1995 - I was hungry for learning more! I read all the books there were on baby swimming and I attended Sweden’s first ever teacher course in baby swimming.
Classes were full and parents asked me for swim lessons for their older kids. I admit, that made me feel a little flattered. OK let's be honest, I felt really flattered! So of course I'd do that, I was a swim teacher with previous experience and I knew swimming! No problem! Oh yes, there was a problem, a big problem! Where would I find a suitable pool for us?
After a notorious search I finally found and signed a contract for a pool at a school, ironically close to where we lived. I hired my first staff members. Again I found my self in the situation wondering: "WHAT AM I DOING? I HAVEN'T GOT A CLUE ABOUT MANAGEMENT!"
I took a deep breath, held my head up high and took on my new responsibility. Inside with the feelings of uncertainty and insufficiency tumbling in my mind.
We opened, classes full. My mom, the structured, organized computer wizard was an invaluable help as she rushed from her work to sit and take care of our very simple and temporary reception (a classroom table and chair) the first weeks. She also helped me set up my first computer and a customer register, in “Works”. That was high-tech then!
My easy life was history. I had taken on a pair of giant shoes and it would take me years to grow in to them. Just to top it off we bought a house and moved to Denmark, giving me a 1,5 hour commute by car and a tour on the ferry. Back then there were no bridge between Denmark and Sweden.
The Oresound froze that winter, the ferries between Malmo and Copenhagen closed down. The ferries between Helsingborg and Helsingor was able to operate which ment a 2½-hour one way trip from home to work for me. But hey - you do what you have to do!
Thank you to authors for time and effort in writing books and sharing your knowledge. A warm thank you to the The Swedish Life Saving Association, The Swedish Swimming Federation and especially Lena Stenquist Andersson for investing in baby swimming and having an open and sharing approach. Thank you to my first team of instructors. I wasn't a good manager, “management by hope” was my practise. I am so thankful for your patience, trust and support.
A special thank you to my wonderful sister, Victoria, who only 18 years old started with me as a swim teacher. Her respectful and gentle approach made the most fearful kids believe in them selves and try their own wings. I am lucky to have a caring and wise sister with whom I can always discuss difficult matters and afterwards have the feeling of growth.
Thank you to my mom, who no longer walks this earth with us. I am grateful that you taught me the importance of honesty, doing things properly and to have order in the accounts.
And of course thank you mother nature for only one extraordinary freezing winter – the rest was a breeze in comparison.