Diana Nyad Is Out, Going Public

Diana Nyad Is Out, Going Public

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

The Daily News of Open Water Swimming reported earlier that Diana Nyad was secretly training. We couldn’t figure out what she was up to.

What could the former marathon swimmer – now in her 7th decade on earth – be doing training for 3, 4, 5 hours per day?

The normally loquacious broadcaster and author was mum on the subject. But no longer.

She is going to relive the past…in a way only a few 60-year-olds can physically do and certainly only in a way that Nyad can dream. She is preparing to swim from Cuba to Florida: 103 miles or 165 kilometers. This swim, first attempted in 1978, defeated her after 41 hours in the warm salty water back due to rough conditions even though she had once swum nearly 50 miles from Bimini in the Bahamas to Florida.

But before her August swim from Florida to Cuba, she’ll do a training swim of 24 hours around Key West, Florida.

About a year ago now, I’m turning 60,” Nyad told Matt Sloane, CNN’s Medical Producer. “And I thought, ‘What have I done with my life? What haven’t I done with my life?’ I started thinking, you know what, Diana? You’ve got to get real with life’s lessons; one of which is you can’t go back.”

Rough, unpredictable seas, jellyfish, sharks, oil, incredibly humid and warm conditions of the Caribbean summer and 165 kilometers. That is truly a test no other 60-year-old has faced in human history. “It’s daunting, I will admit to you that I’m scared to death. But in other ways, I’m very confident. I’ve left no stone unturned in training, I follow that oil spill every single minute, I look at the weather, I look at my team, I look at shark devices, so I’m ready.”

That she is, ready as ever.

Never say never.

As Nyad told CNN, “Look at 60-year-olds today. They’re not old, and I’m not old. I’m older than I was, yes. I’m slower than I was, but I’m still vital and I’m still powerful, and when I walk up on that shore in Florida, I want millions of those AARP sisters and brothers to look at me and say ‘I’m going to go write that novel I thought it was too late to do. I’m going to go work in Africa on that farm that those people need help at. I’m going to adopt a child. It’s not too late, I can still live my dreams.'”

Nyad is surely living her dreams and inspiring others to realize their own dreams.

Copyright © 2010 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones