Q&A with Rec Center staffer Andrea Miller
Andrea Miller is bubbly, easy-going and a pro in the water. Miller is the Aquatic Manager for the Sanibel Rec Center. On any given day she can be spotted at the pool training her lifeguard staff or teaching one of several water aerobics classes. Her family dates back to the 1950s on Sanibel. So teaching folks about water safety and how to enjoy the natural resources here is a joy for this island girl.
Where did you spend your childhood?
Sanibel – Fort Myers.
How long have you lived on Sanibel?
I lived on Sanibel the first two years of my life, but then moved to Fort Myers. However, my family has lived on the island since the 1950’s.
We know you are the Sanibel Rec Center’s Aquatics Manager. When did you join the Rec Center?
2007 (prior to that I was an Health and PE Teacher for seven years).
My degree is in Health & Physical Education (K-12) with an emphasis in Aquatics from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. I always knew that I wanted to have a career where I could be physically active as well as educate others on the benefits of being physically active so working at the Recreation Center has been a perfect fit!
How long have you been a swimmer?
I have been in and around the water since before I could walk.
What is the most rewarding part about working with people and water?
The most rewarding aspect of working with people in aquatics is seeing what a difference it can make in their lives! Whether it is working with small children and educating them on water safety and basic swim strokes or working with someone who is rehabing an injury or recovering from surgery or an illness…. For some people the only place they have pain-free movement is in the water!
OK inquiring islander minds want to know – have you ever been afraid of the water?
My parents tell me that I screamed the entire time during my first swim lesson as a child. So I guess, at one point I was!
What do you recommend to those afraid of the water or traumatized by a near drowning experience?
If someone has had a negative experience, you cannot force the issue with them. They will come around on their own terms. Sometimes the more you push the issue, the longer it takes them to get back in the water.
What do you when you are not working at the Rec Center? Any hobbies or special interests?
I enjoy spending time with my family, being physically active with my family (we love doing anything outdoors), I play on a co-ed softball team.
What is your family life like?
I am married and have a five-year-old daughter, Kaia, and two dogs. Life is good!
What are your long/short-term goals?
Short term goals … to continue expanding my knowledge in the area of Aquatics (there is always more to learn!) Long Term goals … to finish my Master’s Degree.
You seem like a sunny, chipper person – is it the water? What words of wisdom would you give for living a happy life?
Everything in moderation. Find an activity that you enjoy doing and use it for your form of exercise!