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Home » Never, Ever Give Up by Diana Nyad (Transcript)

Never, Ever Give Up by Diana Nyad (Transcript)

Diana Nyad

“A record-setting long-distance swimmer, Diana Nyad writes and thinks deeply about motivation.” – TED.com

Diana Nyad – Journalist, swimmer

It’s the fifth time I stand on this shore – the Cuban shore, looking out at that distant horizon, believing again, that I’m going to make it all the way across that vast, dangerous wilderness of an ocean. Not only have I tried four times, but the greatest swimmers in the world have been trying since 1950, and it’s still never been done.

The team is proud of our four attempts. It’s an expedition of some 30 people. Bonnie is my best friend and head handler, who somehow summons will, that last drop of will within me, when I think it’s gone, after many, many hours and days out there.

The shark experts are the best in the world — large predators below. The box jellyfish, the deadliest venom in all of the ocean, is in these waters, and I have come close to dying from them on a previous attempt. The conditions themselves, besides the sheer distance of over 100 miles in the open ocean — the currents and whirling eddies and the Gulf Stream itself, the most unpredictable of all of the planet Earth.

And by the way, it’s amusing to me that journalists and people before these attempts often ask me, “Well, are you going to go with any boats or any people or anything?”

And I’m thinking, what are they imagining that I’ll just sort of do some celestial navigation, and carry a bowie knife in my mouth, and I’ll hunt fish and skin them alive and eat them, and maybe drag a desalinization plant behind me for fresh water.

Yes, I have a team.

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