Thursday, April 15, 2010

Class #84 Water Aerobics Thursday 9 a.m. (Anna)

There’s a legend (perhaps true) that Jim Thorpe (who was considered the greatest athlete on earth at the time) took on as a dare (or bet) the challenge of mimicking every move of a two year old for a day. The story goes that in an hour or so, Thorpe became too exhausted to continue and gave up.

What’s this got to do with a water aerobics class you ask? Well, nothing maybe except that it strikes me once again, how difficult it is to do EVERYTHING that an instructor (today it’s Anna) asks us to do in these classes. I really went for it today and writing this, six hours after class, I still feel the effect of the workout.

I’ve written in earlier blogs that water aerobics is a better and harder workout than I gave it credit for – before I took a class. It’s true that one can modify the movements to make it as gentle as one likes and that’s a great attraction for some but that doesn’t preclude another from getting a workout that is plenty challenging.

W.A. is fun too. I always enjoyed playing around in the water as a kid and these classes are purposeful playing. The purpose is to move/work every muscle in the body. The medium of the water provides relatively light but ever-present resistance. It also allows for a greater range of motion than on land and, of course, it’s all low impact so it’s easy on the joints.

In today’s class, Anna introduces a kickboxing sequence, which I hadn’t done before and which I enjoyed. We do side kicks, front kicks and back kicks – all of which would give me back trouble on land but in the water - no problem. She also has us do punching both straight ahead and upper cuts. It’s fun to hear the water roil as my manly fists of steel rip through the water at lightening speed – reminding me of a famed pugilist of yore who claimed (as a joke it turned out) that he trained for fights by running and punching in a pool. A Life photographer took an iconic image of this boxer “training” in a pool:

We do so many other exercises in an hour-long class that it would be pointless to name them all. Anna is a first-rate instructor and uses her wit and personality to keep us entertained while she puts us through the fast paced workout. This is my third class from her and each one has been significantly different from the one before. She tells us this morning that she’s getting ready to go to the International Aquatics Fitness Conference in Orlando, FL next week to learn even more ways to skin this cat. She is truly passionate about teaching water aerobics and it shows.

It’s a smallish group in the water today – members may be confused about the pool closing, which begins tomorrow (we’re having some needed repairs done and have to drain the pool to do them). Anyway, only six show up today. The $25 gift certificate goes to Melba Suskie.

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