Again, very sad to hear. I wonder if Outside Magazine knew all this when they lionized her along with a number of other athletes on an all-woman cover not long ago?

Hard to know. To your point, thanks for the kind words. As a journalist, I’m interested in getting it as right as possible, not protecting what I wrote for egotistical reasons. If I don’t have all the facts, then I don’t have all the facts. Being threatened by differing information — and let’s not include Flat Earth nonsense here- is a statement about our lack of professionalism.

Nobody is happy to know that a hero has been tarnished. However, Daniel, by the same token, such behavior often comes from damage, and I know she was. People like that can at times feel that no matter what they do, how good they are, how many medals, they aren’t enough, and there cometh fabrication. Even the great Arnold himself suffered from self-loathing, which surprised a lot of us. That by no means condones or forgives what Nyad has done. All it does is possibly put it into perspective. As someone who has been raped myself, I know the long journey to normalcy and being able to develop a perspective that doesn’t include vindictiveness. Not everyone gets there.

Ultimately, all our heroes are human, and in their humanness may well let us down. Dian Fossey, for example, was a right bitch. It got her murdered. She did good things for good reasons but at a high cost. No human hero is without stain, nor are they in any way perfect. People want saints, but the saints were also assholes, jerks, subject to petty jealousies and hatreds, and full of faults. That tends to piss off anyone who prays to one. I think that it’s fair to suggest that those of us who have heroes and identify with them too much are personally insulted if anyone dares to point out a failing. To me, that makes the so-called saint a lot more relatable. Perhaps what we can hope for is some modicum of emotional maturity, which, just as in everyday life, is damned hard to find. Thanks again, I appreciate it.

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Horizon Huntress, prize-winning author, adventure traveler, boundary-pusher, wilder, veteran, aging vibrantly. I own my sh*t. Let’s play!

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