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.