Many people are ready to show 2020 the door, but even in tough times, there is always good to be found. Sometimes it’s in response to challenges, other times it comes from recognizing moments of everyday joy that can’t be diminished by what’s happening all around.
At Foss Swim School, we have experienced these challenges right alongside our families. We’ve had to close our doors at many locations for periods of time to aid in public health efforts during the pandemic, which has affected our students, their families, and our teachers and staff. But we’ve also experienced joys, successes, and a sense of togetherness as we’ve worked through everything 2020 threw our way.
As a business, we were excited to open new locations in Sun Prairie, WI; Ballwin, MO; Ankeny, IA and be building Richfield, MN for a Spring opening. As individuals who are also part of the FOSS family, each of our team members had their own personal and professional high points. We asked them to share what made them happy about 2020, and here are some of their highlights; we hope this inspires you to reflect on some of the good this year has brought you, too!
Journeys of discovery
- “My 2-year-old son learned to count to 20! (He does skip #5 and has added the number eleventeen.)”
- While spending more time at home I was surprised to learn I can cook modestly well! Who knew?
- Discovered the family hobby of hiking followed by nap time.
- Found, cooked, and ate morel mushrooms for the first time.
- Our newest FOSS innovation: Bath tub swimming lessons!”
Gaining confidence amid uncertainty
“We have a 7-year-old swimmer who had a horrible experience last year at his old swimming lessons. He despised the idea of coming to us. On the first day this October, his teacher Christine took it slow and helped him find some confidence. They totally bonded! Now he is swimming three days a week, ecstatic about lessons and happily putting his face in the water and swimming 20 feet with ease! Yay!”
Mastering a new skill
“My daughter learned to do flip turns!!!”
New beginnings in spite of everything
“We opened a Foss Swim School in Ballwin, Missouri. So many swimmers have started on their Swim Path there and continue to show improvement along the way. We hired some phenomenal teachers and watched managers step up and persevere though the COVID craziness.”
Taking care of business
“As a group, the FOSS team has learned, embraced, and truly put to use many new technology tools that have enabled us to achieve so much even when we have to be apart. Video chats! Shared workspaces! Customer service apps! Registration systems! I don’t know how we would have continued to get so much done without these tools!
Personally, I learned one hoodie is comfortable, but two is warmer. AND those lunch ladies have a really hard job. Kids eat A LOT!”
Noticing the little (and big) things
- “My dog snores, loudly and a lot.
- Teenagers have a unique perspective of life and we should listen to them more.
- Life is short and we need to value every day!”
Teams are powerful
The FOSS team has flexed, adjusted, invented, run and supported up to 4 new operation models all simultaneously while onboarding new teachers and team members and learning new ways to learn, teach, work and collaborate with more complexity, all at distance. We’ve done all of this with fewer resources and greater uncertainty than ever before. This is an honest expression of what a team of folks committed to a shared outcome can accomplish and I’m happy to have had the chance to be a part of this team in this year.
And of course, one high point we all enjoyed was being a part of this wonderful group of swimmers, families, and communities that together we call the FOSS family. We hope you’ve found some silver linings in your journey through 2020, and we look forward to being a part of your journey in 2021! See you at the pool, soon!