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Diana Nyad Swimming #tedxberlin

Her father told her when she was 5 that her destiny was to be a champion swimmer. At 12 she wanted to be an Olympic champion swimmer. There is a small group of humans who do long distance swimming. At 30, she decided to swim 100 miles in the open ocean. The world record at the time was 58 miles. They looked for a place to do it. They found Cuba. Great symbolic and real border. Havana to Key West. She had swum so far from the Bahamas. When she retired, she feared losing the feeling of passion that sports brings. Sports gives you measurable success to commit toward. 42 hours to swim from Cuba to Florida, in rough water. 103 miles. Sharks. Jellyfish. The gulf stream. It's treacherous. She didn't make it the first time she tried. She swam her 100 miles from the Bahamas. The Cuba failure stewed in the back of her mind. She became a journalist. When she turned 60, she felt much closer to the end than to the beginning or even to the middle. 60 is a big deal. She examined her life. Asked, "Have I been living with passion and commitment every day." She did not swim a stroke for 30 years when she retired. At 60, she started training again. She clandestinely trained again for the Cuba swim. The box jellyfish now inhabit the Florida Straits. It's tiny, but it will kill you. She has people who dive around while she swims and scare off sharks. YIKES. 51 hours of swimming. Training alone is 20-hour-long swims. Holy shit. Sensory deprivation is part of swimming. Her description of how you think and the things your brain does while you swim this distance is kind of blowing my mind. She says she will probably never make it from Cuba to Florida, but she will never stop trying.

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