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54 years old
Pleasant Grove, AL

Jo D's Sport Interests

Skill Level Type
 Pro/Elite Competitive Swimmer, Fitness Lap Swimmer, Fitness Water Aerobics, Open Water Swimmer, Recreational Swimmer, Therapeutic Swimmer, Swimming Fan, Parent of a Swimmer 

Jo D's Profile

Education High School Degree
Occupation Instructor
Diet Body building diet
Fitness Activity I engage in fitness activities every day
Languages English

Jo D's Bio

Growing up in the warm climate of Mesa, Ariz., O'Neal was raised around water.

"My mom was a water person. I was a pool rat," she said. "I hung out at the pool all day long. I was on swim teams, doing swim lessons."

By high school, O'Neal was captain of the high school dive team. She worked as a lifeguard, water safety instructor, and taught and coached diving. When she moved to Florida, she was one of the core instructors at Disney World where she taught more than 900 lifeguards at the large theme park.

After marrying her husband, Randy, the couple lived in South Carolina. O'Neal worked as a swim instructor and pool manager at the Ft. Jackson Army base. O'Neal is now the mother of five children, who range in age from 5-19 years. Each of her children received an early introduction to water as newborns.

"Once the umbilical cord comes off, I put them in the water," she said.

O'Neal's two daughters, Alliesha and Brooke, are competitive swimmers and assist their mother in teaching infants to swim. Alliesha, 19, recently ran for Miss American Fork, with a platform of children's water safety, "Think so you don't sink."

Water safety is a vital issue. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages 1-14 years old.

"A child can drown in less than five minutes," O'Neal said.

As O'Neal works with the youngsters, they learn to be comfortable in and respectful of the water. Some children show absolutely no fear of water, and O'Neal helps them channel their enthusiasm into safe and enjoyable swimming, while others are terrified of the water.

She creates a comfortable environment by having the pool heated to a warm 90 degrees.

"It's not fun if they're shivering and shaking," she said.

The children also wear goggles, which keeps water out of their eyes and helps them to see better while under water.

She offers 20-minute lessons M-F.

Jo D's Education

High School Mountain View High School
Graduated in 1982