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Nicole Ludwig

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Walnut Grove PoolAnother lifetime ago, I decided to finally get around to completing my Water Safety Instructor Trainer (WSIT, for the uninitiated). I’d left recreation a year or two earlier because I was tired of people who argued over who gets to sit in front of the jets in the hot tub. When I explained to my mentor that I wanted to use the instructor trainer stuff as extra income, he laughed at me and said, “No you don’t. You’ll be back. You’re a lifer.”

I snarkily mentioned something about the pot calling the kettle black, and he said something to the effect of, “Well, at least *I* admit it.

I huffed and puffed and said to myself that I would be damned if I became a lifer.

Over the next 10 years or so, I slowly let a bunch of certifications expire: Lifesaving Instructor (Trainer), National Lifeguard Services (NLS) (Instructor), First Aid (Instructor) and really only kept up my Red Cross WSIT award, eventually becoming a Master Instructor Trainer (MIT) and gaining a reputation for being Really Good At This.

* * * * *

Earlier in the year, I burned out teaching these courses. Shannon was going through a really clingy phase, Darren was working every other Sunday and it was just too much for our family. I finished up the course I was teaching, bailed on a second that I’d originally agreed to and declared a year long hiatus on teaching, citing family reasons.

Back before Christmas, a client contacted me and begged me to teach a Water Safety Instructor course. I hemmed and hawed about it, sent them a quote, we did a bit of back and forth on how much I would be paid (read: double what I usually get paid), and away we went.

It was an excellent class – six very strong candidates. It was a crash course, which I usually abhor, but it was over quickly instead of having it spread out over five or seven weekends.

About day three, the candidates were in the water teaching their classes. I emerged onto the deck and surveyed what was going on. I walked under the waterslide and watched an NLS class practicing hand and whistle signals. I watched the instructor candidates. I saw lifeguards communicating with each other and dealing with the public.

And for an instant I missed it. I missed the noise, the light, the splashing – the helping people (except for the people hogging the jets in the hot tub. I still don’t miss that.)

In the next instant, I thought, “Oh crap. He was right.”

And then I realized I had a goal for the year: get my NLS certification back. I’m at the point where I’d have to take the course again, but I’m okay with that. Or rather, I will be okay when I get fit enough to do it.

Next up:  a swimcap and goggles purchase to practice swimming. Because there’s no way I’m swimming two or three times a week without them.

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  • Katie (The Muffin Myth)

    My my my, look at you. I’m 100% expired and still satisfied with that, though I have finally taken the plunge (haha) back into the pool and have started swimming on my lunch breaks from my desk job a few times a week. It took me nearly 3 years to want to get back in the water, but I am really enjoying it. Though the fact that the pools here don’t have active lifeguards makes me a bit crazy, so I find my self scanning as I swim. Sigh, I suppose you can take the girl out of the pool…