Nyad never gave up her dream of swimming more than a hundred miles nonstop from Cuba to Florida.
The Woman Post | Carolina Rodríguez Monclou
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The record-breaking swimmer's dream began at 28, but she achieved it until she was 64. The world saw a spirit and team that refused to give up.
Swimming 110 miles without a shark cage and without stopping for fifty-three hours, her dream finally came true after five attempts. Nyad was able to get through the jellyfish and her excruciating stings.
She came out of the water to a cheering crowd, exhausted but victorious, receiving many hugs.
After almost three days and more than 100 miles in the water, Nyad, 64, made landfall. One of her first words was, "You are never too old to chase your dreams."
Right outside the hospital after she was discharged, the swimmer revealed to ABC what kept her going: "I went through hell Saturday night for 13 hours, jellyfish pass by, I have big lacerations in my mouth and it was hard to breathe. But I have this attitude of finding a way. "
The brave swimmer is now the first person to swim such a long distance without a shark cage, a mask fantastically designed to repel jellyfish. Her team fed her high-calorie soft food like pasta. She would drink soups and water through a tube.
Nyad made a name for herself as a competitive swimmer swimming around Manhattan in 1975. During her previous attempts, she was forced to abandon her search due to exhaustion, dehydration, and poisonous jellyfish stings.
Also read: The Woman Who Achieved The Unthinkable
Her first attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida in 1978 was not meant to be. A year later, Nyad set her sights on a different goal and became the first person in history to conquer the 60-mile swim from the Bahamas to Juno Beach, Florida. Despite her outward success, her passion for the sport had waned and she, at 30, felt it was time to move on, eager to abandon what she calls the loneliest sport in the world. The swimmer withdrew.
She revealed during a TED talk the three things that came to mind when she stepped on the sand: "never ever give up", "you can chase your dreams at any age; you're never too old" and "it seems like the loneliest endeavor in the world, and in many ways, of course, it is. But in the most important ways, it's a team."
When she was a teenager, the swimmer was drawn to epic survival stories and immersed herself in them. She read voraciously and would gain strength from the testimonies of brave souls who overcame difficulties with dignity and determination. Unknowingly, she became her own survival story in which she, with bravery and unwavering will, was able to complete a significant achievement at the age of 64.
Today, along with her best friend and her lead manager, Bonnie Stoll, the swimmer started a movement that consists of a series of tours of the United States to raise awareness of the risks of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
Her endurance and strength will continue to inspire many others to achieve the impossible.