Jun 20, 2022
Getting Out There with Susan Simmons
In this episode, Andy sat down with Susan Simmons.
Susan is a Canadian marathon swimmer living with MS, Multiple Sclerosis—a chronic and progressive autoimmune disease that impacts the brain’s nerve cells and spinal cord, leading to symptoms such as uncontrolled spasms, dizziness, weakness, fatigue, pain, and impaired vision, balance, and coordination, just to name a few.
Susan was diagnosed in 1995 at the age of 30 and was told to avoid exercise because doctors feared it would put her at risk of permanent nerve damage. But after ten years of rest, her condition only worsened and it became clear that if she did not do something, she would soon be in a wheelchair.
And so, in 2005, Susan shifted her focus to fitness as her final hope of managing the disease, but because MS is often a heat sensitive disease—with exercise causing attacks as the body’s temperature rises—she turned to swimming as a low-impact form of exercise that would also keep her cool.
After training for seven years, she competed in her first 10km ocean swim in Vancouver, a swim of over six miles, placing first in her division, and she has since gone on to complete in a number of open-water marathons swims—including an over 43-mile unassisted swim, which she completed in just over 31 hours!
Susan’s accomplishments are incredible, but what makes them even more remarkable is knowing what she has had to overcome in order to achieve them. She is truly an inspiration to everyone, demonstrating what’s possible when you just get out there and do it.
Check out this episode of It’s the Climb to hear the whole story.
Share the experience with your team and the community you serve with a professional development workshop or keynote address by Andy and Jonas. Visit ItsTheClimbPodcast.com to learn more about the available leadership and team building programs.
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