My First Job By Adam Waddle

My First Job By Adam Waddle
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Lifeguard Adam Waddle

When I was 16, I got my first summer job. I took a two-week class to learn how to be a lifeguard, and afterwards I was hired by the city of Las Vegas to work at a small pool called Hadland. Hadland was a community pool attached to a middle school on 28th Street and Stewart in Las Vegas. Which is the GHETTO. I was a 16-year-old white kid from the suburbs working in the heart of Mexican gang territory, but it turned out to be one of the most rewarding and fun jobs I ever had.

I was a competitive swimmer in high school so they asked me to coach a team at Hadland for the kids in the community. We ended up having about ten kids that were interested in competitive swimming. All of them were Mexican. Well…except for one kid named Jamal, but he ended up drowning in the kiddy pool on the first day of practice (just kidding).

One of the kids called us the Hadland Homies and that name stuck with us for a while. One ¬†of the parents thought that we should change the name of our team because the Hadland Homies was, “too ghetto.” So I asked the kids on the team if they had a better name in mind. A twelve-year-old smart ass girl on the team named Maria looked at me and said, “let’s be the Hadland Wet Backs.” The mom said she didn’t have a problem with that. So from that moment on we referred to our team as the Hadland Wet Backs.

These kids ended up being the best swimmers in the city. Most of them went on to swim in high school, and some of them did quite well.

I ended up saving a hand full of people from drowning while I was a lifeguard, and I also showed some kids a sport that may have saved them from darker paths.

I hear the word hero thrown around a lot, but I was just doing my job…of being a hero.

Written by Adam Waddle



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