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.
1994 we move to Malmö. After having investigated and experienced the market of Baby Swimming for our own happy swim baby I came to the conclusion that I wanted something else for us. The local Fitness Club had a pool that was heated once a week, I got to rent 2,5 hours on Thursdays. With a signed contract in my hand I thought “WHAT HAVE I DONE?! To suppress the fear I went into action.
I named and registered the business “Malmö Babysim”, made material, booked an ad, bicycled around to every health station with my neatly, self made flyers (Happy for my education in grafic desig and illustration) and flew to Norway and attended a course for teachers in Baby Swimming.
I talked with confidence and no one realized, not even Johan, that inside I was terrified of failure.
Thank you to my old swim coaches in Neptun, Sten Hellqvist, and Hans Holm who taught me to work hard and the meaning and impact of a dedicated coach and teacher. Thank you Jørgen and Friskis & Svettis for the opportunity to rent your pool and later the support as you realized that “the girl from Stockholm was surprisingly nice” (Stockholmers have a reputation of being somewhat obnoxious).
Thank you to Norway’s Life Saving Federation, Eugenie Horn Enge and the knitting team (Yes! they sat knitting while listening) at my first teacher course. Their focus was very family oriented and I also learned that what was most important for families to do was to “kose” (enjoy). Thank you to the first 32 families for the trust and hours of excitement, learning and fun. Thank you for staying with me for years. Thank you to my great love in life, Johan Faerch for always believing in and never questioning my abilities (I do that to perfection my self).
And last but not least thank you to Auguste despite your, at that time, very young age you were my best teacher. The trust and love you showed and the happy and curious approach to life both in and out of water has always been educational, inspiring and highly addictive. Auguste Faerch thank you for the trust in me and the pride you showed of “Mamma Babyswim”. Love to all
Swimmix today is a business where we provide a unique arena where parents and children learn not only about swimming and water but also about themselves and each other.
I have many people to thank for support, opportunities, inspiration and challenges.
So I thought I'll take 20 years in 20 days and thank some of many, past and present who have made a difference in my life.
For me it has been interesting and fun but also very tough to be a business owner and employer. Aristotle said ”Learning is not child's play; we cannot learn without pain.” I have felt pain. I have learned. A lot. I have more to learn. So bring on the next 20 years!
Welcome to join me on my 20 years in 20 days - I appreciate your interest - a lot!