The pool-side scene.

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A total of nine years separate my former semi-serious swimming stint with the lifeguard training I am currently attempting to complete here in Iran. Typically this course was brought to my attention the night before, and so - not too long after - I was standing before 60 other candidates to begin the preliminary timed events. Although I have previously completed this qualification (once in England and once in America) these are now outdated and as I'm back on the pool-side scene, my family - more so than I - are keen to drag me through this status claiming process.

To my surprise I managed to be the fastest person during the timed events and by a comfortable margin, but my times were a long way off my peak performance some years ago and the suffering was worse than I can remember. This was especially amusing for me due to me appearing like the worst equipped: wearing a pair of baggy beach-shorts which proved far from helpful in the water. Although my family seemed rather proud of the aforementioned achievement it must be said that it's a lame victory.

Much unlike my previous training in England and America, the Iranian course - at least thus far - is concerned more with physical competence, were as previously a larger proportion was given to theory and first aid. The industrial-strength theory that pained me all those years ago seems to be nowhere in site - for now at least - but the pain can be felt in my body each following morning. I have heard from many sources here that the level of Iranian lifeguard quality is high, and thus far I can see why - so many techniques are new to me, for which has been a little embarrassing at times.

My ability to understand what is being requested of me during the training is made up for in previous experience, yet amusingly I have to wait, watch and follow the movements of my fellow trainees. This was rather amusing for the group when we were conducting the timed events - I would stand watching others start-off, as instructed, then shortly follow.

The group currently stand at 18 people where many have failed to keep up to the standard required. I am happy to report that I'm within this group still, which is at least a step closer to my desired status of champion of some small town somewhere - well kind of.


  • there is one course I know of in Tehran in Keshvari sports complex. I wanted to participate in but actually couldn due to tough schedual :-S wish you luck.

    By Blogger Dr O2, at 9:37 PM  

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