A sentence in need of a rewrite
This week Diana Nyad failed in her bid to swim from Cuba to Florida.
I watched the story of this 61 year old woman who attempted to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage. Jumping into the sea in Cuba was an achievement to start with, dealing with coordinating such an event with two nations that let us say are not the really the best of friends must have been hard enough. Not to mention a voice in her head that might have been saying. You are going to do what? Swim from where to where? And there are going to be sharks!
The distance was just over a hundred miles and the operation included a boat, two kayakers traveling alongside the swimmer with equipment designed to help repel sharks and divers ready to jump in and distract the sharks if that didn’t work.
Nyad made her name as a distance swimmer in the seventies but the feat she attempted had eluded her then and she said she owed it to herself to give it another try.
She didn’t reach Florida but there is a point some 29 and half hours into the swim just over 50 miles out ,where already suffering from asthma, a painful shoulder, vomiting and tackling an uncooperative sea she had the courage to pack it in.
So rather than saying she failed to get to Florida, let’s say instead that she got to a spot somewhere on the longitudes and latitudes that define location in this world, where, maybe there is not a rock or a bit of coral breaking the waves on which to plant a flag but which was some 53 or so miles away from where she started.
So let’s look at it like many others are and let the first sentence read.
61 year old woman successfully completes a twenty nine and a half hour swim through shark infested waters.
For those of us younger that Nyad, who find it a challenge to step off the couch, her swim has uncomfortably reminded us, that whilst we may still have lots of reasons why we’re not trying to keep fit age is an excuse that’s no longer valid.