formerly Diane's Addled Ramblings... the ramblings are still addled, just like before, and the URL is still the same...
it's just the title at the top of the page that's new

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Not Just Older...

Do you know who this woman is?

No, she’s not the Amazing Albino Woman of Pigsknuckle (good guess, though). Nor is she the Borg Queen on her wedding day. She is Jennifer Figge, a 56-year-old American woman who just completed a 2,000 mile swim across the Atlantic, from the Cape Verde Islands to Trinidad. She’s 56. And she swam 2,000 miles, my friends (yes, I know I said it twice… it was for effect). I calculated the other day how many laps I’d have to swim to cover just two miles and I felt a little ill. So, in my book, even though she’s not albino, Pigsknucklian, or Borg, she is still pretty damned amazing.

Reading about her swim was a good thing for me to do this week. You know how you feel when your birthday approaches? Those of you under 30 have possibly never experienced this (mark my words, though... you will), but you spend a good bit of time thinking about how old you’re getting and what you have or haven’t accomplished in your life (and unfortunately, it’s usually the haven’ts that stick out). You think about your regrets and your ‘coulda/shoulda/wouldas’. You re-evaluate the direction in which you’re moving (or aren’t), as well as your goals. You dig out your Bucket List and realize there are still a whole lotta un-done items on it.

Yeah. That’s where I’ve been for the past couple of weeks (and by ‘weeks’, I mean ‘years’). Right. In. That. Spot. Don't get me wrong... I like being in my 40's. I wouldn't go back. But I haven't done enough with them yet.

I read this great magazine regularly… More. It’s designed for women over 40 and its mission is to show us all that, if we choose, we can see the 2nd half of our lives as a new beginning… or the beginning, for those of us who put ourselves and the business of living on hold for whatever reason. Every month I grab it up and settle in with a cup of tea to read about women in their 40’s and 50’s and 60’s, who are doing amazing things, often for the first time. And I’m reminded that like them, I am getting older. And like them, I can choose to do things I’ve never done. I can choose a new direction for my life if I’m not happy with the old one. I can choose to take full advantage of the freedom that comes with age – that wonderful sense of ‘I don’t really give a flip what people think.’ I have no choice about getting older (the alternative, quite frankly, sucks), but I can choose to get better.

So Jennifer Figge has been added to my hero list. Not because she swam 2,000 miles (but damn, people… 2,000 miles!). No, she’s my new hero because she believed she could do it, even though logic and common sense (and probably a fair number of relatively sane people) told her it was a task not worth taking on at 56.

I’m guessing Jennifer Figge thinks she’s getting better with age. And I’m choosing to travel that road, too. I’m just not going swim it. Just sayin’.

Note: There seems to be some dispute regarding exactly how many miles Jennifer Figge swam and it seems her total is much less than originally reported. Regardless, in my book, she still did a pretty amazing thing, so I'm not removing her from my hero list!

24 comments:

Amy McMean a.k.a McSunshine said...

I heard about this on the radio. They said she swam 8 hours a day. I was like "holy crap thats a long time to swim". I agree she's amazing.

Heather said...

Good grief! Absolutely amazing. I probably could swim a single lap without feeling a little light headed. Good for her! And for you and your state of mind!

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Jennifer Figge is definitely a modern hero, showing us all what can be done if you're determined enough!

Very nearly like you, Diane, and your marathon walk ahead of you, except you won't need quite so much of that grease - But just think of the moisturizing qualities of it!

Sending you congratulatory hugs - in advance xox

blognut said...

Damn it! I just spent all kinds of time writing a comment that disappeared.

Anyway, I think I said something like this - I think a lot of women come into their own in their 40's. I have no doubt that there isn't anything you can't do. Happy Birthday again and again. I will probably tell you that everyday until your birthday.

Petra a.k.a The Wise (*Young*) Mommy said...

this woman is incredible, or you can't fool us - so are you lady!

mo.stoneskin said...

Go on, do the swim too!

Jane! said...

I think the older I get, the more things like this seem POSSIBLE. I have done things this year (50) that I would never have done before. Not sure why but some new mind set has developed.

How long did it take her?

Lisa said...

i with jane- everything is possible over 40 !
Lisa xx

jill said...

i just heard an update on her on ESPN....http://backporch.fanhouse.com/2009/02/11/the-real-jennifer-figge-story/...

they are now saying she only swam for about 250 miles - which is still WAY more than the average person could do.....

just fyi =D

sherri said...

This lady is amazing!
Inspirational.

I have no goals of accomplishing anything remotely close to her accomplishment in my late forties, however, I'm very excited to experience TONS of things that I know are out there and just waiting for me!

Really, I am.

Diane, the world is your oyster- you will reach goals that you thought would never be fulfilled.

You are headed in the right direction...you are ALWAYS moving forward.

I love to read the about the way you view the world. You are a visionary.

Missy said...

If I started swimming today, I could not swim 2,000 by the time I turn 56. I am 40 and freaking! I need to check out that magazine!

Lee said...

Amazing stuff!

hebba said...

wow. that's inspiring. I'm positive YOU could do it, if you put your mind to it, though. You're just that kind of person.

Coachdad said...

See... if your plumbing problem ever comes back you can swim to California!

gwenlyn said...

Move over Michael Phelps!

Braja said...

Oh please. Doesn't this woman have some SHOPPING TO DO???

:)

Mel said...

Isn't the ocean really, really cold right now? Why didn't she do this in the summer?

Oh right, sharks. Sharks? Freezing your arse off? Sharks? Freezing your arse off?

Eh, I'll sit here on the sofa in my Snuggli with my bowl of Lucky Charms where no sharks can get me.

hautepocket said...

That b*tch be crazy! Oh, and also really inspiring.

Maithri said...

Unfrickinbelievable,

And did someone say shark....

Please dont say that word around me... lol

You know, this is a little off topic but why do parents choose to show 'jaws' to their 5 year old... is that happy family viewing??

Sorry repressed memories...

Much love, M

Protege said...

She is definitely on me hero list now too.;)
And so are YOU! For writing posts like these and reminding me that life doesn't end at 40 (or 40 something). I too feel at times that things are over and I better settle for what I've got.
I really would love to read that magazine; do you know if it is only available in the US?

Michelle said...

Diane you are a beautiful person inside and out!!!

Yes Jennifer Figge accomplished something amazing but anything any of us woman do on a daily basis is quite amazing too!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY GIRLIE!!!!

theoddduckling said...

2,000 miles? I'm kind of filled with awe at the moment.

Maybe I really am an old soul because before I even turned 20 (I know I know, not that long ago) I was pulling out the bucket list and thinking about what I had yet to accomplish.

Here's to hoping you accomplish what you wish for in your second half. Cheers.

Jenners said...

I'm impressed with anyone who can swim a mile ... let alone 2000 (I hate when people nitpick about "it wasn't quite 2000....). I'm going to have to check out that magazine now that I am (ahem) in my 40s. Though in my mind, I feel like I'm still 25 or something. It is all in your attitude! though lately my right knee has been making this loud clicking noise when I walk up the stairs and I think I may need bifocals. And you know about the gray hair already! YIKERS!

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