Rewind
By Gear Patrol
on 9.5.13

Our roundup of the hardest open water swims mentioned that the 100-mile plus swim between Cuba and Florida is nearly impossible, the only successful attempt having been made by a swimmer inside a shark cage. About that. 64-year-old Diana Nyad, one of endurance swimming’s greats, completed the epic slog on September 2 — and it took a solid 53 hours of continuous swimming, not all of which was pleasant.

“The 13 hours of Saturday night I swallowed tremendous volumes of sea water”, Nyad said during a press conference. “Then I started vomiting constantly. As soon as that happens, and you can’t replace the food, protein, electrolytes. You’re in a bad place. That night was hell on earth.”

People like Nyad are the inspiration for Limits. In the coming years, we’ll see an increasing part of the endurance conversation dedicated to the science and technology that allows for greater human achievement, but in this case it was pure grit, hard work and a sense of purpose that lighted the way. “The thing about aging is that the clock seems to be ticking faster as you get older”, Nyad said. “I wanted the swim, this endeavor, not to just be the athletic record. I wanted it to be a lesson to my life that says, ‘Be fully engaged. Be awake and alert and alive every minute of every day.’” How’s that for inspiration? - Jeremy Berger

SEARCH THE GP ARCHIVES: Rewind: Patina | Rewind: Month of Beef | Rewind: Fly Fishing
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