When I graduated from college, I moved to Rye with my “now husband” to an apartment on Theodore Fremd. I needed a job so I applied at the Y as lifeguard and swim instructor.

I’ve been a swimmer my whole life. When I was little, I was very, very shy. My parents made me learn to swim because they thought it was an important life skill. I hated it. They let me quit as soon as they were convinced I had the skills to be safe in the water.

When I was 8, I had a friend whose Mom had the idea we should all join the swim team. I didn’t want to do it but I had to. I was furious. I swam in my first meet and won my heat – it was a slow heat but was important to me. I thought – this is great! It turned out I had some natural swim talent.

I kept swimming. I didn’t like other sports because I felt scrutinized. If I made a mistake, I felt everyone would notice it. When I was underwater I felt like no one could see me.

I swam through college and then ended up at the Rye Y. It was supposed to be temporary. My husband and I are looking to start a family so it makes sense for me to stay here. The hours are flexible, there is babysitting right here. Now I live in Port Chester, but it is less than 2 miles away, so it is really perfect. Neither of us are from this area and through the Y I’ve built a base and have good friends here.

I love teaching. I love the kids and bonding with them. I love being in the water. It is such a great feeling when a parent comes up and tells me their child loves their lessons with me. It feels good to be teaching an important life skill. I am teaching two sisters now. The first four weeks they hated the lessons, hated the water and cried every time. Now they love it and can’t wait to come to swim. Just watching the growth of kids is so rewarding. I see kids who I knew when they were three and now they are eight!