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Krystal Lara is one of very few Latinas in her class at Stuyvesant High School, and in the pool. She’s backstroking her way toward the Olympics.

From The New York Times:

Her Parents Thought Swimming Lessons Were a Good Idea

Krystal Lara is one of very few Latinas in her class at Stuyvesant High School, and in the pool. She’s backstroking her way toward the Olympics.…

Former Yale swimmer Siphiwe Baleka

Good video about former Yale swimmer Siphiwe Baleka


I am lucky! I have been put on this earth to teach people to swim. It's not a job. I don't get up in the morning and think "Oh, I have to go to work". It's an adventure! I meet all kinds of people with lots of different stories but the main story is that they want to learn how to swim or to improve their swimming skills. I have been teaching swimming and lifeguarding since 1977 and have loved every minute of it! I can be having a bad day but once I start teaching, all my cares and worries are gone. It's better than a drug. I get my highs from teaching people. That's all I need. Life is too short to be in a job that your dread. Life is about helping others. Do you do what you love - Love what you do? If not, make a change.

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Replies to This Discussion

Hi Leslie,
You are so right on the money with your comments. I too, believe this is a gift from God that I possess in "Loving What I Do", because of the joy on both children and adult faces as they conquer another stair step facet in learning to swim. Three of the essential qualities that ALL teachers must have is loving to deal with people, possessing compassion for the student, and really having the patience and heart of a teacher. Not every student will learn at the same pace due to their varied backgrounds and experiences. If you think you have made a positive impact on one's life, try teaching them to swim. You will be remembered by that student for the rest of their lives, and that to me, is what part of life is all about. This is one of the things I truly believe that former President JFK was talking about in his speech when he stated" Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country". We can't keep what we have, unless we give it away. When the Good Lord call me home at the end of this life's journey, I want to be remembered not only by the number of things I have given away, but the quality of them, as well as the positive influential impact that I had on someone's life, that they too, will continue to pass on what was given them. As one of the hymns I am reminded of hearing in church states; If I can just help somebody, then my living shall not be in vain!!!!!! Darrick aka dswimmerman


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