Since I always liked to swim as a child, when the time came to get a job, the only one that I wanted was to be a lifeguard. I had always admired lifeguards when I went to the beach with family and friends. I looked up to them because they seemed to be brave, heroic people. I enjoy helping others and, for the most part, that's what lifeguards do. Now that I am one, though, I realize the hard work that goes into training. I spent hours working for the end-of-the-season test. I had to give up Friday nights and Saturday afternoons, learning CPR and first aid. We studied everything from spinal cord injuries to third-degree burns to severed limbs. After I passed and received my Red Cross Certificate, I got a job working at the South Boston beaches. I was nervous because I had never worked at a beach, only pools during the last two years. My summer turned out to be great, though. As a lifeguard, each year I have to get my CPR certificate renewed by the Red Cross. Every three years, I have to get my first aid certificate renewed. If anybody is considering becoming a lifeguard, I would say to try it out - it is a very rewarding job. But I would also say that it takes a lot of discipline, with many hours of training, but it's worth every minute.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.