Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Water Aerobics for People Like Me

This year, hubby and I decided to join a health club.  Mind you, we are not health club type of people.  Well, let me amend that.  Hubby has belonged to another health club for so many years that he can't resist the cheap dues, so he dutifully goes twice a year for a steam.

Well, for many reasons we decided to change our lifestyle.  We were going to be healthy, muscular people!  The envy of our friends and family!  And it was a cool health club.  In addition to lots and lots of machines that we had no idea how to operate, it had classes - spinning, Latin dancing, water aerobics - you name it!

Well... being a middle aged woman with bad knees who gets winded at the drop of a hat, I knew I was suited (pardon the pun) for the "sport" of water aerobics.   There were a few obstacles I had to overcome, like getting the nerve to be seen in public in a bathing suit, and finding my way to the pool from the locker room (a major obstacle for someone who always goes the wrong way, no matter where I am).  But I did it!  First I purchased a suit online from Lands Ends, cause that's where you're supposed to get suits, right?  And I was gonna be thin in no time at all, so I ordered a smaller size than what I normally wear.  And since I am so boring with my black suits over the years, I bought myself a red suit with bamboos all over it.  The kind of suit that makes you look 20 lbs thinner cause it sucks you in.  The suit arrived, and I struggled to get into it, and I mean struggled.  I showed it to hubby, who asked "why did you buy a red suit with bamboos on it?  You like like a giant bamboo."

Lands End has a very generous return policy.

On to T J Maxx, where I successfully bought a suit that was 3 sizes larger than what I normally wear.

Now I was READY.

To my great joy, I discovered that the class had a lot of people like me.  Middle aged women with bad knees who need a slower activity, and - this is the best part - who normally wear glasses, but they don't wear them in the pool, so WE CAN'T SEE HOW FAT WE ALL ARE!  I loved that part.

One of my favorite water aerobic anecdotes came from my friend who joined the club a few months before I did.  I greatly admired her, because she was going to SPINNING classes regularly.  Do you know how hard spinning is?  Well she told me she finished one spinning class, and every skinny person in her class was talking about how many calories they had burned.  She went into the locker room, and the water aerobics class had just let out, and the water aerobics women were all discussing where they should go out for breakfast.  Clearly, I belonged in water aerobics.

After I learned that most of the women were blind, and I could relax, I began to enjoy water aerobics.  Oh, I'm making the same mistake my teacher made - it was not only women in water aerobics.  There was the occasional man.  I had to remind my teacher once to stop calling us "ladies."

Now there are certain unwritten rules in water aerobics.  One is that you must leave enough space between you and the people around you. This is sometimes difficult, as we go backward, forward and sideways and you tend to get into other people's space.  So you have to get back to your original space and make sure you're not on top of your co-aerobicizers.  

One day a man violated this rule.  He came and stood right next to me, invading my space.  And we all had to turn another direction, and everyone turned but him.  So we're all facing one direction, and this man is facing all of us.  Well, specifically, me.  And he's a short man.  So this man is literally in my boobs.  I had to find a new space for myself.  Thankfully, I have not seen that man in class since.

Now water aerobics is scheduled for 2 weekday mornings a week, and Saturday mornings.  Since I work, I aim for the Saturday morning class.  They recently started to offer a Wednesday evening class.  Now this is a tough one.  It's a 5:30 class.  Now what are people like me doing at 5:30 on a weekday?  Yeah, they're getting ready to eat.  We are forced to make a choice between mealtime and water aerobics!  I never know from week to week which one will win.

When water aerobics wins, I am happy.  I have resigned myself to never being a skinny woman, but I am proud of myself for putting on my suit, walking out that door and driving over to that health club and moving this body of mine.  


Jeanie said...

This is cracking me up! I need a good laugh this morning and this did it -- I remember my water aerobics and boy! It was pretty similar! 5:30 -- so, what happened?! (My gym class is at 5:30;, it's hard!

Mich said...

I like the part about taking off your glasses. If everyone would just remove their corrective lenses (except for driving), we would all be equally beautiful and we could sit around and eat carbs all day. :) That would be the life!

Jeanie said...

I just linked up for you on the Gypsy!

Annie said...

Welcome to the blogsphere. You will may so much fun here and meet lots of really nice people. All my best, Annie

Janet said...

I just came over from Jeanie's blog and I can't stop laughing!! I love your description of the water aerobics class, especially the man with his face in your boobs!! And the fact that everyone is blind is just great. That works for me.

Lisa "Oceandreamer" S. said...

I am visiting from Jeannie's blog and this post really made me laugh. The best part was the no!
Welcome to blogland, you won't regret it!

Joanne Huffman said...

Jeanie sent me :D I enjoyed reading your water aerobic story, although it triggered some embarrassing memories for me (like the time my bathing suite, which had lost its stretch, failed at containing my breasts).


Becca said...

Hi Mama K! I'm here by way of Jeanie's blog, and I'm so glad I stopped by. You've given me a good laugh today, which is invaluable on a Monday :)

Pam said...

You are so brave! And funny. This post had me laughing out loud. I would choose water aerobics over spinning, too. If it just wasn't for the swimsuit. Everyone else might be blind, but I'm not. Even I don't want to see myself in a swimsuit.

Anonymous said...

OMG! I would've slugged my hubs and said 'What do mean by Giant bamboo?!? LMAO.

Good for you for taking a stab at water aerobics! I think it might be something I'd love to do. As long as they don't let pervs like Shorty in the pool, that is.

Funny post!!

Shannon said...

I love that you were brave enough to get out there and just do it! Good for you!

croneandbearit said...

The first time I heard the term "spinning" at a health club I found myself looking around for the yarn. What the heck? Then I watched and decided I was not in the mood for a coronary that day and did not join the gym. With my ongoing troubles from last year's broken back, the only thing my doctor will allow me to do is water aerobics - and so far I am too chicken to put the suit on and go. Maybe one day I will brave it. Taking off the glasses is a great start... Hugs!

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

I've known for years that I should do water aerobics, and at one point I wouldn't even have minded putting on a bathing suit. But I was going to take the classes at the college where I work...and they keep the pool especially cold for the benefit of our competitive swimmers. Just couldn't do it!

Muckala Family said...

Haha! I can't count how many times I laughed while I read this! Good for you!

Jenny said...

Really cute post! Thanks for sharing this. I definitely belong in the Water Aerobics group, too!