New York City has a lifeguard shortage. They made a few small tweaks in the training, but the requirements are still pretty tough.
And today, the New York Times reports, the job attracts men and women beyond their teenage years. They interviewed lifeguards in their sixties.
These lifeguards work in public pools. Six years ago, another
1 – This doesn’t mean “age is just a number.”
Not everyone can be a lifeguard at any age. Most have been strong swimmers for many years. What this means is, “People get more diverse as they get older. You can’t guess an individual’s strength just by knowing their age.”
2 – Swimming is one of those sports that’s not cut short by aging.
Lots of people in their 70s and 80s go golfing and horseback riding. Some are still runners. So this shouldn’t be too big a deal.
3 – The Times headline – “Who are these old guys?” – ignores many women of all ages who want to be lifeguards.
It’s nice to see articles dispelling the stereotypes. But how many more do we need?
An earlier article reported on a man who’d been lifeguarding at Jones Beach “well into his 70s.” He was an ocean lifeguard – more challenging than pools! – and he died at 93. An article last year, in another publication, reported 16 lifeguards over 60 in Philadelphia. The article featured a 70-year-old woman who “came out of retirement” to be a lifeguard.
Lifeguard jobs are, by definition, seasonal. They’re decently but not extravagantly paid. They don’t come with benefits or promotions.
Now, if corporations were hiring people in their 60s, 70s and 80s to handle managerial jobs and get paid at market rates that would be a story. This one rates a “meh” from me.