David is a fanatical swimmer (six days a week, 75 minutes a day), so he was fascinated to hear that FOF Diana Nyad plans to swim 103 miles from the shores of Cuba to Key West, FL. this month.
A long-distance swimmer, Diana swam around Manhattan in 7 hours and 57 seconds when she was 26, setting a world record. She tried swimming the Cuba-Key West route when she was 29, but was pulled from the hostile seas after swimming for almost two days.
She stopped swimming a year later. Completely stopped. But last summer, right before turning sixty, she went to a little pool and swam for a bit, she said in an interview with The New York Times. Subsequently, she started weight training and doing six-hour “crazy” swims. She even went to Mexico for a six-and-a-half-hour swim, her first in an ocean. “It was a raging day. It was cold,” Diana said.
When the reporter asked her why the Cuba swim and why now, Diana answered: “Last summer, I was turning sixty and I was thinking, I don’t want to be sixty. Sixty is old! What happened to my life? What have I done? Who am I? What have I become? I started thinking I have to be graceful with it, and one of the lessons I’ve never learned well is you can’t undo your past. You’ve just got to learn some lessons from it all and embrace today and move forward.
“Ironically, at the same time I was giving myself this life lesson, I thought to myself, but wait a second. There’s actually something I could go back and do. I didn’t make it to from Cuba to Florida when I was 29 years old. Could this possibly be in me?”
Although Diana wants to be “the only person to do it,” she says there’s something else. “It’s about showing that sixty is not old. I refuse to be irrelevant at this age.”