Susan Paris swims 6,000 yards for Women in Transition
October 02, 2017
Susan Paris has been challenging herself for nearly 50 years.
An accomplished endurance athlete, the 71-year-old has countless marathons, triathlons and distance swims to her credit. A member of United States Masters Swimming, she completed a 5,000-meter swim at Cleveland State University this summer.
Paris is also an active participant in Cuyahoga Community College’s Women in Transition program, which assists women in the midst of life transitions, such as career change, divorce and major illness.
On Friday, Paris brought two of the most important aspects of her life together at the Mellen Pool, on the campus of Notre Dame College in South Euclid. She completed a 6,000-yard swim – about 3.4 miles – in 2:10:48.
By swimming nearly three and a half miles, she hopes to raise awareness about the Women in Transition program, and inspire other women going through periods of personal upheaval.
“I wanted to dedicate this swim to the women in the program, and other women going through transitions in their lives,” Paris said. “I want to show others that women in transition have many skills and talents, and no matter what is happening in their lives, they are competent, capable people, and can meet the goals they set for themselves.”
A native of the Cleveland area and 1964 graduate of Cleveland Heights High School, Paris recently moved back to Cleveland from Kentucky.
“I could barely swim when I was younger,” Paris said. “But I got some goggles, a cap and some nose plugs, and it changed my life. I swam recreationally for quite a while, then became a competitive swimmer in my 50s. That’s on top of being a runner since I was in my 20s. Probably needless to say, but I’ve been in a lot of different types of races over the years.”