Pantheon these are gritty people • luck is an illusion

Tererai Trent

T TRENTTererai Trent was born in Zimbabwe. She was not allowed to attend any school as a child due to poverty and being female.  She recalls the men in the village, including her father, pointing to the boys and saying “These are the breadwinners of tomorrow. We need to educate them. We need to send them to school. The girls will get married."

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Diana Nyad

DianaNyad2In her youth Diana Nyad read survival stories: those of polar explorers Roald Amundsen and Robert F. Scott, along with David Howarth's "We Die Alone," the story of a Norwegian man crushed by an avalanche who spent days buried under several feet of snow and who cut off his own frostbitten toes to avoid gangrene. Nyad sought to learn from these epics how "to dig deeper and deeper into your gut until you arrive at that same core of pride and dignity that the survivors know."

Five times she attempted to be the first woman ever to swim all the way from Cuba to Florida (110 statute miles). Her first attempt was in 1978 when she was age 28 and at her peak physical condition. She failed again and again and again on four subsequent attempts. But when she turned 60 she decided to try to do it again, but without the help of a shark cage, and practiced in a pool four hours every day, for four years.

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James Robertson

gritfire empty roadJames Robertson, a 56 year-old Michigan factory worker, commuted to work 21 miles round trip by foot, every weekday, for 10 years, despite rain, snow or dark of night.

No buses covered his entire route, and Robertson's $10.55/hour wages were too low for him to save up enough to both buy and insure a car while still covering his basic living expenses, rent and food.

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This list is compiled for editorial purposes only. The photographs and likenesses used are for non-commercial, educational, descriptive and visual references of a specific person or newsworthy event in our modern times or in history. These people have not licensed their names or likenesses to, nor are they affiliated or associated with GritFire.

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