You run a swimming school—how did you get into that?
I used to be a national swimmer, but after I left I realised I still missed being in the water, so I decided that teaching was a solution. It was a part-time business at first, but later it became a full-time job, and I’ve been teaching for nine years.
What’s one thing you’ve learned from your years at work?
To not let my emotions carry over from one situation to another. If I get frustrated teaching a student who’s a little harder to manage, I try not to let that affect the next class I’m teaching. That applies to other aspects of my life as well—when I get upset by something that happens at work, I don’t let it affect my relationships with my family and the people around me.
Tell us about an interesting encounter you’ve had in the course of your work.
This just happened the other day actually—I was teaching a kid who was really scared of being in the water, and he was holding on to me whenever I let go of his hand. In his panic, he grabbed my butt, and I had to tell him to stop doing that. He was five, so he didn’t realise what he was doing, but I didn’t think I’d ever be in a situation where I’d say that out loud! (laughs)
What’s the sweetest thing someone’s ever done for you?
Once, a close friend of mine texted to say that she was there for me, and that I could just tell her if there was something I wanted to share. It came at a time when I really needed the encouragement, and it was touching to know that people know and care.
What’s your advice for people who don’t know how to swim, and are afraid?
It sounds clichéd, but my advice is really not to be afraid, and to find someone you can trust to go in the water with you.