I am attempting to swim the Juan de Fuca, Haro and Georgia Straits with the hope that I will inspire other people with Multiple Sclerosis to exercise as a way of managing the disease. I have had it for over 20 years and take no medication. I use swimming and veganism as my main disease management tools. I hope to raise funds for Victoria’s newly formed MS Wellness Centre.
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 kayaking, 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 and fit self.
Please join me as I swim in local water ways to raise funds and awareness #WithMS4MS.
A few of my past swims
- 2018, Juan de Fuca Strait attempted unassisted double crossing, 66km (removed due to hypothermia)
- 2018, Journey to Namu – Lama Pass and Fisher Channel Crossings
- 2017, Juan de Fuca Strait, 33km, unassisted
- 2017, Great Bear Sea (Inside Passage) June 2016, 20km staged over 2 days, unassisted
- 2016, Cowichan Lake, attempted 105km, unassisted (stopped due to motion sickness)
- 2016, Great Bear Sea (Inside Passage) July 2016, 50km staged over 2 days, unassisted
- 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, 34km, relay, wetsuit
- 2011, Thetis Lake Swim, 5km, unassisted
For more about Susan please visit susansimmons.ca