A normal day isn’t even in our vocabulary. Be prepared to wear many hats and ready for anything.
I typically would start my day with a complete walk through, saying hello to our regular members, checking in with all the staff and scanning for any potential safety issues or hazards. Mornings are jam packed with energy and activity, so there is no time to get complacent.
Mid day was my only opportunity to grab a workout while the halls were semi quiet, which also meant stealth mode in taking a shower and getting ready for evening prime time. I usually skipped lunch, as I needed the physical release for my sanity.
A good day could get derailed very quickly, as a staff call sick could hijack your entire day trying to find coverage or barely making due like a game of chess. From the high maintenance to the newbies, you are constantly trying to keep the peace and squash problems before they become massive issues.
We have truly seen it all.
From snakes crawling in the hallways, to light bulbs blowing out, to celebrating a 100 year old members birthday, to kids being bullied on the basketball court, to hosting special daddy daughter dances, to a brand new AC unit cutting out for the third time in the same week, to a baby learning to walk for the first time, to pipes bursting in locker rooms, to birds getting injured by flying into the front doors, to kids puking on the playground, to an 80 year old learning to swim for the first time, to bikes getting stolen from parking racks, to cat fights in the group exercise classes because the seniors don’t like the way the new guy looked at them, to lightning delays closing the pool again, to lots of baking taste testers, to a weight machine pin busting, to a Special Olympics athlete high five-ing you on the way out after making their first basket in the gym, to someone accidentally pushing the fast button on the treadmill and falling off the back, to celebrating a regular couple’s 50th wedding anniversary amongst gym friends, to cars getting hit in the parking lot, to local prison escapees running loose in the area forcing a facility lockdown, to cheering on our members at a local 5k for crossing the finish line, to the helivac landing on the sports fields to transport a critical patient from a local near drowning, to cutting off locks of guests who forgot their combos, to receiving a bushel of ripe avocados from a caring member, to intervening when guests wear offensive shirts, to passionate staff volunteering to clean up local beaches/parks, to kids trying to workout in flip flops after you’ve kicked them out for the same offense at least 50 times, to claims money was stolen from lockers left unlocked, to raising a new banner for the adult basketball league champions, to water drips along the entire hallway from swimmers who forgot their towels causing a safety hazard….. and the list goes on and on. It is always a lesson in thinking on your feet, being compassionate yet tough, and ultimately being a problem solver.
When all the stars aligned, you truly could get out into the community and work on new partnerships that could be mutually beneficial. Those were the days you cherished.
Some days you feel like Wonder Woman, while others your house of cards is just one breeze away from all crashing down. If you get some sleep prior to the madness all starting over again, you push all the chaos down and get ready to attack another day with gusto. The work is tireless BUT very satisfying to see come to life every day.