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Month by Month

Summer Swim

During the summer months of June and July, I coach a summer swim team. We are the only public pool in a league filled with country clubs and swim clubs.

Because of this, our group of kids – 176 and growing, ages 4 to 18 – come from all over the area. We are not defined by our location, income or status in life. We are defined by the love of swimming and the joy of connecting with others who feel the same.

I leave my home at 7 a.m. five days a week and coach three practices throughout the morning, finishing up at 11 a.m. I often stay another hour or two to give lessons to both swim team members who need some tweaking, and to non-swimmers whose parents want them to be water safe.

I tell people my office is a pool, and I feel very lucky to have such a unique job where I am involved in helping kids learn to swim. My hope is their swimming becomes a life-long skill; one that will keep them safe and healthy well into their 80s and 90s.

For now though, my goal is to teach my swimmers the proper way to breathe; the correct hand entry for maximum propulsion, the needed body-line to ensure the least drag; these are my priorities. Their drop in time, receiving shirt-soaking hugs, and watching the subsequent high-fives with friends are gravy.

But more than anything, my experiences at the pool have resulted in life-long friendships; with the kids, their parents, my colleagues. These relationships, where I am often thanked for providing guidance, for listening, for having someone’s back, make me smile. It’s my secret, you see. I am the one who walks away from these experiences having benefitted the most.

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