When I was a little girl, I always wanted to swim well. I took lessons at the beach. I had to forge my permission slip and promise not to tell Dad because he was deathly afraid of drowning. I scraped my nose trying to dive and almost drown trying to tread water. This was not going well.
Finally, I went away to Girl Scout Camp and had an amazing swimming instructor who figured out how to teach ME to swim. She actually got in the water and moved my legs and arms. To make a long story short, it finally clicked.
Then I started going to the local YMCA and swimming every chance I got. I started helping with little kids’ classes and finally, when I was 14, the General Manager asked me to be a Junior Leader.
After I made my way through Lifesaving classes and Water Safety Instructor classes, I was asked to work as a lifeguard and swimming instructor. I was on a high that wouldn’t quit. I taught classes all summer and at night after school started. When we closed the pool at night, we would turn on the pool lights and the music and swim ourselves into exhaustion. I was feeling fit and well and thoroughly enjoying my role.
I had a variety of experiences including pulling out a young boy who was seizing face down in the water. We were able to get him to help in time. Then there was the night when we closed the pool and were doing our regular evening check and found a large, pile of poop in the deep end. It was an adventure to don rubber gloves and get the pile into a plastic bag and out of the pool. Special chlorine treatment followed this discovery.
I taught kids of all ages. 12-year-old boys were my most challenging and my favorite.
We taught a class of Catholic Nuns from the hospital when they were first allowed to exercise. White habits hung in the locker room as they donned their tank suits. We locked the doors so no one would intrude and make the students uncomfortable.
I taught my Mom, my neighbors, my sister and her husband, my nieces before they could walk to name a few-what a trip!
My sister always wanted me to get a real job. I beg her pardon?!?