This past week I took steps toward securing a new job by getting my lifeguard certification. I'm not going to lie, I kind of felt like a tool doing this. I just kinda figured that lifeguards were 16 year old babes who just wanted to work on their tan and flirt with the boys. Y'all, I was so wrong!!! This was one of the hardest physical weeks I've experienced in a long time. I was soooo exhausted by the end of the week.
The week started off with per-requisite testing. It consisted of a 300 yard continuous swim, retrieving a brick off the bottom of the deep end and swimming on your back with it for 25 yards (timed), and a two minute hands-free tread. Surprisingly, we actually weeded out a few in the class who were unable to perform these tasks.
Then we started on the classroom portion of the class. We learned about rules and scanning the pool and we watch real videos of people drowning and needing some resuscitation and some dying. It was awful! Some other land stuff we did was CPR, AED, rescue breathing, first aid, choking, etc. The pool stuff was really difficult. We learned how to properly jump or slide into the pool. We learned all the rescues from simple stuff like handing the tube out to the person so they could get back to the wall or just getting in and lifting a person until they can touch, to really complicated stuff like passive underwater spinal rescues that involved deep water backboarding. On Thursday we spent 3-1/2 hours straight in the pool doing rescues. I slept like a boss that night!
Thursday afternoon we took the written tests. The first one was CPR/AED. It was 40 questions, multiple choice. I missed two and passed. Then was our lifeguarding written test. I had wanted to study for it and take it on Friday, but the reality was there was no way I was going to have time to study. So I took it and didn't miss any. And then got made fun of by the instructor for wanting to study for it. Yep. I deserved that.
Friday was our in-water test. We did three tests, each getting progressively harder. One was a simple deep water rescue. The second was a shallow spinal rescue. And the third was a deep water passive rescue that included using the backboard and then doing the CPR/rescue breathing techniques.
And....I passed! I am now a certified lifeguard!
Plus, the instructors like what they saw and said I could get a job at the Y. So I'm currently in the process of going through the application and orientation and then hopefully I can start working. I'm not going to lie, there are parts that make me very nervous about being a lifeguard. For example, I know that they audit you in the first week which means you perform a real (acted out) rescue in the water while the pool is open. If you screw up, you could lose your job! And the thought of doing a real rescue and possibly losing someone scares the crap out of me. It's not likely, but it could always happen. It will be good for me, though, to get back to working. This is not going to interfere with me raising my child. I am going to be working in the evenings and/or the weekends. It will be good for me to get out of the house and have adult interaction. It will be nice making some money again. It will sure go a long way towards renovations in our house or just buying all the toys I want (hello standup paddleboard!!!).
It was a great week. I made some new friends and learned lots of new skills. I'm excited for the challenge ahead!