Diana Nyad, a marathon swimmer, is just days away from an attempt to achieve something that has never been done before. She is planning to swim for 60 consecutive hours, covering a distance of 103 miles, in the shark-infested waters of the Straits of Florida. Oh, one more thing…she’s 61 years-old…
Every hour and a half, Diana will stop to tread water for a few minutes while she swallows a liquid mixture of predigested protein and eats an occasional bit of banana or dollop of peanut butter. She will have to cope with jellyfish stings, the effects of prolonged exposure to sea salt which will leave her skin raw, sting her eyes and make her tongue swell up, and hallucinations brought on by lack of sleep.
Steven Munatones, a champion open-water swimmer who runs the organization Open Water Source said:
“She is up against the most outlandish, outrageous, unbelievable physical endurance activity of, certainly, my lifetime, I can’t imagine being in the ocean for 60 hours. I can’t imagine doing anything for 60 hours. It is inconceivable. It simply is.
Especially at her age.”
If she’s successful, Diana (who already holds the world record for the longest ocean swim), will be the first person to ever make the swim without using a shark cage. Having started swimming as a way to overcome problems she suffered as a teenager, Diana says that she hopes her feat will empower others her age:
“I hope a couple will say, ‘I want to live life like that at this age. I want the candle to burn bright. We have changed a lot. Our parents’ generation, at 60, they considered that old age. I’m in the middle of middle age.”
Source : NY Times