I got a job at SwimLabs, and after a morning of training I knew I'd found my people.
I've been swimming for three decades but in that time the sport has evolved and expanded past my knowledge base. A lot of thinking has gone into new stroke technique and the best ways to teach both kids and adults, so it was awesome to go learn the latest ideas and how to teach them.We alternated between watching video of Michael Phelps and other stars, practicing technique ourselves, and taking notes on how to teach the new, improved thinking. It's difficult to take notes while you're literally sitting in a pool - pages get wet and the ink runs - but I had to get the new ideas down. After we were done, our master teacher burned a CD of us going through the training, with his notes included on the video clip. Aside from the faint horror of seeing myself in a bathing suit on the monitor, I was completely captivated.
Over the last twelve years I've done thousands of menial tasks for which I will never be compensated and tens of important tasks that will hopefully have immense pay-off - which I won't see for several decades. I have had jobs and volunteer commitments and I have enjoyed all of them, but it's the cherry on top to choose a job doing something I really love, with people that feel the same. Our trade publications are "Splash!" and "Swimming World" magazines, our uniform a bathing suit and goggles, and it's exactly my thing. With summer coming (and summer swim team for the three kids) I can't take on many hours, but the excitement of a pending summer of watching, teaching, and hopefully doing some swimming makes me feel like a coffee addict in Starbucks at breakfast. Oh, the joy!