August 30, 2010

Getting Back in the Water

As some of you know, I use to be a competitive swimmer. This summer I got back in the pool for the first time since college to begin training to race again for my 50th birthday with the Minuteman Masters Swim Club.  For years I’ve been curious to find out how fast I can swim at this ripe old age. I for sure am not as strong right now as I was thirty years ago, but I do perhaps have a few things working in my favor in that I am leaner, and eat more healthfully than I did in college, and I'm hopefully more mentally prepared.

Maybe, maybe not….it gives me butterflies in my stomach just writing this.

In high school I use to be a fan of long distance swimmer Diana Nyad who just turned 61. She caught my attention when she first swam across Lake Ontario from my hometown to Toronto. In 1979 she set the world record for the longest consecutive swim ever between the Bahamas and Florida (102.5 miles). She was also the first woman to ever swim around Manhattan Island- breaking the men's record.

In 1978 she attempted to swim 103 miles from Cuba to Key West but was interrupted by rough seas.  I just found out that this year, after not swimming for 30 years, she decided for her 60th birthday to try it again this summer.

Currently Diana and her team are waiting for the weather to clear for her to begin her approx 60-65 hour swimming journey from Cuba to Key West without a shark cage-which hopefully will be any day now.  I've been checking her Facebook page daily for updates, and in my own small way cheering her on. I thought that her attempt at this amazing feat (at any age) might also interest some of you.

See below for a short video interview with Diana Nyad.


  1. Louise,

    I think what you are doing for your 50th birthday is great!
    You are awesome!
    You will be fabulous just like you were 30 years ago!
    Go Louise! :)

    My gosh, what Diana is attempting to accomplish is amazing for any age!
    Go Diana!


  2. Oh my swimmer buddy, how many miles have we swum together? The bonding of the fishes. And yes, I remember Diana Nyad, she was out hero back then, still is! I watched her video earlier today, to tackle this swim at 60! What a drive, what a heart! I sure hope the weather clears for her, they're talking about a hurricane on the east coast.

    So happy to hear about your masters swimming! I remember you excitedly called the coach a while back but didn't know you started! You go girl! Nothin's holdin' you down...I'm so proud of you Louisa!!

    Mucho Love to you, as always....xoxoxo

  3. What Diana is attempting to do is amazing. Imagine swimming for 60 hours without any sleep. Imagine WALKING for 60 hours without any sleep! I have heard her say that it is a very lonely thing to swim such distances. Aside from what she is trying to accomplish I just love the statement that she is making about being able to do whatever we want at any age. I can't wait to hear her follow-up interviews.

    Maria and Cyn thank you for your comments and encouragement on my own little return to the underwater :-) It is as easy as pie compared to what Diana is undertaking.

  4. You are such a bad ass in so many ways.

  5. Good interview with Diana today on Good Morning America: