Life by the water

Garden Valley Collegiate
Winkler, Manitoba

By Kim M. (Grade 12)

Imagine waking up and having to go to work where everybody's lives are depending on you. One mistake could lead to death, or a huge lawsuit. Imagine the stress, imagine the responsibility. That responsibility is put on lifeguard Kelly S. almost all year round. Working in environments with such nerve-racking stresses gets to be quite difficult but Kelly thoroughly enjoys it. "Usually those stresses aren't really thought about ... of course you think about others' lives, but watching everyone have so much fun makes it easier."

Kelly S. has lifeguarded at a lake, a camp, and at a hotel. When asked which one was found to be more of a challenge, she said, "Well, I think that the lake was more challenging. Maybe that was because there were more kids there, but also the water is murkier, and head counts were harder."

The education leading up to being a qualified lifeguard can be quite costly. "I suggest that if you plan to only work as a lifeguard for a couple of months, don't take all of the training. Working only one or two seasons will barely make up the costs." But, even through all of that, Kelly still finds it enjoyable. "I've always liked to swim. I definitely haven't always been good, but practice sure helped!"

Sometimes it is hard to be disciplinary as a lifeguard. "Well, there are some situations that aren't supposed to be funny, but they are. We have to warn kids when they lip-off or do splash dives. Sometimes the comebacks that those children have are hilarious and we just have to laugh. Then they think that they can get away with more but they find out that they can't."

Lifeguarding is surely an interesting job. You have lives depending on you but you also have the joys of being in the sunshine, swimming on your breaks, and having great times with your peers. Everything pays off in the end. Just like Kelly S. found out.

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