Myles Christian: A Great Example

For many athletes, the best feeling in the world is the rush they get when they step onto the field, court, track, or jump into the pool. That surge in adrenaline fuels their competitive drive and keeps them in pristine athletic form.

Men’s water polo senior goalkeeper Myles Christian craves another rush- the one he gets when helping to save lives.

Myles leads a bit of a double life- when he is not manning the goal for the Gauchos, the 22 year old from Newport Beach serves as an EMT at Fire Station #17, located on UCSB’s campus near Harder Stadium.

“The rush of responding to a call is pretty similar to the way I feel during a big game,“ Christian said. “In the pool, I feel like I’m able to stay cool and collected. It’s the same way when I’m out responding to a call."

Most of his experience so far has been on ride-alongs during weekend responses to incidents in nearby Isla Vista.

“It’s been a great experience going out with the guys to Isla Vista and being able to help out some of my classmates. It’s been a really helpful learning experience.”

 For Myles, giving up free time on weekends and putting himself in harm’s way is an easy choice.
 
“That satisfaction you get when you’re able to help someone when their life is in your hands and they’re thankful is really rewarding.”
 
Christian’s tendency to help others is not something new. Myles started his “hero” days early, serving as a lifeguard during the summer months when he was a teenager in Newport Beach.  The opportunity to help others in need has always held an allure for Myles, who saw some of his friends’ dads serving as firefighters when he was a boy.

“What inspired me in the first place was being an extremely active person,” said Christian. “I had some family friends who were firefighters, and the opportunity to help others while staying fit always appealed to me.”
 

Despite his altruistic tendencies, Myles still has a lot on his plate. As Myles would attest, studying at UC Santa Barbara and serving as the team captain on a Top-10 water polo program is no easy task.

“It’s been tough getting my EMT certification while being a full-time student and doing ride-alongs and competing in water polo, but so far it’s been rewarding.”

Between long practices and longer study sessions, he is able to appreciate what he has learned during his time at Station #17.
 

“I’m inspired by the way my coworkers are able to respond to a call, take initiative in dangerous situations, and always be a help during tough times.”

When he graduates in June 2013, Myles plans to apply for a position in the Santa Barbara Fire Department. His prior experience bodes well for his chances.

While many students at UCSB haven’t yet committed to a major, Myles has carved out his career plan and has taken extensive action to achieve his goals.

Even though his storied career as a UCSB water polo player will soon come to a close, a light remains at the end of the tunnel for Myles.

“I look forward to starting my career as a firefighter, said a smiling Christian. “It’s a great opportunity as a leader and I’ve been working toward that goal for my whole life.”

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