Find a Way

NYAD 1978


In the volume 49, issue 9 copy of Sports Illustrated (August 28, 1978) there was a story about a 28 year old swimmer who tried to make the 110 mile swim from Cuba to Florida.  The picture that heads this post was taken from that article.  That’s the young Diana Nyad in closeup on the right.

The journey is incredibly tough.  There is the sun and weather on the open sea along with the cold salty seawater.  Not to mention sharks and jellyfish, too.  In fact no one had ever made the trip without a shark cage to swim in.  Until Diana just did it.

At 64.  On her fifth attempt.  Almost exactly 35 years from the time that SI article was published.

When asked what her mantra was for the trip, she replied that it was “Find a way”.

What a mantra!  FIght through each pain and trouble. Keep going.  Don’t let anything stop you. Dig deep.   Just keep moving.  Push forward.  Find a way.  FIND A WAY.

She (and her team) implemented an electric field to ward off sharks without a swimming cage, developed a cream to ward off jellyfish stings, developed a silicone mask that could protect against nighttime jellyfish stings (although this ended up bruising her mouth badly), developed silicone protection for her feet and hands to protect against jellyfish,  implemented a guide system to keep her from  becoming disoriented and veering from the path to shore, had mobile medical monitoring, mobile feeding, and jellyfish and shark sweeping lookouts.  Lots of hurdles to overcome – many found through the failed journeys of her past.  But for each, they found a way to overcome the problem.

FInd a way.

When asked what the hardest part of the 53 hour journey was, she replied that it was the first night when the jellyfish came out.  It was when the trip had just started!  She had to fight through that, and realize that it was just the beginning.  That she had a couple of days to go.  She had to find a way to continue even though she knew the pain that was coming.

Find a way.

An iceberg isn’t easy to construct for a penguin.  There are many problems to overcome and unexpected hurdles that arise over the course of a lifetime and vicissitudes of the economy and markets.  The Independent Penguin thanks Diana Nyad for the inspiration to always find a way.


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