When long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad turned 60, she was determined to complete her life’s biggest challenge.
“In the context of your phrase, ‘my big break,’ when I turned 60, there was a true, existential anxiety about how much time is left,” Nyad says. “My mom had just died; she was 82. And at age 60, I thought, ‘Uh-uh, I’m not going into that good night. I am going to fire up and live this thing as large as I can live it until I can’t live it that large anymore.’ ”
She decided to attempt a record-breaking swim — from Havana, Cuba, to Key West, Fla., over 110 miles away. But these weren’t uncharted waters for her. Nyad had actually tried — and failed — this swim four times before.
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