Those are box jellyfish stings that Diana Nyad, ultra marathon swimmer, sustained 90 miles into an attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida. Elizabeth Weil has an amazing profile in the NYTimes about ultra distance swimmer Diana Nyad. Soon after the lede has a fascinating lead. She counts her time in the ocean by singing Bob Dylan’s “It ain’t me, babe”, the Beatles’ “Paperback Writer” and other songs from a mental playlist of 65 tunes.
“When I complete 2,000 ‘It Ain’t Me, Babe’s, Bob Dylan version, I know I’ve gone 4 hours and 45 minutes exactly,” Nyad says. “I never lose track.”
The story has too many wonderful details in it to be missed, spanning Diana’s childhood mentors and villains, her Muhammad Ali like bravado that she displayed to the world in her 20s, and detailing the extreme sacrifice, physical and emotional, that she and her loved ones go through in her quest to swim from Cuba.