This summer, I watched with interest as 62-year-old Diana Nyad made her 4th attempt to swim from Cuba to Key West, Florida, the first person to do so without a shark cage.
Her first try was in 1978. She was 55 miles from the coast of Key West, 4 days into it, when a storm hit that wreaked havoc to her swim across the Straits of Florida. Shivering from hypothermia, with swollen lips and tongue from repeated jellyfish stings, there’s a point when the human body can’t go any further. There’s a point when that seemingly undaunted spirit sinks.
Where is it for each of us?
Where we break is as individual as we are.
She trained for over 3 years for this attempt. Three years worth of work. What is it that drives Diana to keep trying, a life’s mission to her? And where does she possibly go in her mind to be able to swim 3 days across the ocean?
She can’t be thinking about things she has to do, grocery lists, things left undone at home. What does she think about? Or does she think at all? How deep does she dig to pull out the reserves that can allow her to endure the pain and physical push needed to do what she has done, now 4 times.
I am fascinated by what the human spirit can endure. I am fascinated by what one person can endure vs. another; it’s so varied. The night before she gave up, she swam among the dolphins. Man and animal as one in the depths of the mysterious ocean.