|Read an Excerpt of Find A Way by Diana Nyad|
Diana Nyad, in Find A Way, lives out for us her singular pursuit of the dream that gave her life true purpose and meaning—swimming the stretch of ocean that was deemed unswimmable. She wasn't supposed to make it from Cuba to the Florida coastline. Nobody ever had.
Because Nyad had failed to complete the swim in her twenties, when she was a record holding world-class distance swimmer, it seemed crazy that Nyad thought she could accomplish this in her sixties. After all, Nyad had done no swimming for thirty years. This would ultimately become a test of will, of mental strength, and of finding her peak long after most athletes are past their prime. There would be the agony of many defeats before there was the thrill of victory at age 64.
"I failed and faltered many times, but I can look back without regret because I was never burdened with the paralysis of fear and inaction."In the case of this epic quest, it wasn't just a question of physical prowess. Nobody had ever conquered what was, and is, considered the Mount Everest of swimming due to factors outside of the control of the swimmer: the presence of deadly ocean predators (sharks and incredibly toxic jellyfish), violent storms, unforgiving currents and winds, and the debilitating effects of being submerged in salt water for a prolonged period of time (three days and nights).
The rigors of pulling off an expedition of this magnitude make for fascinating reading. Nyad had to find and enlist the support of the foremost world experts in dealing with the extreme complexities of Gulf Stream navigation, fending off sharks (she swam without a shark cage), surviving the punishing and immensely painful stings of the deadly Box jellyfish, sustaining the body and mind while swimming for days without rest, and negotiating the divide between two countries that had long been estranged. Without the bottomless commitment and devotion of lifelong friends, Nyad would literally have been dead in the water.
Find A Way is the book I would choose to give to everyone who has ever told me their dream has escaped them. After reading it, my excuses for not chasing after my current dreams sound flimsy and embarrassing. As a woman who wishes to live with far fewer regrets, I found in Nyad the kind of inspiration needed to launch myself toward my other shore.
"Whatever your other shore is, whatever you must do, whatever inspires you, you will find a way to get there."To all of the dreamers out there, I say read this and jump back into the water. Your distant shore beckons.
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