Update: Diana Nyad Delays Cuba-Florida Swim
You may remember this article in July--and my subsequent commentary--on 61-year-old swimmer Diana Nyad's preparations for a 103-mile open-water swim from Cuba to Florida, a challenge that she tried and failed to achieve 32 years ago.
Alas, it now looks as if we'll have to wait another year to cheer on Nyad. She's announced in her blog that the stretch of nasty weather this fall has forced her to pull the plug on her quest, at least for now.
Nyad writes that she had trained hard enough to swim for the 60-plus hours of continuous swimming that she expected to need to reach Florida, and that she and her support team had nailed down all the necessary details, from researching the complex currents and coming up with a strategy to navigate them, to developing a shark-protection plan that would enable Nyad to swim without a cage. The team even managed to obtain permission for the swim from both the U.S. and Cuban governments, which as you might imagine required a considerable amount of politesse.
But in the end, the fickleness of the climate vanquished Nyad, she writes.
It was the September/October helpless wait for the unprecedented weather and winds to change that whipped the spirit some days. I will admit to you that I cried some bitter tears over the last few days. I prepared for anything and everything EXCEPT not even having the chance to try. After all this time, never wavering in belief that we could do this, leaving no stone unturned in the preparation, packing up and going home comes with an edge of disbelief.
On the plus side, Nyad says that her team's preparations will give her a head start on another attempt, and that she's intending to give it a go in 2011.
I thought of doing some other swim, while we are dressed up and ready with nowhere to go. Jamaica to Cuba? The length of Eleuthera in the Bahamas? None were in my heart. It was Cuba to Florida 32 years ago. It's still Cuba to Florida.
BTW, here's a link to a wonderful Oct. 19 National Public Radio interview in which Nyad discusses how her love of music by the Beatles, James Taylor and John Lennon's solo efforts help inspire her.
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