Home Celebrity From Lifeguard Grandma to (Celebrity) Lifeguard Grandma

From Lifeguard Grandma to (Celebrity) Lifeguard Grandma


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It seems like everyone wants to talk to Robin Borlandoe, or as she is now known in these places: lifeguard grandma.

Why don’t they? At 70, Borlandoe made a splash by answering the city’s urgent need to address the shortage of lifeguards, and in the process became our own local role model of how to age with purpose.

(Her story is also just a ray of sunshine in these otherwise dark days, so I turn to the light whenever I get a chance.)

I first introduced Borlandoe to readers in May when she was completing her lifeguard certification training with people decades younger – and I’ve been asked to update regularly since then.

“Older people can do a lot,” wrote one Lancaster reader. “She’s a great example of ‘it’s never too late’.”

“Let us know about her,” another Mount Airy reader urged.

To recap: Borlandoe was a lifeguard at Kingsessing in the late 1960s and loved it. When I visited her at her Southwest Philadelphia home this spring, she proudly recalled a rescue she made: she saw a 7-year-old struggling and was rescued to safety.

After working in the health field for a long time and taking care of sick relatives for a while, Borlandoe decided to return to work in response to the Parks and Recreation Department’s campaign to recruit more lifeguards.

This summer, city officials scrambled to open Philadelphia’s public swimming pools.The scarcity of lifeguards is a national The problem, driven by the COVID-19 pandemic and a competitive labor market, is that young people in traditionally seasonal roles have more options. Cities everywhere are struggling to fill the vacancies.With massive hiring activity and higher wages than in recent years, Philadelphia is Able to open 50 out of 65 swimming pool.

That includes Mill Creek Playground in West Philadelphia, where Borlando reports this season.

A few days before she started work, she took her grandchildren to the pool so they could see where grandma was going to work and also “do a little scouting”.

She admits there was a learning curve, but her young and very patient colleagues made it easier. And some pep talk as she languishes in the heat of her eight-hour shift: “Sucking it, Gollum.”

like Goldilocks looking for the perfect bed In the classic fairy tale, Borlandoe is still struggling to organize a life-saving chair.

One person gets too much sun.

Another, too many mosquitoes.

The third angle ended up stiffening her neck.

But she has no doubt that she will eventually choose one that is just right.

She has yet to make any saves this season.However, she has been introduced to One challenge: An energetic young man whose playful language has him suspended poolside. Others might be annoyed or panicked, but not Borlandoe.

“I’m going to make him my project,” she declared.

In interviews with various outlets, reporters mostly focused on her age; she was one of about 16 seniors 50 and older hired to help the city open more pools this season.

While some of her younger peers see the attention as ageist, Borlandoe says she doesn’t mind. Talking about being an older lifesaver gave her the opportunity to turn the narrative around aging, focusing on how older adults can serve as role models and help younger ones reimagine their lives, or in her project, his language.

In a city where more than 100 children 18 and under have been shot so far this year, swimming pools are Opportunities to keep children off the street and safe. “How much safer would our city be if we had 100+ Robins?” wonders Kathryn Ott Lovell of City Parks and Recreation Commissioner.

Borlandoe enjoys her fame. A mother who was in the pool with her baby recently told her she googled her: “You’re famous!”

But most Borlandoe are While many of us are starting to slow down, we appreciate the opportunities that come with taking them.

Lately, she’s been wandering Hanging on a sign in her home office, it read: “Embrace My Third Act”.

“I’m grabbing it,” she said. “It’s not over yet.”

This is a reminder that we can all use One Turn to sunlight as much as possible.

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