By Lillian Bowe
Fabienne Wilson said she gets excited to go to work every morning as a lifeguard at the Portales City Pool.
Wilson said she has always loved swimming and its benefits, so becoming a lifeguard was an easy decision.
“I get a great work-out, which helps my training for soccer,” said Wilson, a senior on Eastern New Mexico University’s woman’s soccer team.
Wilson also teaches swimming lessons at the pool.
What swim lessons do you teach?
Right now I am teaching level one swimmers, which are the swimmers that passed pre-beginners class. I have also taught pre-beginners, which introduces the kids to the water. We take them to the little pool, so they can get comfortable just being in the water. We also get them to put their heads underwater. In level one, we teach them how to actually swim.
What ages are in level one?
It varies. We get a variety of ages in the class, but it is between the ages of 5 and 8. Some of the older kids have had to repeat the class to become better swimmers.
What are some of the struggles you face when giving swim lessons?
Well, with level one, we try new things in the water. Sometimes the kids really don’t want to try new things or want to venture to the deep end. I struggle teaching the kids doggie paddle, too, because they forget to kick while they swim and they only use their arms. Kicking is essential to move in the water. Also, the first three days are the hardest. During that time you have to gain their trust.
Why did you become a lifeguard?
I have loved swimming for the physical activity and it relaxes me, so when I saw the city needed lifeguards I thought it would be a fun summer job.
What do you like about your job?
When I wake up in the morning to go to work, I don’t feel dread; I look forward to it. It keeps me active and I am not stuck in an office working in a cubical. It is the perfect summer job. I have also learned valuable skills, like rescuing people from the water and performing CPR. I have also become a better swimmer.