How did your family get started with NAC?
Interestingly, Bella was swimming in a pool in Ohio and the lifeguard was the head coach of the swim team. He asked who she was swimming for, and if she could swim for their team because she had what he called ‘a natural breaststroke’. Go figure.
We came back to Nashville and swam summer league-she started NAC that fall.
You swam competitively as a youth, what has the sport taught you that you carry with you today in your job and/or in your life?
There are so many aspects of life that swimming can help develop.
First of all, swimming requires so much dedicated time that it really teaches time management skills. You learn to do it now-when you have time because tomorrow, you just have more to do…you never have less to do.
Second, I swam against a guy named Grant Dunwoody. He was an albatross. I got second to him for several years, every meet. I worked on stroke, turns, pull outs, dives, incessantly. I finally beat him. It taught me that hard work may pay off-and if it doesn’t net first place, you know you did everything possible to do the best YOU could do.
Third, as a team sport that requires individual success, you either live or die by the activity of everyone on the team-there are individual accolades but, the team does best when we elevate everyone. I looked up to a guy named Jan Van der Sluus. He was an amazing breastroker-he encouraged me to be better-as a team mate. Remember, we spend almost as much time with our team mates as our family, have the same pride towards them as you would your siblings. The same holds true for my work. I rely on my partners to be on the same level so we provide the best possible care to our patients. I push the limits of my capabilities by being challenged by my peers-everyone wins, especially our patients.
What made you first decide to try out announcing at our NAC swim meets?
I tried doing the food service and some young kid started giving me pointers on how to scoop the beans onto the plate… I started timing. Look, no offense to the timers but, I was sitting there, getting wet, again. I hated it. I looked up and there was this guy sitting up on the dais, just reading a book. I watched him, what was that guys job? He reached over and grabbed a microphone and told everyone there was no flash photography during the starts. I knew I needed to get off the pool deck and that guy was my ticket.
You look like you are having a great time announcing, what’s the best part about the job?
Honestly, I love competition. It could be the second heat and lane 7 and 8 are coming into the wall neck and neck for second to last place-who wants it more?
What could be more spectacular than announcing the finals when 2 Walshs, a Nelson and a Raab are going 1-4 in the 200 IM and all of them are crushing the meet record? That’s exciting and I get to watch it, dry.
My last name is Guillamondegui. High school graduation, college graduation, medical school graduation, every finals, not once did someone get my name right. Every parent in that natatorium wants their kid’s name said correctly-it is awesome to hear that over the PA. Who wants to hear GODZILLAMONDEGUI? BOXCAR KILLEDMYDOGGY? I have had my name butchered by people I gave phonetic spellings to. I try to make a point of finding all those kids and getting their names right.
As a parent of two swimmers on the competitive team, what do your kids like most about NAC?
I would rather let them answer that one…from my perspective, they are both extremely loyal to “team” and I know they are proud to swim for NAC. I have watched my child lose a final by 0.01 second. That’s got to be less time than the width of an eyelash. Of course there is sadness but, it turns into determination. NAC taught that. It is a lesson they can take with them in any endeavor they wish to undertake. And I hope it makes them realize they can undertake any endeavor they want.