New Jersey paddleboarder Michelle Davidson salutes Diana Nyad's Cuba to U.S. swim

Michelle Davidson, 43, paddled from Cuba to Florida as part of a relay team back in 2004. (9/5/13)

OCEAN GROVE - A New Jersey woman has a special appreciation for Diana Nyad's recent accomplishment.

Michelle Davidson, 43, paddled from Cuba to Florida as part of a relay team back in 2004.

The team did the paddle in about 25 hours, encountering sharks and jellyfish.

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The Neptune resident teaches business classes at Holmdel High School now, and says she plans on talking to her students about Nyad's triumph.

"I think it's a positive role model that age doesn't matter, in her case it was 64 years old," Davidson says. "It teaches kids that there's more to life than studying and books."

Davidson also swam the English Channel in 2004. Like Nyad, she had sores in her mouth from the salt water and had difficulty eating and drinking as a result of her test of physical endurance.

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