At the age of 61, Diana Nyad is preparing to do what no one else has done before: Swim from Cuba to Key West, sans shark cage. One hundred three miles. Sixty hours in the water. Swim all day, swim all night, do it again, and then do twelve hours more. (The New York Times, July 18, 2011)

Why? The prospect of turning 60 triggered an onset of malaise, unsettling her greatly, and she needed a “fresh, powerful target to stir up her energy and ambition.”

“’I need commitment to take over. This level of commitment has been such a high. There is no thinking about regrets or what I will do with the rest of my life. I’m immersed in the everyday, full tilt. It is so energizing…I want the candle to burn bright.”

Closing quotes:

“I am here for a purpose and that purpose is to grow into a mountain, not to shrink to a grain of sand. Henceforth will I apply all my efforts to become the highest mountain of all and I will strain my potential until it cries for mercy.” — Og Mandino (1923-1996)

“The idle man is a wretched man.” — John Burroughs, author

“Purpose is what gives life a meaning.” — Charles H. Perkhurst