At 1:55 pm on September 2, 2013, Diana Nyad, age 64, reached the shore of Key West, Florida, 53 hours after plunging into the Bay in Havana, Cuba. Thirty-three years after her first attempt, this was her fifth effort to complete the Havana to Key West swim, and upon completion, she became the first person to swim the 110-mile distance without a shark cage. Contrary to the claims of many experts who insisted that such a swim was not possible, Nyad refused to be dissuaded, despite the fact that she had nearly lost her life on a previous attempt in which poisonous jellyfish had bitten her extensively throughout her body.
An Impossible Accomplishment
Her amazing book, Find a Way: The Inspiring Story of One Woman’s Pursuit of a Lifelong Dream, describes not only very detailed aspects of this experience but provides some context that addresses the question of why Diana was so determined to accomplish so challenging a feat, and undergo the rigors inherent in the training, preparation, and experience of such an ordeal.