i fell in love with water aerobics. first it was shallow water and then i ventured into the deep. i can’t swim to save my life (or yours so please wear a life jacket if we are ever on a boat together) but i strap on my buoyancy belt and hop into 7′ to 13′ of water and bounce around with the silver surfers. anyone want to guess who looks like me in the 8am class? i’ll wait…yea, no one.
it’s the summer olympics in rio and simone manuel has just won the gold in the 100-meter freestyle. i drift into class on a cloud thinking i can do what she did (with my belt on i can do most anything in the water). as I’m descending the steps one of the ladies says to me, you remind me of the olympic swimmer! the one who won last night! do i? what about me is anything like that aquatic gawdess? me with my inability to balance on the noodle, my fear of the belt slipping off and the life guard having to leap in to rescue me like i saw them do with the drill. ok, quick aside. i’m waiting for class to start and the lifeguard leaps into the water out of nowhere. sprints to the other side with the red buoy trailing him, dives deep, rescues something and pops back up. all in a days work. i later learn this is a drill. someone tosses a doll into the pool and the on duty lifeguard has SECONDS (note my deliberate use of caps) to rescue the infant. this is a test of their ability to respond post haste to a human in distress. ok, back to the story. simone is no joke. i am comedy.
the instructor, 60yo if she’s a day, stands on the noodle with one foot and raises her foot up and down. nice and easy. controlled movements. mmhmmm. the retirees and near-to-retire women in the class have it down. they are prattling on about groceries and grandkids whilst i am concentrating on moving the noodle and not losing it. there i am flapping around, teetering side to side, muttering to myself and then laughing. like a crazed person.
“ok wait, lift, tuck, side, no…wait, tuck, THEN lift. Yea!, ok I got it.” then more flapping around because “i don’t got it,” thinking if it pops out from under me i will be the next candidate for the lifeguard to rescue due to smacking myself in the eye with the errant noodle.
the class has been canceled for months due to pool renovations. i saw my instructor tonight. she remarked, so you like the deep water class, huh? (she’s teaching shallow.) i said, yea, i really enjoy it. i ask about the geri’s in her 8am class and learn some of them have joined her 9am class at another community pool. she’ll have a morning class this summer and will return in the fall when the main facility reopens. i’m looking forward to rejoining the silver surfers, and also to (mis)representing simone manuel, as i flutter kick and flap my arms like i’m flagging down an emergency vehicle. yep, i’m the favorite to win the gold for dunking myself with an orange noodle.