The 64-year-old long-distance swimmer — the first person to accomplish the feat without a shark cage or swim fins — describes the struggles she faced during her record-setting 110-mile swim from Florida to Cuba. The book author and swimming veteran said she encountered box jellyfish and said the protective mask she wore to fend of jellyfish caused her to take in salt water, making her feel "sick as a dog."

Nyad's journey was more than just a record; she had attempted to make the journey four other times, to no avail. But the fifth time was the charm.

Upon arriving in Florida to a cheering crowd, Nyad had three things to say, according to the Los Angeles Times:

"One is, we should never ever give up," said a slightly dazed Nyad, whose slurred remarks were received with a roar by the crowd. "Two is, you're never too old to chase your dreams.

"Three is, it looks like a solitary sport, but it's a team," Nyad concluded and then was placed on a stretcher, where she immediately began receiving fluids before being taken to a hospital for examination.

In 1979, Nyad swam from Bimini to Florida, setting a distance record for non-stop swimming without a wetsuit that still stands today. During the same decade, she broke numerous world records, including the 45-year-old mark for circling Manhattan Island (7 hrs, 57 min) in 1975. Despite her other accomplishments, the Cuba swim had eluded her — that is, until now.

Read about her previous attempts on MNN: