The Brain Basis of Extraordinary Feats of Will

What makes some people capable of amazing perseverance?

In September 2013, at age 64, distance swimmer Diana Nyad achieved a goal she’d been chasing for more than 35 years: She swam from Cuba to Florida, 110 miles, without a shark cage to protect her. During the 53-hour swim, she paddled through swarms of venomous box jellyfish and vomited repeatedly from swallowing saltwater. Her entire body trembled from the cold. But she forged on, resolute in her determination to complete one stroke after another. 

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