SAN DIEGO — For Susan Norman, it was a leap 81 years in the making.
On Monday, the Prevent Drowning Foundation of San Diego and the San Diego Junior Lifeguards hosted the return of the SDJG Pier Jump off the Ocean Beach Pier. The event featured a number of swimmers — including Norman — jumping into the water for a foundation fundraiser to provide junior lifeguard scholarships and free swimming lessons to the community’s underserved youth.
Norman is the first octogenarian to make the plunge, the foundation said.
“I like to do things like this,” Norman said. “I mean, I like it, but it makes me somewhat nervous to know if I could do it because I haven’t done anything like this in so many years.”
But she’s no regular grandmother. Norman has raced in triathlons and even won an Ironman race in her division. The accomplished water woman says she wanted to indulge in a 25-foot plunge alongside her grandsons Noah and Calvin.
Asked if he ever thought his grandmother would jump off the pier with him, her grandsons agreed: “No!”
“I was shocked,” Calvin said.
The foundation charges non-lifeguard participants $100 per jump to raise money for educating local young people. Six hundred people jumped off the pier and tens of thousands of dollars were raised with the help of the pier jump, according to a senior lifeguard.
As for 9-year-old Noah, he did have some last minute advice for his grandmother.
“Just don’t put your arms out or your arms will sting probably for the rest of your life,” he said.