Nerd in the Water

One thing about my current job is the lessons I’m learning along the way. The biggest one is: I’m still learning and growing. Hopefully, I’ll be doing both until the day I die. In 2017 I was offered what became a third job, that has now transitioned into my primary one.

A friend of mine whose husband works with mine, offered me the job. I was a little nervous at first. First off, it was winter in Northern America, and second, I’ve tried tutoring before—I was not good at teaching kids things. I’m not great at patience sometimes. I’m also very guilty of using overly complicated words and explanations because I’m feeling like I need to over compensate for something (imposter syndrome issues?). So, how was I going to explain concepts to kids, and keep them from taking on water, and get them to be strong at it?

Turns out my secret weapon was something I often felt ashamed of: my love for cartoons, and video games. You see, once the Tenor and I started moving around the US, I often was described as being “the Baby” of groups of friends (despite being the senior-most member) and being such a weird nerd. The real reason it scraped my nerves like a cheese grater to my elbow was because when boys are called nerds it was with cute endearing giggles.

But when I hopped in the pool, my nerdy side made things much easier. Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, My Little Pony, Marvel, DC! Its like how when you looked up to your cartoon heroes as a kid, I was able to use them to help me relate ideas to the kiddos. At Level one they are as young as 5, and I’ve had screamers, kickers, pinchers and punchers. But using these cartoons and heroes as examples I was able to help get the kids to just TRY, and continue to practice.

“Aquaman puts his head under water”

”Wonder Woman and Black Panther swim for strong muscles!”


“Greninja is a water type, so he would swim his very best, like no one ever did!”


I even started watching Yu-Gi-Oh and other cartoons that the kids said they liked so I could relate to them better. Just showing them even a little interest in things they liked, helped because they knew I was trying to help.

The one thing I thought would be the hardest, became the easiest with minimal practice: being strict with the rules. With pools, or honestly any body of water (man-made or otherwise) theres no room for error. So while I thought the kids would hate me for being strict, the fact that I was the same with every kid (no playing favorites, and even the good swimmers had to follow the same rules), they respect and admire that. They know—if even on a subconscious level—when you’re BS-ing them!

When I see the kids in town, or they come back for other levels/more lessons, they are all excited to see me and say “hi Mrs Joie,” or, (my fave) ”Hi coach!” It’s a real ego boost knowing you made an impact. Watching them get better and better at their swimming. I’m currently teaching level 3, and its harder in ways, but I love it even more! This has become one of my favorite jobs!

My heart fills full and like, for once, the effort I put into work actually has a debit emotionally equal to that work! I’m happy to be where I’m at in this! And it’s great to be in my element: WATER!

Swimming and Self Like/Love

I'm not afraid of swimsuit season. Hell, I'm planning on getting a two piece (the second I can afford it). And I'm not a conventionally-ideal-sized woman either! Sure, I WANT to fit that commercialized norm (I'd be liying if I said I didn't...but I know it's taken years of conditioning from media too), but when it comes to swimsuits:  I want whatever I want (and for it to fit in a way where ocean waves won't peel it off...it's happened before...and it SUCKS!). Yes, I occasionally get self-conscious in a swimsuit...but at the same time, I don't let it get in the way.

First, PLAYLIST (since this was for Wednesday!):

I was thinking about what is it that has made me this way. And I know having done swim and water polo in high school helped.
Too accurate...via
I was never great at either sport (NOT fishing for compliments, I'm genuinely uncoordinated), but I enjoy how those sports make me feel after doing them. I feel like my muscles are liquid steel...like a cat. Sorry that seems silly (cause cats don't usually care for water), but I remember reading Animorphs, and that's what I most closely relate this to LOL!
Any way, after swimming, I feel my muscles in that "good" ache of use/fatigue that says, NO! my muscles scream: "I am invincible!"
Those muscles being used make me feel strong! My body cuts through the water, like a hot knife through butter (or some such analogy)! I can tread water, I can do flip-turns, I can be in water and know what regardless of my BMI standings (which PS, is BS!) I can kick butt in it! Heck, if it wasn't for the sun's rays being so intense here, I would stay more than four hours in the water (yup! I've done this!). I LOVE water! When I get out of the pool (or ocean) I feel like a brand new person! Like, I changed from Joie, into Bishoujo Senshi: Sailor Fatale!
Also, I remember that if anyone has a problem with how I look, I could probably hold them under-water (not that I would) and make them cry gurgle "uncle" while below surface. So haters can suck it!
OMG! I actually used a T. Swift gif **slaps own hand**
I wish I could give this to every person. I think it's insane for us to not enjoy that cool refreshing feeling of water and staying cool during the summer! It bugs the living crap out of me! Everyone has a right to be at the beach and not have to worry about how they look (and curse people who take pictures of strangers and post them online to be ridiculed. Curse them, may shame, dishonor and BAD LUCK forever curse their name).
All I'm saying is, get your a$$ in the water if you want to. Have fun! Stay cool! Wear a two piece if you want! Wear whatever! Have fun, get prune-fingers! Rock that eau de chlorine, or have those natural beach waves from being at the beach! Also, being in the sun will give you vitamin D, which will make you happy! And as Elle Woods said: "Happy people don't kill..."