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#9: DIANA NYAD, Swimming from Cuba to Florida

Diana Nyad is the only human being to successfully swim the 111 treacherous miles from Cuba to Florida (without a shark cage). That fact alone stops us all in our tracks. The ONLY human being. But that is just one piece of Diana's story. The arc of ultra-endurance swimmer Diana Nyad's life so far is anything but traditional or predictable. What she has endured and also chosen to endure is remarkable in every sense of the word.  

Simultaneously coming to terms with an abusive childhood and understanding the fleeting nature of our individual human experiences led her down a path of chasing unthinkable dreams and living with fierce passion and personal belief. Accomplishing numerous swimming feats by the time she was in her 30s, she hung up her cap and goggles for 30 years before embarking on a goal that still captivated her decades later. Learn how the combination of Christopher Reeves' influence, a chance conversation with a Holocaust survivor, the death of her mother, turning 60, and reading Mary Oliver's poem, The Summer Day, led Diana to step into the water on Cuban shores convinced she would make the swim to the shores of the Florida Keys.  

You will be shocked and moved by this conversation, and Diana's plea to live to your fullest potential will both give you the chills and light you on fire. You may re-evaluate the excuses you've been telling yourself, perhaps for years. Like Diana, you, too, may deeply consider Oliver's poignant, poetic question: "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" 

Ben Scandlen
Ben Scandlen


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