my guest post

Matt asked me to write a blog about how my life was consumed by lifeguarding for six years. He wanted me to get into the details about saving, and trainings, but I spared the boring details and wrote this for his blog instead.

You can find Matt on Twitter: @hamsterjockey; insta: hamsterjockey, make sure you follow him!

My Guest Blog Post: Lifeguarding via Matt’s Blog

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn
It’s been a while since I’ve posted. Life happens I guess. But to get me back in the swing of things, I asked the lovely Kendal Ann to write me a guest blog about her experience lifeguarding. I, myself, have never been a lifeguard (but I did get my Lifesaving merit badge in Boy Scouts), but Kendal Ann was talking about it one day and it really interested me. Check out Kendal Ann’s blog here and I promise you, she’s a hell of a lot better at updating her blog than I am.

In high school and college, I lived for summers. I spent my days stretched out in a chair, slathered in SPF 85 (yes, it’s a thing), occasionally jumping off the dock for a quick dip and always playing with kids.

It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it. For five years, lifeguarding consumed my life. As downfalls of the job, my ginger locks would turn bleach beach blond, and it would always have a slight green tint to it. And I often found myself involuntarily yelling “No running!” at random kids on my days off.

I trained hard at 15 to become a Baywatch wannabe. The Red Cross certifies lifeguards only after an intensive, 30-plus-hour course on CPR, first aid, AED and rescue skills with both a written and physical final exam. (I was through the Red Cross and the YMCA)

Sure as a lifeguard our first priority is safety, but there is so much more to the job than safety, getting awkward tan lines and working 15 hour shifts.

Let’s get back to the trainings. I was originally hired to lifeguard at the YMCA (an indoor pool). After working at the YMCA for a year and a half—I was stolen. My supervisor put in a good word for me at the beach and the next day I was hired. I will always be grateful of her “stealing” me. (Note, I still worked at both the YMCA and the beach—I wasn’t exactly stolen, I was more of a timeshare). Working at the YMCA, we often had a training to refresh our skills. These trainings happened once every quarter (about four times a year). During the trainings, we would go over skills, back boarding, CPR and how to administer Oxygen. More often than not, they ended with the staff gathered in the hot tub.

Working at the beach was a totally different story. Before the season started, we took three days to refresh our skills on back boarding, oxygen administration, AED and first aid.  If that wasn’t enough, we had trainings every Thursday morning for two hours. It would begin with a few jokes and recognition, but beyond that, it was down and dirty—straight to business. We would swim to build our endurance (about a half a mile), and continue the meeting with saves and missing persons drills.

Yes, there are days it’s sunny and no one is at the pool or the beach so you get to work on your tan, read a book or go swimming for fun, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a hard job. I had to go through a 30-plus-hour course and pay money to get certified. My certifications last a year, before I have to get recertified. The money is lifeguarding is good, but everyone doesn’t get hired. So, don’t tell me I am just sitting there looking pretty, and getting paid to tan. Sir, you aren’t watching your 3-year-old in the water, and more than likely—you’ll be thanking me later.

Lifeguarding isn’t as glamorous as a gig as people make it out to be. Even though there are hard days, angry parents, and clingy children, at the end of the day I loved my job. For five years lifeguarding consumed my life, and honestly I wouldn’t change a minute of it. I met some of my best friends through lifeguarding. And thanks to lifeguarding I am not afraid of most situations, I know how to survive in the coldest water conditions and I can swim the “Bermuda Triangle” (it’s a Wisconsin thing)—no sweat.

Next time you’re at the pool and you think the lifeguard is cute and just soaking in the rays—think again. I challenge any of you to take a lifeguarding course, pass the test, get hired and then keep your job.

summer, i bid you adieu

we had quite the make out session

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Dear Summer,

We had quite the make out session. This summer was a perfect combination of relaxation, traveling and working. You were filled with trips to the lake, traveling back to the Midwest, trips to the South and even doing some touristy attractions in DC. More importantly, Summer, because of you I attended Jazz in The Park, countless baseball games, Screen on the Green and many more outside activities.

Summer, you are the season everyone longs for. You bring tan lines, freckles, sun-kissed everything and the smell of coconuts and sunscreen. And (thankfully) this year you even managed to bring DC a decent weather forecast.

With all of the long-trips, new memories, new friends and s’mores consumed, I could not have asked for a more complete season. Whether I was sitting by the bonfire, night swimming, or hearing the crickets sing me to sleep you put me in a daze. All of these moments were serene –without you none of these things would have been made possible.

Now as the seasons are changing, I must bid you adieu my sweet summer. Just remember, we had quite the make out session and I am sure I will be longing my sun-kissed cheeks, and my beach-y waves one again.

We will reunite sooner than you know.

Smooches,

Kendal Ann

 

sconnie native

“Home interprets heaven. Home is heaven for beginners.”-Charles Henry Parkhurst

when referring to the Packers, you say “we.”

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

*squeals* in less than twenty long minutes, I will be boarding a flight that [unfortunately takes me to Ohio, first–SNORE–the second worst state] will take me to the most majestic state; HELLO, WISCONSIN! I absolutely cannot wait to get off of that plane and breathe in my first breath of that fresh Wisconsin air. If you couldn’t have guessed, I’m a full-breed, born and raised Wisconsinite. Wisconsin is home for me. No matter where I have lived, live and will live–Wisconsin and the Midwest will always be home.

You asked what a Sconnie is

You asked what a Sconnie is

There are so many weird little things I am excited for about this trip. Obviously the usuals and the reason I go home, to see my family but beyond that there is more. Let me give you a breakdown of the simple joys I cannot wait to encounter

  1. a squeaky cheese curd- when a cheese curd is fresh is squeaks on your teeth
  2. the Brewers game
  3. Miller Park
  4. tailgating–I’m sorry Nats I love y’all, but shoot, you have to get it together with tailgating
  5. sipping on coffee on the front porch in the morning
  6. hanging out by the bonfire at night
  7. listening to the crickets and frogs as I fall asleep
  8. sleeping with my windows open
  9. wearing that perfect summer outfit: a long sleeve and shorts
  10. enjoying a Spotted Cow
  11. kayaking to on the lake
  12. the local coffee shop where everyone knows your name
  13. seeing familiar faces at church
  14. a fish fry
  15. the back country roads

Being back in Wisconsin at my parent’s house is always surreal, but this time is going to be better than ever. I cannot wait to get back there and to be greeted by the warm embrace of my loved ones. I cannot wait to get a thousand kisses from my pup and I cannot wait to sleep in a twin bed. So, here’s to you Wisconsin! I’ll be seeing you!

*oh and as soon as I land, I get to experience why airports are the best places on earth (wait for another post on that). Waiting for me at the security check-in will be Matt, yup you guessed it: the boyfriend. What are we waiting for let’s get this show on the road, plane!