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I was never really thought of having the healthiest lifestyle before Junior Lifeguards.  My first day, last year, was one of the most challenging days of my life. I was originally in the C group, but all of my friends were in the Bs, so I went up the level. The buoy swim was one of the hardest things of the day. I was so tired that I held onto surfboards/rescue buoys about a quarter of the time.  To top it off, I was to scared to dive under the huge waves, so each time they would pummel me and push me back.  The instructors and AIs were so encouraging that I don’t think I would have made it the whole way without them.  I was actually thinking on moving to the Cs after it.  To add onto that, on the first day, we did ins and outs which was where you ran into the water, around a person that was about waist deep, and ran out of the water around lifeguard tower 4 which was on soft sand.  We did this in groups so we had a break of about a minute in between, but after about ten times I was so tired.  All of this paid off at the end though because I was so much stronger.
Each time they made the buoy swim farther and farther, but I never noticed that until at the end it was our fitness challenge when they made the buoy about the same distance as the first day. We were timed on our third buoy swim and then at the end of the 3 weeks. I never held on to one flotation, and I felt a lot stronger. In fact, now one of my favorite things is the buoy swim because it makes me feel refreshed.
This year helped me too. I never before had the chance to stand up on a surfboard, and this year I did. I did a surf camp before, but I never got the chance to stand up and I had bad memories of getting pummeled by the waves just like the buoy swim, but I figured I would give it a try, so I went up to Kevin, “the best instructor in the world” as he calls himself.  I caught a couple waves with him, and it was like a roller coaster in the water.
Jr. Guards helped me train and inspired me to do a 10k on July 29. I got a time of 72 minutes, 20 seconds.
Overall I think Junior Lifeguards is a great program as it inspires you to be healthy and fit.
Hannah T. (2nd Session Sunset Beach 2012)

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