Monday, August 16, 2010

The end of an era

As many know, on Friday August 13, 2010, I worked my last day at the Ammon Swimming Pool. To most this isn't a big deal, but for me it was a very emotional ordeal. I worked at the Ammon Pool for seven years. It was my first job, and effected my life greatly.
As a "thank you" to my boss, I wrote a nice little story, and told her how the pool has changed my life. This will mean nothing to almost everyone in my life, but I know that some people want to read what I wrote, so I'll post it here.
It is very long.

"I wish my head could remember all the amazing pool stories that were created during the past seven summers of my life. There are many experiences that I look back on today and smile because of the happiness that these moments still bring.

In 2004 when I started at the pool, I immediately hit it off with Jessica Hall! Throughout the next two years, she and I were best buddies! We created many inside jokes and even started a few traditions that I continued to the end; one of those traditions being the “Pool Jamz Diskz!” Everything about these mix CDs were very specific, from “Pool Party” being the first track, down to the way we spelt “discs.” The CDs contained songs that reminded us of summer, in general, and song that reminded us of each other. Jessica and I both take music very seriously, so we spent a lot of time thinking about what songs would go on to these mixes, and we spent even more time listening to these CDs on repeat, over and over again! I continued this until the very last summer, and always love it when people compliment my choice of summer music!

Something that Jessica liked to joke about was the fact that when I was going into my sophomore year of high school, she was going into her sophomore year of college. We always talked about how in an alternate universe, we were both the same age and both attended the same academic level. This is where the idea of Pool Prom came from! Since she would be a senior in college when I was a senior in high school, we would just have to create our own prom at the pool. At this prom, we would have Ocean Water and Tots from Sonic as refreshments, we would use pool rings as crocuses and boutonnières, and the dance flood would be a giant sheet of plexi-glass over the deep end!

During my first few years at the pool, I also became very close friends with Arianne Chadwick. Arianne and I didn’t just work together, but we also practically lived together during the first years of college, and influenced my life greatly. We have countless jokes that no one else in the world would laugh at or even understand. One of my favorite pool stories with Arianne happened in 2007. It was during one of those nights that we decided to have a sleepover at the pool (which is a great story in itself!). Very early in the morning, aroung 4:00am, I woke up because I heard absolutely nothing. Typically, the sound of nothing would be very refreshing, at the pool however, it means something is wrong; it means the pump shut off! I shook Arianne who was sleeping a foot away from me, “Do you hear that?” Arianne woke up slightly, and looked me in the eyes. “No, I don’t hear anything…” “EXACTLY! THE PUMP IS OFF!”

Arianne just stared at me for a second and laid back down. This left it up to me to get the pump up and running again… But, I had no idea how to turn on the pump, at the time, and I was half-asleep. I managed to get the pump on, and then I went back to sleep.

When we woke up in the morning I sarcastically thanked Arianne for helping me with the pump, but she had no idea what I was talking about. She didn’t even remember me waking her up!

Another thing that comes to mind is when I created “Walter Melon.” We had an extra watermelon from the week before that had just been sitting in the office for almost a week. At that point I decided that I need to put this melon to good use. First, I put the watermelon under a basket at the bottom of the deep end, and let it sit there for a class or two. After this lost its novelty, I brought it back into the office, stuck a pencil in it, and drew a face on it. It was a safety day, so I just carried the water melon, now Walter Melon, around with me to all my classes, and even put it in the boat with my classes! At the end of the day, I decided that the only for me to properly dispose of Walter would be to smash him on the ground in the back of the pool. All the staff gathered around, and I smashed him on the sidewalk!

Some of my favorite memories were created every other week on Safety Day. It’s no secret that, “Safety Day is my favorite day!” During my first few years at the pool, I would always get excited for Safety Day! I tried for hard to be funny, from the way I would deliver “the Dave talk,” to the way I would teach the reaching and throwing assist! It’s always been a lot of fun for me, and up until the last Safety Day, I would always have kids request me to direct the rescue breathing discussion.

After a seven year run at the Ammon Pool, you think that I would be bursting out every seam with pool stories of mishaps, awkward situations, and hysterical experiences. Unfortunately, I cannot recall too many tales from my personal Ammon Pool era. What I can recall, however, are the thousands of memories that were created with the help of all the wonderful people that have entered my life, thanks to the pool.

I owe the Ammon Pool for far too many of my significant life experiences. When I started at the pool, I was fifteen years old. Seven years is a long time; one third of my life. The pool helped me become comfortable with who I am, it helped me take pride in stepping out of my comfort zone, and it helped me feel accepted among entire demographics that I otherwise never would have been in contact with. I’ve met hundreds of parents and thousands of children, and, maybe because of my self-gratifying personality, I like to feel like I’ve made a difference in a lot of these lives. Additionally, and more significantly, the pool is a place that I associate with building life-long friendships, falling in love, and being greatly influenced by mentors like you.

Jenn, I will never forget the time that I spent at the pool. It was absolutely amazing and I have you to thank. I am so thankful and happy that I was able to meet you and create a friendship with you that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Your positive way of thinking has effected and influenced me greatly.

So, as I leave the pool office for the last time on August 13, 2010, it will not be hard to keep nothing but positive feelings in my heart. I miss definitely miss the memories that were created and the feeling that arise when I step into a ninety degree swimming pool at 8:00am on a cold June morning, but I have gained so much during these past seven years. Thanks for letting me tag along."