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  • Kate Forest

Aqua Fit for the Not So Young at Heart

When I was young, my right knee would dislocate at least once a year. In fact, my friends got so used to my knee popping out of place, I remember one school dance where my friend shrugged, lifted me off the ground, and dragged me to the ER across the street. (Having the hospital across the street from the high school came in handy for all kinds of reasons at school dances, include stab wounds).

For most of my life, running hurt. Now, walking hurts. And a few years ago I called my husband over to the staircase to demonstrate that almost every other stair was squeaky, and I insisted that we get it fixed. He rolled his eyes and explained that was my right knee making the noise, and that the stairs were unlikely to collapse, but I might.

For years, I’ve been swimming to get some exercise. I like swimming, it’s as close to meditation and mindfulness as I’m going to get. Half crawl, half backstroke, I swim for a solid 30 minutes. It’s convenient for me to go right before the aqua fit class starts.

When I’m changing after my swim, the aqua fit ladies in the locker room greet each other, they don their bathing suits with built in skirts, and wear a variety of swim caps/shower caps/other head gear. And they are well over my age. I was jealous and curious, so one day I took the plunge and joined the class.

I was expecting a super easy workout. I mean those ladies are in their 60s and up. I’m not in great shape, but I feel like I could pin any of them in a wrestling match. Or at least best them in carrying groceries. Oooh boy, was that a workout. Pushing the floaty-barbell thingies through the water was harder than it looks.

I told myself that the rest of the women were modifying the routine to make it easier on them. I ended up modifying the routine, but no one could tell because it’s all under water.

This is me after ten minutes of Aqua Fit

I haven’t returned. Not because I was shown up by some octogenarians, but because I like the solitude of swimming by myself. And because I can’t show my face there again.

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