Ultramarathon Swimmer Susan Simmons
Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis over twenty years ago, I have chosen a lifestyle that manages the disease through physical fitness and diet. My number one form of exercise is swimming and my diet is vegan. Both minimize the stress on my body, making it possible for me to live an active life.
Swimming in the open-water provides me with a special kind of freedom. Multiple-Sclerosis is a cruel disease. While one of the best ways for me to manage it is to exercise, exercise is also one of the things that can cause me to over-heat and potentially lead to damaging attacks. The open-water keeps me cool where I am free to exercise.
Getting to where I am today has presented many challenges. When I first decided to exercise I had a difficult time walking a block. My initial pool swims were limited to 10 to 20 lengths followed by a 3 hour nap. Over time I built up my stamina and was able to swim for longer and longer periods of time. What soon followed was the ability to participate in other forms of exercise including Outrigger Canoeing, Cycling, Weightlifting and Crossfit.
I wholeheartedly believe everyone is worth the effort it takes to be healthy, and for those of us with disease our first line of defense should be a healthy self.
Please join me in celebrating all things healthy as I swim the Great Bear Sea.
A few of my past swims
- 2017 Juan de Fuca Strait, 33km unassisted
- 2017 Great Bear Swim, Bella Bella through Lama Passage, 20km staged, unassisted
- 2016 Cowichan Lake, attempted 105km, unassisted (stopped due to extreme motion sickness)
- 2016, Great Bear Swim, Ocean Falls to Bella Bella, 50km unassisted staged swim over 2 days
- 2015, Cowichan Lake, attempted 105km, unassisted (stopped due to extreme motion sickness)
- 2014, Cowichan Lake, 70km, unassisted
- 2013, Cowichan Lake, 34km, unassisted
- 2012, English Bay Challenge, 10km, wetsuit
- 2011, Strait of Georgia, 34k, relay, wetsuit
- 2011, Thetis Lake Swim, 5k, unassisted
You can find out why I want to swim the Great Bear Sea here and you can learn more about me on my blog at msathlete.org.