail knows that the worst thing about the job, right after the pay, are the unreasonable cheapskates who "want to talk to your manager" to get some money off an item.

They think that throwing a tantrum will save them a few bucks and don't care if they completely embarrass themselves in the process. Sometimes that involves belittling the poor employee who's just trying to get through their day with an ounce of dignity.

Twitter is rallying around a gal named Tori who works at a Target in Massachusetts after she was tweet-shamed by irate chapekate, journalist, and Twitter troll, David Leavitt.

Keep Reading

Childbirth is the number one reason American women visit the hospital, and it ain't cheap. In fact, it's getting more and more expensive. A new study published in Health Affairs found that the cost of having a baby with employer-sponsored health insurance increased by almost 50% in the past seven years.

The study evaluated "trends in cost-sharing for maternity care for women with employer-based health insurance plans, before and after the Affordable Care Act," which was signed into law in 2010. The study looked at over 657,061 women enrolled in large employer-sponsored health insurance plans who delivered babies between 2008 and 2015, as these plans tend to cover more than plans purchased by small businesses or individuals.

Keep Reading

A meteorite crashed into Earth nearly 800,000 years ago. The meteor was 1.2 miles wide, and the impact was so big, it covered 10% of the planet with debris. However, scientists haven't been able to find the impact site for over a century. That is, until now. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal believes the crash site has been located.

Tektites, which are essentially rocks that have been liquefied from the heat of the impact and then cooled to form glass, help scientists spot the original impact site of a meteor. Upon impact, melted material is thrown into the atmosphere, then falls back to the ground. Even if the original crater has disappeared due to erosion or is hidden by a shift in tectonic plates, tektites give the spot away. Tektites between 750,000 to 35.5 million years old have been found in every continent except Antarctica.

Keep Reading