Diana Nyad is a familiar presence at the Rose Bowl Aquatic Center pool in Pasadena. Masters coach Chad Durieux said Nyad's one of a few super-endurance swimmers who train here.
"They do 20,000 (meters), 30,000 sometimes, all day, they just come in the morning and swim all day long," he said.
But conditions in the Atlantic ocean were far tougher than this Olympic sized pool- think stinging jellyfish.
"Oh my gosh, wow that's one of the worst pains!" said Christine Yuan, a swimmer who is four decades younger than Nyad. She's getting back in the pool after months away. "It's very inspiring to know that someone can commit to that and do that."
Nyad's message to the crowd on that Florida beach -- that you're never too old to chase your dream -- resonated with Tom Roddy. He's a 45-year-old high school English teacher. He swam more than 6 miles Monday, his fifth time completing that distance.
"I was not a good athlete as a kid, and so its something I've always worked to overcome, so it's a way of beating something in myself, conquering something in myself," Roddy said.
Roddy wants to follow in Nyad's footsteps and complete an open water long distance swim.
"Someday, I'd like to try to swim the English Channel. but that might not happen for a while yet. I could try Catalina. I'll start with Catalina, it's warmer, certainly," he said.