One of my New Year's resolutions was to find a way to exercise that doesn't involve cruising along to nowhere on the elliptical machine. (Don't worry, elliptical machine. You are still my first love, but a girl's got to play the field to avoid getting bored). Swimming's great when you can do it in your own pool, but when 9,000 other people have listed "working out more" as their New Year's resolution, doing laps is a good recipe for getting kicked in the head or pushed into the lane-dividers by someone whose favourite stroke is "the windmill."
My theory is that when you've got a hip replacement and you walk like someone named Gladys or Doris, then you need to channel your inner old person to find appropriate ways to exercise. Enter deep-water aerobics, which is the go-to choice if you're a post-menopausal lady who used to model for the Sears Catalogue circa 1962 and are anxious to maintain your figure in order to keep your retired-car-salesman husband from straying. If you draw your eyebrows on with a pencil and you often get a hankering for Denny's Rooty Tootie Fresh and Fruity breakfast (okay, who doesn't?), deep-water aerobics is the sport for you. (Ok, granted, there were several younger people there, but still).
My aerobics adventure had the added benefit of helping me achieve another New Year's resolution: to go to bed and get up earlier. Mission accomplished! When I arrived 5 minutes early for the class, I found the other aerobicizers in the bleachers all huddled around some lady's Christmas scrapbook like teen girls giggling over a yearbook; (scrapbooking, by the way, is not for the faint of heart. I went to Michael's to get Steph some wedding scrapbook stuff for Christmas and I seriously spent 30 minutes trying to figure out which type of silver pen was the best one out of the 12 different types). Anyhow, this seemed to be my kind of place: I like crafts and I like working out. If I could somehow incorporate cake decorating into the mix, I would never leave the pool.
Actually, everyone at the class was pretty friendly. I was worried that the scrapbookers wouldn't want some young'ins encroaching on their turf, but happily some teenage girls (one of whom was wearing a bathing suit whose v-neck went down to her bellybutton and must have required some two-sided tape to even wear it) showed up and their giggling and eye-rolling served as a magnet for the full force of everyone's angst. Or at least it did for my angst, and I have enough to go around for the whole class.
Deep-water aerobics was a decent workout, except that it really made my ankles sore. (My ankles, to be fair, are perpetually sore and I can't figure out why). In the water, you can do exercises that would have caused me a concussion if I attempted them on dry land and at the end of the 45 minutes I felt like I'd accomplished something. (This feeling was dampened somewhat when I looked up how many calories deep-water aerobics burns and discovered that it barely covered the calories in my daily chai). Oh well. Any time I get to bop around to "It's Raining Men," it's a good day.
As a bonus, I got to soak my weary bones in the hot tub. I usually avoid hot tubs for three reasons: 1) they make me faint and I try not to lose consciousness around any bodies of water 2) you probably find more diseases floating around a public hot tub than you do on the Rock of Love bus and 3)When I go into a hot tub in winter, I always wind up feeling like Sam McGee in "The Cremation of Sam McGee" and find myself walking around the rest of the day thinking, "There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.." (For those of you non-Canadians, "The Cremation of Sam McGee" is a Robert Service poem-turned-creepily-illustrated-children's-book about a guy who lugs around his dead friend on a dog sled looking for a place to cremate him. When he finally lights Sam McGee on fire in the furnace of an abandoned ship, he springs back to life because he's so happy to finally be warm...It's the perfect gift for people looking to dissuade their children from a career as a gold miner).
Anyhow, yes, deep-water aerobics is an activity I will try again, if only for the people watching and the ability to pop around to music without being mistaken for someone having an epileptic seizure. Half-way through the class, two ladies hauled out some pool noodles so that they could sit and chat about scrapbooking with greater ease and I thought, "yes, this might be my kind of class." Heavy breathing AND crafts! This is a sport I can get behind! The only down side was the difficulty of using my cane on slippery, wet tiles, especially when (as I was heading into the change rooms carrying my cane) two ladies who had been snickering to each other as I passed remarked, "It doesn't look very effective to use a cane like that!" It was all I could do to not snap, "You know what, bitches? There are times to be graceful and times to not get a concussion and this sure as fuck doesn't look like a ballroom-dancing competition to me so why don't you back the fuck off so I can hit the showers because right now the chlorine is eating away my skin?" Hm. Maybe I should add "do not give in to powerful feelings of rage" to my New Year's resolutions.