A day in the life of a Swim Angelfish Instructor: living our core values.

Yesterday, I left for work with the perfect amount of time to get to the pool for my first lesson. I immediately realized that traffic wasn’t moving. I was going to be late!! There was a 8 car pile up on route 95 right outside of Boston. Ah this is a disaster!!

I hate being late, especially knowing my 10 year old non-verbal autistic student would be waiting pool-side with her bathing suit on and goggles in hand.

My manager, who had her own lesson, made a quick decision to run with the slight mishap. She gave her student, a 16 year old teenager with autism, the job of being the 10 year old’s “swim coach”. The 16 year old struggles with confidence and insecurity. This causes frustration and anxiety during the lesson. Her lesson can be sort of a emotional rollercoaster with a mix of an Argentinian tango dance between pushing her to her full potential and making things easy enough for her to build confidence.

On a Wednesday, I was WOW’d —

And I’ll tell you why. Never underestimate the ability to spontaneously change a situation in a positive way with a positive attitude. Turn a mistake into an opportunity. Turn a misstep into a chance to be surprised by your child’s abilities.

We rely on routine to provide us comfort. However, some days live in the possibility that comfort can and should be replaced with WOW. While I was twitching in frustration in my car, there was magic happening at the pool. This magic was two girls who happen to share a similar trait called Autism.

With the right medium, the right attitude, and the right teacher, you can take any situation and turn it into a WOW moment.

Thank you, Coach Nina!