Diana Nyad's Twitter feed, Monday, September 2, 2013
Otherwise, the headline would have read:
Nyad: "As sharks circled me, I was sweating in the water. Thank God for Secret!"
I don't want to minimize the real lesson of Nyad's epic swim. According to the Chicago Tribune, the treacherous Florida Straits have been conquered only twice previously, both times with the aid of a protective cage. The last time was by Australian Susie Maroney, who used a protective cage at age 22 during a 1997 swim. The cage glided on ocean currents and enabled Maroney to make the journey in just 25 hours. In her own words:
"You are never too old to chase your dreams."
Don't get me wrong. I am really, really happy that Nyad's perseverance paid off. I am equally as happy that Secret Deodorant is her sponsor. It's tough to get sponsorship when you are a female athlete, especially "of a certain age." And at 64, Nyad is 14 years past AARP eligibility.
If I were sweating anything, it would be about getting sponsors for my journey. She did. That's great, and I commend Secret for sticking with her.
What is really to be commended, though, is her perseverance. Nyad's journey took her 53 hours, 35 years, and four prior attempts to complete. She made her first attempt back in 1978, long before today's nymphs....Missy Franklin, Ryan Lochte, and Michael Phelps....were even born.
The marathon swimmer had said this was her final attempt, equipped with a protective silicone mask as well as a body suit to better protect her from box jellyfish that forced her to end one of two attempted crossings last year.
On Labor Day, the Lake Forest College graduate emerged from the waters of Smathers Beach in Key West sunburned, her lips swollen from the sea water, she was greeted by well-wishers. And said:
"I have three messages," she said. "One is we should never ever give up. Two is you are never too old to chase your dreams. And three is it looks like a solitary sport but it takes a team."
Diana Nyad, after successfully swimming from Cuba to Florida
Could there be a fourth message here as well, thanks to Secret?
Never, ever, let 'em see you sweat (even underwater?)
What a Dry Idea!