Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Sink or Swim

I passed! I should probably have dragged that out a bit. Built up a bit of suspense before telling you - at the very end of the post - whether I had passed or not. But what's the point in that? I'm excited to have passed and excited to tell you.

For anyone reading this who doesn't have a clue what I'm talking about. I have been training for my National Pool Lifeguard Qualification and last night was my assessment. It was sink or swim time and I passed. Minimum wage job here I come!!!

For the last couple of days before the assessment I stressed out about it quite a bit. & over the last couple of weeks my "emotional journey" went a bit like this:

Training to be a lifeguard - that'll be easy.
Oh wait... this lifeguard thing isn't as easy as I thought it would be.
Actually this is quite alright; nail the timed swims and I swat up a little.
Oh bleep... why do I always leave everything to the last minute?!

Lifeguarding has constantly been on my mind, it has been hard to concentrate on anything else (hopefully it will be less so when I'm in a job haha). It's always on the brain. I've dreamt about it (numerous times), I day dream about it, I keep seeing people I think might not be breathing and on the way back home from training the other evening I even saw a cloud shaped like an upper torso on it's back, mouth open, ready for CPR - like Little Anne the resuscitation doll.

But in the end the assessment was pretty straight forward. I made a couple of small mistakes. At the very beginning I started by holding the casualties nose while I checked for breathing. Why would I do that? Nerves I guess. And my compressions were also a bit on the fast side but otherwise I managed to get through without any problems. I think getting the assessor we did helped. He was brilliant. An absolute legend. He kept us laughing and therefore relaxed the whole way through. He wanted us to show him that we were competent but wasn't even half as strict as our instructor had led us to believe the assessors would be.

I think our assessor got the balance just right. He made us relaxed enough that we could get on with it and show what we had learnt, without making us so relaxed that we would become complacent. It really was quite straight forward in the end - everybody passed - but that said. I'm also glad I did do a bit of swatting up over the last couple of days because although the question section was fairly easy, I got two of the more difficult questions and "luckily" I had memorised the answers. Getting them right was a really satisfying feeling.

So my next step is to move back down to London and starting my new job. I had an interview last week and - on the condition that I passed the course - I got the job. All there is to do now is to inform my interviewer that I passed and for them to call me in for an induction.

So that's it. I'm officially qualified to be a lifeguard. Which a lot of my friends are struggling to understand. It's come as a bit of a surprise I know. It's come out of left field a little (to me as much as it has for them). But it does make some sense. Not least because it will give me a base to train for my big swim. But also because after a few months in the job my new employer will hopefully pay for me to complete my swim teacher and swim coach training. I think I'd really enjoy being a swimming teacher.

I would also maybe like to train to be an assessor and potentially be trained so that I can train other people to be lifeguards (I think I might need a little experience in the job before I do that though - don't want to be jumping the gun again). So don't worry I'm not planning on being just a lifeguard (not that there is anything wrong with that). But hopefully for me this is just the start and it will be onwards and upwards from here. I'm also certainly not planning on giving up on writing. I'm a little disillusioned with Spoken Word at the moment but this short film script I'm working on is going to make my name. Just you wait and see :).

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