Right after my sister and I started swimming in January of 2014, we decided would like to earn our Lifeguard Certifications. After a five month break from swimming, I picked up that idea again in November when I started private swim lessons and worked on my stamina, surface dives/brick retrieval. In January it made the top of my list of things I wanted to complete for my Golden Year Project where I am accomplishing 28 new/different experiences to help me grow as a person. Since then it has been my goal to certify in June as I figured that would allow me enough time to build up my stamina and be able to successfully complete the prerequisites and be accepted into the course.
It is now June and the class I was planning on taking starts in tw0 weeks. I have been making sure to watch a lot of swimming videos, reading up on requirements and practicing daily to tighten up my form. I have even started reading the lifeguard manual in preparation for the course.
The prerequisites for the course I have no qualms about successfully completing:
- 300 yard continuous swim combination breaststroke, freestyle – Check
- Treading water for 2 minutes without using arms or head going below water – Check
- Swim 20 yards, surface dive to and retrieve a brick, carry it back to the side of the pool in less than 1:40 – Check
After all this preparation, I just had to come to terms with the fact that I will never earn my American Red Cross lifeguard certification. There is a technicality about one of the requirements that wasn’t in the literature I originally based my training on. It’s mandatory to do the brick retrieval without goggles.
I can’t see underwater without goggles. Above water I am near sighted and often misjudge distance; underwater everything is so blurred together I have absolutely no depth perception and can’t make it to the bottom. (No, contacts do not help.)
9 months of getting kicked by other swimmers, hit by stray balls, bumping my head and shins into the wall, slicing my toes on the line, getting bruises from climbing out and fainting from fatigue and dehydration and this is the first time I’ve cried at the pool. Unfortunately nothing is going to fix this.
Time to pick another dream.