As soon as I'd signed up for the lifeguard training course - even before completing the first sessions - I was applying to lifeguard jobs. In fact even before I had confirmed my place on a course I was already doing job searches and making lists of the ones I should apply for, uploading my CV online etc. Hopefully I'm not jumping the gun.
You see, passing the course might not be the formality that I assumed that it would be. I've completed one session - out of eight - my second session is tonight and I'm a little nervous, after the first session wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. Most of the people on the course - there are 12 on the course, all men (mostly young boys) which I was slightly surprised and slightly disappointed about, though the fewer the distractions the better - were worried about the mental side of it. The studying and answering questions. I'm not too worried about that. I'm a bit lazy but I know how to study. I'm fairly intelligent, not too bad at remembering things (I couldn't tell you what I had for tea last night or why I went upstairs just now - returning with nothing - but facts and figures are ok).
But I am slightly worried about the physical side of it. A lot of the first session was centred around towing a casualty out of the water. To be fair it was pretty straightforward. You had to swim 25m to the "casualty" and then tow then back to the beginning by the chin. Everyone who wasn't in the first group - of course I was and therefore didn't know that we were trying to beat a certain time - managed to do it inside the 65 seconds that's required. I did it in 85 seconds so - although it was a slightly unfair and I didn't go flat out - maybe have reason to worry? Part of me thinks that I'm more than capable of doing it under 65 seconds if everyone else is (I'm one of the strongest swimmers there) but part of me is a little worried about doing 'sidestroke'.
'Sidestroke' is the technique that you use when towing somebody to the side of the pool. It involves swimming with one arm - the other is used to pull the injured swimmer along by the chin - while doing this strange scissor kick thing (that I just couldn't get the hang of). The kick is why I was so slow. I just couldn't get the hang of it! After a lifetime of doing the four recognised strokes - freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and fly - my body just couldn't adapt to a new stroke. It didn't understand what my brain was trying to do. I didn't realise that my co-ordination was so bad!
However, just before getting out of the pool something clicked. I had an epiphany. I was taking the instructor too literally (I think?). Next time we have to do it - tonight - I'm just going to do an extended sidewards frontcrawl kick instead. Talking to a couple of the others guys in the changing room afterwards it seems like that's what they were all doing anyway (while I was trying to concentrate on bringing my legs together like a pair of scissors). I'm a little confused as to the "expected" technique but next time I'm asked to do 'sidestroke' I'll be sure to give the "extended sidewards freestyle kick" a go. Hopefully it makes all the difference?
I feel fairly confident that I can sort it out. I've got just under two weeks before the evaluation evening on Tuesday 17th September 2013. Should be plenty of time? Well I certainly hope so because fingers crossed I'll be getting offers for interview soon and I don't want to have to turn them down because I've failed the course I told potential employers I have already passed. Hopefully applying before I've passed the course isn't jumping the gun (too much). Wish me luck!