How to be a Lifeguard in 12 Easy Steps

photo(23)I started swimming when I was 5 years old. We had an outdoor public pool in the small southern mountain town I grew up in and it was beside a lake. The water was so dark in the deep end you could not see the bottom! I was scared of the deep end. My swim team coach just threw me in and told me to swim, and that’s how I learned to conquer my fear of the deep end and to swim. My parents spent many a night or day taking my brother and I to swim team practices or meets. When my father passed away 2 years ago, I got very sad. We were such good buddies. To mark the anniversary of his death, instead of continuing to feel sorry for myself I decided I would try to pass Lifeguard training … again! A lot of time had passed since my swim team days – including several life changes: getting married, moving, losing a parent, becoming a mom! I didn’t think I could pass the lifeguard class – I was bruised from climbing in and out of the pool and exhausted from the week long intensive class, but I passed! As a poet, I wanted to capture my journey of becoming a lifeguard again in poems. Because it really helped me to turn my sadness around after losing my Dad, I wanted to document my true journey of becoming a mom lifeguard as well. I wrote both the poetry book and the non-fiction book at the same time. I love the training that I have as a lifeguard – it makes me feel just a little bit stronger and safer and better able to look after my family, friends or a patron (if they need me)!