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Big Questions with Cal Fussman

Aug 21, 2018

As the fifth anniversary of Diana Nyad’s record-breaking swim between Cuba and Florida approaches, Diana explains to Cal what it took to make the 110-mile journey in 2013 at the age 64.

(This episode contains explicit or triggering content.)

The Youtube video that shows Diana taking her first shaky steps on land at Key West after swimming for roughly 53 consecutive hours in waters filled with sharks and poisonous jellyfish is a profound place to start.

The takeaways in this episode get to the essence of the quote: “Success is the ability to move from one failure to another without
loss of enthusiasm.”

Diana had tried to make the same swim four times before, beginning in 1978 at the age of 28. Her triumph on the fifth attempt highlights not only her dogged persistence, but a joyful appreciation for nature that gave her a lightness which enabled her to do at 64 what she couldn’t at 28.

The story of her sexual abuse as a teen, and the guilt and confusion that followed, ultimately leads to a lesson in how to find a way past emotional pain to freedom.

The story of how she sang her way across the 110 miles gives us all a formula for fighting off drudgery with passion.

We find out how age has turned Diana into a better athlete — just as it can for you.

We also learn about the appreciation and gratitude Diana's held for her team that supported her every stroke of the way. This is useful to all of us as we look upon those who lift us in our own lives.

All this is just for starters . . .



  • Why age has made Diana a better athlete
  • Coping with sexual abuse
  • What is takes to plan a 110-Mile swim... 5 times!