Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The beginning of a journey?

Wow. That was awesome.

I am now completely certified as a Water Safety Instructor with the Canadian Red Cross! I'm done. I'm employable! I took the course in the town I lived in for 8 years between ages 5 and 12, and stayed with great friends. It was really good. There were a few tough moments, and I have struggled with a nasty head cold the last few days, but here I am, and the end of the road, so-to-speak. Or maybe just...a cross-road, a new twist in the plan.

Courses I've completed:

- Bronze Medallion (at age 13)
- Bronze Cross (at age 14)
- Assistant Water Safety Instructor (at age 15)
- Standard First Aid with CPR-C and AED (in June 08)
- National Lifesaving service Award (Sep/Oct 08)
- Water Safety Instructor (Today!)

Can you believe it? The last four days I've taught four swim classes on my own, from 3-year-olds to 13-year-olds, and it's been fantastic. Classes with six little girls with button noses and classes with crazy 12-year-olds who don't listen. But it's been fun! I've enjoyed every moment, every challenge, every new idea. Each time I stood before those little tiny feet, teaching them to kick the way they should, or had children do dolphin dives through hula hoops, I marveled at the incredible circle of life and creativity. It was in that same pool that I learned do front crawl and dive, and yet, there I was, teaching other kids the same things, passing it forward one more time, giving kids moments they will remember for the rest of their lives. Teaching kids to swim...and touching hearts. How can that be?

And there stood Jeanie and Cat, guarding the pool just like they did when I swam there as a little kid. I never thought I'd be their equal. I have treasured moments from their lessons for years, and I told them, and they lit up. So it is another cross-road, another twist in the plan. In a couple days I'll drop off my resume at the local pool. I'm done. I'm here. And who knows where it will take me! It may just be a summer job for a year. Maybe I'll take it to new heights and become a Master Instructor Trainer for Red Cross one day, for all I know! It is so exciting!

The smallest things can change a life, or many lives. Jeanie gave me two private lessons when I was small, so I could get my front crawl. If she hadn't, I might never have learned front crawl. I might have given up. I might not be writing this post today. Yet here I am, and I had 23 students in the last four days. Who knows what that did for them. Who knows what small words kept them going that day. Maybe that smile was all they needed.

Remember that.

There was one little girl in one of my classes, and she is a dreamer. She has beautiful eyes, and they are always everywhere, watching, learning, and she listens; to everything. But when Maddison smiles, she lights the room up. Her little tiny 4-year-old face kept me going when I felt like yuck later in the day. It's that one tiny thing that someone does--that you do, that warms the heart, that changes a life, that brings reunion to a rift.

So today I come to the end of a road, a destination, a twist; but it is only the beginning of a journey. Let's see where it takes me!

All my hugs in ten-thousand sparkling bubbles!
Sheila Christine

PS. Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Good luck in 2009!


jen said...

Fabulous post! THANKS!!
Swimmy-Jen :*>)

Cowgirl_E said...

Congrats, girl!

Mariah said...

Congratulations Girl! :)

Lorraine said...

Way to go flipper!! Great times ahead.
Proud of ya!

Marianne said...

Congratulations Sheila!
Smile & the World smiles with you!
PS. LOVED the next vlog - hope you're feeling better now and that you're getting enough sleep! :D