What is your favorite part of working for FOSS?
Watching the progression of students learning and growing.
What is your favorite FOSS story?
I had a student in a couple camps this year, and when he first started he didn’t like swimming by himself or keeping his head in the water for very long. Over the three camps I had him, he went from being fearful and hesitant to being able to swim the whole length of the lane we were in by himself! On his last day of the last camp, he brought me a rose and gave me a hug and thanked me—and it was the sweetest thing a student has ever done for me!
What is your personal favorite water activity?
I love diving! Especially diving down to the bottom of deep pools and getting rings. I think it’s a really cool feeling to not have to touch the side or the bottom of the pool, or even lakes.
As a child, how did you feel about the water? Did you have any challenges or lack of confidence you needed to overcome to learn to swim well?
I loved the water! I grew up in Minnesota surrounded by lakes so my favorite thing to do was jump off my family’s boat in the middle of a big lake. When I was little, I was really good at swimming on my back, but struggled with swimming on my front. One summer, my mom worked with me really hard to get me confident and strong at swimming on my front and doing side breaths so I could pass the swim test for the summer camp I was going to, and when it got to the end of the summer to go to camp, I passed the swim test and got to swim in the deep end of the the lake with my older brothers!
Can you recount a student of yours who experienced a major “lightbulb” moment when you were with them?
I had a student that I started working with our first quarter of opening in Ankeny last summer. She was 10, and very fearful of the water and swimming. I worked with her every week for five quarters, and one day, halfway through, everything clicked for her, and she got rings from the bottom of the pool by herself, starting doing back floats by herself, and in the last couple of weeks, was able to do safety stroke completely independently for 40 feet! She was very shy and quiet, but I screamed when she did it and she looked at me and I could tell she was proud of herself (even though she wouldn’t admit it out loud).
Please share anything else you’d really wish you could tell parents about you as they bring their children to Foss.
Be patient with your child’s progression! For some kids, it might take them a couple sessions for something to click for them, and once it does, their swimming progression becomes rapid! So if your child seems to be stuck in a level, be patient with your child and their instructor. One day, everything will click—but just remember it can take time!