I did it!

Two blue, white and yellow cloth patches side-by-side on a dark background. One says Lifesaving Society Bronze Medallion and the other says Lifesaving Society Bronze Cross.

I successfully completed two more courses towards my certification so I can work as a swim instructor after I retire next summer.

I have already registered for my instructor’s and airway management courses in December, and the lifeguard course in January-March. I’m pleased that they will be at my regular pool so I won’t have to fight rush hour traffic each week. My friends were teasing me that the ability to bike to lessons would be the deciding factor, even before I had found a class. Apparently I am predicable.

I’m not too worried about the December classes, but I will need to be much more diligent about my physio exercises and make some time to get to the pool to work on my speed before January. My shoulder is improving but it’s still sore and I’m certain my overall swim fitness isn’t where it should be.

I have really enjoyed connecting with other older people who are still teaching or lifeguarding, or are now thinking about getting back to it. Some are part of the Facebook Group “Did You Swim Today”. Others were perfect strangers who saw me in class, and one was a former boss who I still keep in touch with. It’s fun to inspire and be inspired by all these active swimmers.

It has been fascinating to discover just how many seniors are still teaching and lifeguarding, long after most media would have you believe they are just doing aquafit or something similar (don’t get me wrong, aquafit can be a really good workout). People like Mary Gallagher, shown below, who has been teaching swimming in California since 1975.

Mary Gallagher was 80 when this photo was taken in 2000. Photo by Ann Marie Shambaugh shows an older woman with white hair in a swimming pool. She is supporting a young child wearing swim goggles.

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