Pursuing the Xtreme Dream: Go, Diana! Go!
As I write this, 61-year-old Diana Nyad is pursuing her Xtreme Dream in an attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage. With each stroke the champion endurance swimmer is crossing the Florida Straits and is closer in reaching her dream.
A quick glance at her Twitter account (@diananyad no, she’s not tweeting while swimming) indicates she’s experiencing rough seas right now but still pushing forward. The 103-mile swim is estimated to take 60 hours. She has a team following her with some tasked at zapping the waters to keep sharks away. Several species of sharks are found in waters Nyad is swimming including nurse, lemon, hammerhead, bull, blacktip, and tiger. Yeah, she’s a brave lady.
To celebrate her 30th birthday in 1979, Nyad swam 102.5 miles from Bimini to Florida and set a world record for open-water swimming without a shark cage. What next? She retired from swimming and continued with a successful career in radio. A couple of years ago, Nyad decided to return to the water.
I met Diana Nyad in 2007 when she spoke at a Meeting Professionals International (MPI) Georgia Chapter luncheon my former employer sponsored. She’s a powerful speaker and yeah, she made me a little teary-eyed.
Nyad explained how she took the anger from being sexually abused and focused that energy into her swimming. She discussed the obstacles she overcame and people who believed in her.
She reminded me, and everyone in the arena that day, it won’t be easy but anything is possible.
At 61-years-old, Diana Nyad is attempting to swim 103 miles in shark-infested waters for a world record and achieve her dream. What’s your dream?
Go, Diana! Go!