On September 2nd, 2013, Diana Nyad reached the beach in Key West, about 53 hours after she began her fifth bid to swim from Havana, Cuba to Florida, in the morning of August 31st, 2013.

Nyad is a female swimmer who made history as she became the first person to swim over 100 miles from Cuba to Florida without a protective cage. She was 64 years old and this was her fifth attempt in 4 years.

When Nyad hatched her plan, the open-water swimming record for both men and women was sixty miles. She wanted to swim one hundred. After months of arduous training, she was ready.

But with her went a team of specialists for measuring the wind and the current, and watching for obstacles.

Divers were watching out for sharks and a paddler in a kayak equipped with an electronic shark repellent known as a SharkShield protected her from being attacked.

The team had created for her a special silicone suit and mask. Nyad needed the mask for protection against box jellyfish, deadly creatures common to tropical waters and whose venomous sting cut short her fourth attempt to swim from Cuba.

NASA experts monitored her overall physical status and gave guidance on nutrition and endurance. She needed eleven hundred calories per hour and she lost twenty-nine pound on this trip!

Last but not least, she had trainers – as well as her best friend Bonnie – who talked to her through uncontrollable shivers, nausea, hallucination and despair. Her new record was 102.5 miles.

It was her name in the record book, but it took fifty-one other people to do it!

Crossing borders physically, emotionally – the importance of keeping together as a team and motivate each other through hard times – an incessant will to learn from the past and use the lessons for the future – and finally, an incredible individual – and woman, laughs at the limiting beliefs related to her age and demonstrates that anything is possible!

Watch this impressive speaker receiving a standing ovation from an electrified audience in the Ted Talk below:

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