Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Class #4 Water Aerobics Tuesday 9 a.m. (Liz)

I have watched various water aerobics classes from the pool deck for years and years but until today I’d never tried one. Like any new venture or class I was a little nervous. Would the group shun me for taking so long to try a class? Would they laugh at my pitiful bathing suit (actually, my beach volleyball shorts)? Would I be able to manage that noodle thingy?

Like most of life’s nagging worries, I could have saved myself the grief. Everyone was super-nice/kind to me. The main feeling I got from this class is that it’s one big happy family. And, to be accepted as a new family member you basically only need to show up.

This class is amazingly social. I felt like I was joining a group of people who all knew each other really well. At any given time, there were two or three separate but somehow interweaving conversations going on while we paddled, crunched, leg lifted, soccer kicked or did the moguls (you’ll just have to attend class sometime to understand that last sentence).

Our bubbly instructor was Liz Woodruff. Liz gave frequent cues throughout class, constantly changing up the exercises to work just about every part of our bodies. When it was clear that I didn’t know what a term meant someone nearby or Liz would always show me the correct way to do it so I never stayed lost for long.

Liz started teaching water aerobics several years ago after retiring from her job as a hospice social worker to devote more time to raising her growing family. In fact, that family’s growing soon - she’s 29 weeks along in her second pregnancy and plans to keep teaching right up to her due date of May 6. She told me that she loves this class and I don’t doubt it – just like I don’t doubt that her students love her.

As for the exercise value of water aerobics, I would call it sneaky good. Because you are immersed in water you don’t noticeably sweat but I could feel the heat building in my body as we went thru the exercises. The buoyancy of the water makes this low-impact exercise but as any swimmer can tell you, moving limbs through the resistance of water tones everything. At the end of class when I got out of the pool I realized how hard my body had worked. Even now, almost 7 hours after finishing I can still feel a pleasant soreness in my legs and abs.

The main impression I took from this class was how much fun it was. Water aerobics has the feeling of ‘playing’ which is my favorite kind of exercise. I really enjoyed myself and look forward to going back to the other seven water aerobics classes on our weekly schedule.

As for my classmates – well, once again, all women. I know there are a few men who regularly attend water aerobics but none of them made it today. It was just nine lovely ladies and me. The 25-dollar gift certificate for this class goes to Mrs. Margaret Miller.

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