I started a deep water aerobics class this week. Our recreation center offers free childcare for members and a 19 session deep water aerobics class was offered for $60 total. What's there not to like?
In I went, to find that at 39, I'm by far the youngest. The next person closest to my age is about ten years older and the other women are in their 60s, well into their 70s, one or two pushing 80.
I wondered if this was going to be worth my while. After all, I work out on an elliptical going great guns and don't carry extra weight. The instructor is also in her 60s and she told me she'd go easy on me since I'm new (apparently this group of 18 women take this class all the time and I - along with only two others - are the interlopers.) and that she wouldn't embarrass me. I told her that it's near impossible to embarrass me and that I'm pretty fit already so I thought I'd be ok.
And I was - mostly. The class is an hour long and at least 40 minutes have us working out non stop in deep water, constantly treading water. We did 250 crunches in this water and I kept up really well. But so did a woman nearing 80 and so did all the other women who probably saw their 65th or 70th birthdays a few years ago.
Incidentally, one of the gang wasn't there. It was her 60th birthday and someone thought she was avoiding any recognition of the fact. But she arrived about 15 minutes late and the entire pool broke into Happy Birthday To You. With the acoustics, it sounded beautiful.
She was near me half way through and said "oh! we have someone new!" I hadn't realized this was such a close group! She said hi and I wished her a happy birthday.
We worked our legs, backs, bellies and arms and as we all got out, I rushed to shower and pick up my preschoolers while they talked about heading to lunch and the multiple things they had to do that day. The oldest, nearing 80 stopped me and said "well? what do you think? good work out?" I told her yes and I'd see her Thursday. About four women said "we'll be here!"
This morning I woke up feeling good, but as I got out of bed, my stomach muscles were tight and sore and felt really great. The kind of great soreness you get when you know you've been challenged (by your 60+ year instructor who was strong as an ox and fitter than most 20 year olds) and you've only just begun the program.
'll let you know how I feel after the 19 sessions. I'm looking forward to the next couple of months with 18 really cool, fit women who make getting older something to aspire to, rather than dread.
I realized the only difference between these "old ladies" and me was mere time. And in no time at all, I'll be where they are. I can do it while getting fat and slow, thinking about the old days when I was healthy and fit, or I can be like these ass-kicking women who can work out for an entire hour in deep water like any 18 year old - and come back for more.
I think I'll stick with the latter option.
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