As the summer is rapidly approaching and reality is settling in that instead of covering myself in SPF 1000, wearing a gloriously red one-piece swimsuit and sitting propped up in a stand near a body of water this summer, I will be completing an internship.
For the first summer in 3 summers, I won't get up every morning, put on my lifeguard garb (also read, lakey, smelling, and oddly brown stained t-shirt) and go to my job of saving lives.
I'm feeling far more nostalgic about this than I realized possible. Because when you've endured the 100 plus degree temps for 40 hours a week, for 3 summers long, you should pretty much feel like never leaving an air conditioned building again...
But I just don't feel that way. I will miss life guarding. Okay, maybe I won't miss frying my skin off and the middle school boy flirting, but I will miss it.
But instead of writing a bunch of sappy feelings about how life guarding changed my life and taught me hundreds of life lessons, I'll share with you some things every lifeguard knows that you don't know but probably (definitely) should.
1. Sunscreen isn't for wimps. We use it and you probably should too.
2. Hydration is really (really really really) important. *shout-out to Kevin*
3. Be nice to lifeguards, you never know when you may need them
4. Arm swim rings, blowup life jackets, floats and basically anything blowup are NOT lifesaving devices
5. Watching a body of water for hours at a time without a break isn't "easy"
6. WATCH YOUR KID. Lifeguards aren't babysitters
7. We really enjoy the satisfaction of blowing our whistles, but we don't do it because we're jerks. We're trying to keep you safe.
8. Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day may be everyone else's favorite but they are a nightmare in the world of life guards
9. Sure we are really tan but we also have the most awkward swim lines and the whitest of bellies
10. Don't get into a canoe if you can't swim. Just don't do it.
11. Put a swim diaper on your baby. Exploded diapers are not fun to clean up.
12. If the sign says "stay inside the swim line" it means stay inside the swim line. End of story. We don't care if your last name is Phelps.
13. We will not give you mouth to mouth. We will use a nifty thing called a mask.
14. Don't poop in the middle of the bathroom floor. (YES IT HAPPENS)
15. Lightning kills, people. You don't want to leave this world that way, so get out of the water during a storm. Don't make us ask twice.
16. Cussing out lifeguards isn't nice. Please don't do that.
17. We aren't jerks. We all have a 'lifeguard face.' It doesn't mean we're mad. It means we're focused.
18. We love when you acknowledge us. It makes our days
19. NO DOGS ON THE BEACH. I repeat: NO DOGS ON THE BEACH
20. We appreciate any and all cold water or Gaterade offers
Patrons. Be nice. Offer Gatorade. Follow the rules. And for the love of all whistles quiet and un-blown, watch your children.
Good luck this summer fellow lifeguards. May the sun be bearable and the crowds be light... Amen.