Diana Nyad is attempting something I didn't even think was humanly possible: She is trying, for the third time, to become the first woman to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage.
Anytime there is a caveat of 'without a shark cage' assigned to a task, I automatically rule it out.
Not Nyad. She is determined and conditioned to accomplish the daunting task of a 103-mile swim.
103 miles! I am not sure I have the perseverance to make that trip on a boat.
Did I mention she is 62 years old?
I consider 30 minutes of swimming a sterling workout. Change minutes into numbers there and you arrive at what Nyad has been doing to train for this one. This comes to us from Nyad's Twitter:
“I knew I was in the best condition of my life. What happened in August was a 29-hour training swim. "
Diana started her swim at 6:05 p.m. EST. It didn't take her long to encounter some of the mind-boggling difficulties of making this trek. These updates come to us via her Twitter:
Diana has been stung by what we believe is a moon jelly. She is trying to clear herself of tentacles and continue the swim.
If I had to free myself of tentacles it would be to get out of the water!
Chief handler Bonnie Stoll said, “Diana was stung along both arms the side of her body and her face.”
It's been a challenging night and morning. Diana recovered from the multiple Portuguese Man O' War stings enough to swim
While these jellyfish are no doubt intimidating, they have nothing on this next water beast she encountered.
Around 1pm -& don't everybody get excited here - an Oceanic white tipped shark was spotted near Diana in midst of the three boat flotilla.
Rob MacDonald, one of the divers, swam towards the shark, where they faced off within 10 feet of one another.
And if the natural deterrents weren't enough, she also has asthma. An unexpected attack was what derailed her last attempt. The asthma struck again, but she was prepared.
"Two doctors from the University of Miami sped out to the Voyager and administered a prednisone shot along with oxygen and other medications."
Despite all this, she is going strong on Day 2.
"Her strokes are up to 50 per minute, she is eating pasta, gobbling bananas, bits of peanut butter sandwiches."
So much for waiting an hour before getting into the water after eating!
I hope this iron-woman completes her task. It is a true inspiration and testament to the unbelievable will of human nature that can propel us to the seemingly impossible.
Even if she doesn't make it, what she has already done is an amazing accomplishment.