Monday, March 8, 2010

#30 Water Aerobics 9 a.m. Monday (Mary W.)

For my second class this morning I head to the pool. I’m suffering from a crick in the neck that I woke up with on Sunday morning. My hope is that a little water therapy will help or at least not further aggravate anything.

This makes my 3rd water aerobics class and I’m starting to get the hang of things. The best description I can give you of these classes is the following: imagine spending an hour inside a washing machine with your head above water at all times. It’s something like that. You’re always moving this way and that, swirling, sculling, kicking and swooshing and if anything’s inside your belly (or bladder) you can bet you’re going to know about it.

As I’ve said before, it’s a surprisingly good workout – especially if you want your exercise to be completely low impact. There’s also a great deal of variety within a given class and between any two classes. The instructors know a jillion ways to put you through the spin cycle.

Usually in water aerobics our feet stay in contact with the bottom of the pool and we jog, jump and jive off of it. This morning however, Mary moved us into the deep end to do a series of water treading exercises. Somehow I had forgotten how tough that is to do.

Along with being a swimmer in college – I also played water polo and absolutely loved it. During that game, the feet never touch the bottom and water treading is a way of live. The goalies have it the toughest though because they have to churn continually and rise way out of the water to defend shots (see below – btw, she is NOT jumping off the bottom – that lift is all from an egg-beater kick).

We weren’t getting up quite that high though no one in class wants wet hair so there’s motivation to keep the eggbeater kick going. The point is, it’s tough to do and after a bike class there’s a significant danger of having the legs cramp. I was weighing how bad it would look for the former college polo player to be the first to cry “uncle” when Mary mercifully moved us back to the shallow end.

The class instructor, Mary Wohlleb, has told me that for the majority of her life she hated exercise with a passion because she always felt like such a klutz. That completely changed for her though when she discovered water aerobics at the LRAC in 1990. She loved it so much that she decided to get certified as an instructor and has now taught 2-3 classes a week at the Club for the past 16 years.

Mary is also something of a Renaissance woman. She has advanced degrees in Comparative Literature, French Literature and International Management. She also serves on various community boards and is the past president of the Herb Society of America. We’re glad that she’s decided to use some of that passion and brainpower on figuring out ways to make exercise in the water both fun and challenging.

There were about 15 in class today and guess who was the only guy. The $25 gift certificate goes to Joan Matthews.

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