By Trudy Ring
Originally published on Advocate.com September 23 2011 6:50 PM ET
Hoping the third time is the proverbial charm, out swimming legend Diana Nyad is trying her Cuba-to-Florida swim again.
Nyad, 62, plunged into the water this evening in Cuba to begin another attempt to become the first woman to complete the 103-mile swim without a shark cage, the Los Angeles Times reports. Nyad, who has set several long-distance swimming records, abandoned one attempt in August after 29 hours due to ocean swells, aching shoulders, and asthma, and had tried back in 1978, but enormous waves forced her to quit after 42 hours.
After her August effort, she initially said she would not try again, but she soon expressed regret about that statement. “What I said right afterward is not necessarily true,” she told Times sports columnist Bill Dwyre in mid August. “You’ve got me a week later. Right after, it would be like talking to a boxer on the canvas, still on his back and looking up at the bright lights. Now, I do not feel at peace the way this ended.”
At a press conference in Havana, she said she is in the best shape of her life and would have medicine on hand in case of another asthma attack. She wrote on her blog today, “What’s that saying, ‘the third time is the charm?’ Someone wrote me, ‘luck is the product of preparation.’ Of course it’s not all about luck but I do need some. I need there not to be huge winds and waves. I need not to run into schools of man o’ war jellyfish. I need for sharks not to get too interested in me swimming. But it’s not all luck: It’s going to be that we deserve it.”