Swimming doesn’t come naturally to me. That is, I have always loved and craved being in the water. But unlike some people I know I do not possess a smooth, strong stride. I don’t know how to work with the water, as they say; I perpetually seem to be struggling against it.
My respect for Diana Nyad is, therefore, even huger. Swimming for 53 hours with jellyfish and sharks, at age 64, from Cuba to Florida as the first human being ever: I am in awe. Check out her final strokes here.
Testing the limits of what is possible – what I can do– has become one of my favorite things. Perhaps it points to a character flaw; certainly, I know good folks who think I’m nuts and wasting my time running up mountains for hours. But for me, finding the boundaries, sensing their flexibility as I search for unknown reserves inside myself, gives life meaning. Nyad seems to operate that way too, as do many great amateur and pro athletes.
In a nice op/ed piece the Wall Street Journal said it well: “[B]y such commitment do human beings change the world, explore new heights, or stretch the boundaries of physical endurance.”