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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Diana Nyad's Finds A Way

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Diana Nyad's memoir "Find a Way" was published to great fanfare this week.

We recently saw Nyad do a dryland workout and found her focus and intensity to be, frankly, off the charts.

For a 66-year-old to be able to push herself doing a such a physically difficult dryland work was impressive to see.

In yesterday's article in the Los Angeles Times, Nyad explains her level of physicality and wellness. "There is no doubt that I am breathing the life force of my prime physical self now, at age 66. I am more resilient. My immune system is a stronger fortress. I can summon a brute strength I never had back in the day.

I was a thoroughbred then*, more finely tuned but also somewhat fragile.

These days I'm more of a Clydesdale, sturdy and stalwart. If you told me I'd be left stranded in the wilderness for many months and could choose at which age I would attempt to survive the ordeal, I'd pick this very age, 66

In that dryland work, we observed that Nyad finds her way. When lactate acid started to accumulate in her muscles, her countenance changed. Her mindset allows her to succeed in profound ways - which she explains in Find a Way.

"There's no doubt that I am in the prime of my life today. And you could say in some ways, well, of course we all say that, as we get older we mature. And we have better perspectives and we realize how precious every day is. There is all that. And that brings a wealth of new experience.

But I actually think I'm physically better than in my 20s. I don't get sick very often. My immune system is more resilient. I'm brute stronger ... I actually think just because of the mind and the emotional set of being mature, I am a better athlete in my 60s than I was in my 20s

Find a Way is largely a description of her swim from Cuba to Florida with all kinds of inspirational messages and incidents in the mix. "This journey has always been about reaching your own other shore no matter what it is and that dream continues."

* Photo below is an old award earned by Diana Nyad from her professional marathon swimming career in the 1970s as a 20-something:

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The Other Shore

The Other Shore follows world record holder and legendary swimmer Diana Nyad as she comes out of a thirty-year retirement to re-attempt an elusive dream: swimming 103 miles non-stop from Cuba to Florida without the use of a shark cage. Her past and present collide in her obsession with a feat that nobody has ever accomplished. At the edge of The Devil’s Triangle, tropical storms, sharks, venomous jellyfish, and one of the strongest ocean currents in the world, all prove to be life-threatening realities. Timothy Wheeler’s documentary brings Diana Nyad’s extraordinary adventure to life as Diana sets out to prove that will and determination are all you need to make the unimaginable possible.

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