When people use the phrase \u201cswimming with sharks,\u201d they don\u2019t mean it literally. Diana Nyad does. The celebrated marathon swimmer, who completed an historic open-water swim from Cuba to Florida in 2013, has written a book about how she finally achieved what she called her \u201clife dream.\u201d It is Find a Way and she will visit Wilton Library on the day of its release, Tuesday, Oct. 20, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Nyad\u2019s triumphant swim in 2013 was her fifth try at what she called the \u201cMt. Everest of the Earth\u2019s oceans\u201d when she spoke with The Bulletin on Tuesday. \u201cIt is the most difficult, arduous, dangerous swim on the planet,\u201d she said. She managed to make a trip \u2014 more than 110 miles in 53 hours \u2014 that so many have tried before in one way or another. \u201cThey call it the Cuban graveyard,\u201d she said. How long had she been thinking about it? \u201cThirty-five years,\u201d she said without hesitation. \u201cI tried when I was 28, I thought about it a decade before that.\u201d That first attempt was in 1978. After 42 hours of swimming inside a shark cage, strong westerly winds forced her to quit. Thirty-two years later she took up the mantle again, and began training. Her next attempt in August 2011 was unsuccessful due to currents and a flare-up of her asthma. Jellyfish stings put an end to her third attempt a month later, as they did nearly a year later on her fourth attempt in 2012. What propelled her? \u201cJust the difficulty,\u201d she said. \u201cIt was honestly that swim, an emblem of living a big life, chasing after a dream that might be impossible. \u201cIt made you tap into every edge of courage, every new scientific, technical discovery, learn about nutrition that you didn\u2019t need to know before that.\u201d Although disappointed, Nyad used each defeat as a learning experience. \u201cEvery time anybody goes out for a run at Earth\u2019s big expeditions, you come back with new discoveries of science and human nature. Every time we went, something was different. \u2026 We tried to solve the problems.\u201d The training was grueling. \u201cI\u2019m not sure there\u2019s a sport that has more difficult, painful training than marathon swimming,\u201d Nyad, now 66, said. \u201cI would swim for 15 hours a day, the next day you swim 16 hours. You\u2019re lying on the toilet floor, you get up, you swim 17 hours. Eventually your body and mind are ready to give it a go, you believe with every fiber of your being when you stand on the shore in Havana you are going to make it.\u201d And she did, indeed, make it, at the age of 64. While Nyad endured the training and made the 53-hour swim, she was supported by a team of 44, with many more who supported them from a \u201cmother ship\u201d that made the trip as well. Working with Nyad were jellyfish experts, shark experts, navigators, and a personal training team who \u201cknow when there\u2019s nothing left how to somehow drag some bit of grit out.\u201d Nyad wore a special suit to protect her from the jellyfish and had six divers who swam with her in shifts, two at a time, to fend off any sharks. No sharks were killed during her swim. They would poke the sharks with a PVC pipe if they got too close. Nyad first gained public notice as a world-class swimmer by the end of high school. She turned to open-water swimming in her 20s, swimming around Manhattan in 1975 in just under eight hours. In 1979, after the failed Cuba-Florida attempt, she swam from North Bimini in the Bahamas to Juno Beach, Fla. But the Cuba swim always stuck with her, and the title of the book, which became her mantra, came to her as she stood on the sand in Havana about to make her fifth attempt. \u201cFind a way were the words that Bonnie (Stoll), my head handler and best friend, said to me. \u2026 We were afraid of failing again and she grabbed me and said, \u2018Let\u2019s find a way.\u2019\u201d In her book, Nyad shows \u201csomeone who wasn\u2019t going to give up. All of us in our lives, whether it\u2019s emotional hardships or our life\u2019s dreams, we want to get to some other shore. It\u2019s easy to give up. If we\u2019re willing to dig down and be smart, we can find a way to all of our other shores.\u201d \u201cHer story is about so much more than swimming \u2014 it\u2019s about setting your mind to something and the perseverance, motivation and strength it takes to make it happen,\u201d said Karen Danvers, program manager at Wilton Library. \u201cIt\u2019s such a great message for young and old, athletes and non-athletes, someone dealing with adversity or change. There\u2019s something in it for everyone. We\u2019re looking forward to this very special night.\u201d Kathleen Millard, general manager of Elm Street Books of New Canaan, with whom the library collaborates, agreed. \u201cThis is not just a book about swimming. It is a book about a whole life, with bumps and hurdles which do not prevent Diana from reaching her goals. I was so inspired hearing her speak last May, I knew if we could get her for an author talk the audience would feel the same way.\u201d Tickets for the event are $30, which includes two seats at the talk and a hardcover copy of Find a Way. A portion of the book sales will benefit Wilton Library. Books will be distributed at check-in beginning at 6 on the night of the event. Additional books will be available for purchase at the program courtesy of Elm Street Books. There will be a Q&A and book signing after the talk. To purchase tickets, visit wiltonlibrary.org or call 203-762-3950, ext. 247.