Are You a Pool Person?

Are You a Pool Person?

I’m not a water person. Since I learned to swim as a kid, I can count the times I bobbed around in a pool on one proverbial hand with a few fingers left over. Lounging around a pool, being parboiled by the Florida sun is not my idea of a good time.

I don’t even like washing my face with water; I use cleansing wipes instead.

Instructor Eva and her minions

Six months ago, a new YMCA opened about a mile from where we live, so Bob and I joined. I’d rather have my teeth pulled than lift weights, so I looked at the classes offered. I saw Aqua Zumba and Forever Young strength training in the pool. Ugh! I’d have to get wet, but I decided to try anyway.

The first class hooked me. We danced in chest-deep water to Latin music, and I loved it. I felt like a kid again, splashing around and jumping, not something I could do on land. The cool water soothed my joints, and I didn’t have to get my face wet. Big plus!

Our fantastic instructor Eva reminded us to stand up straight, put our shoulders back, tuck under our butts, and dig into the water. She made us laugh with her antics and kept the class fun. This didn’t feel like exercise at all.

Then, I came to know the regulars in the class. Jackie is the aqua queen. She attends water classes almost every day and knows all the routines.

Martha and Marsha are identical twins who are Florida natives. For a time, I could tell them apart because Marsha had longer hair; then she cut it.

Martha started wearing glasses in the pool, so I created a mnemonic to know who’s who.

Martha and Marsha
Martha and Marsha

I associated the in read with glasses and Martha, but it wasn’t until later that I realized Marsha also has an in it. Fortunately, I could tell them apart by then.

After a good workout, their treat is Chic-Fil-A chicken nuggets for Marsha and a chicken sandwich with extra pickles for Martha.

Jackie, the aqua queen
Patricia and her pool buddies--(left to right) Sandy, Eva Maria, Martha, Marsha, and Claire upfront.

Eva Maria and her husband moved to the States from Germany six years ago with their rescue dog Maya, who’s fluent in German. Eva Maria’s husband works out in the gym and then comes out to swim laps while Eva Maria finishes her aqua class. She waves to him across the pool in the sweetest way, which always makes me smile.

Claire stays in the shallow end, where she can touch bottom, and wears a hat bigger than her. Sandy’s aching joints are already loosening up after just a few months. It’s always a special treat when two of my best friends, Jennifer and Connie, come play in the pool with me.

Eva's tools of torture

Mary Jo and her ninety-one-year-old mother Pat come to class twice a week and use our buoyant dumbbells, noodles, and swim boards to get a great workout. Seeing Pat inspires me to work a little harder when I’m slacking because if she can do it, so can I.

I look forward to seeing my pool buddies and doing these aqua classes each week, and I don’t have to put my head underwater. I don’t even mind when water splashes my face because I’m having such a good time with a pool full of great people.

Ninety-one-year-old Pat and her daughter Mary Jo

So, are you a pool person? Do you enjoy being in the water? Do you take any water classes or do any water sports? Do you mind getting your face wet, or is that just my weird thing? Tell me in the comments section below.

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Catherine Farrar
8 months ago

I’m full of envy. For years before Covid I went to water aerobics and loved every activity. Except for the dreaded relays, and circular runs. I have no hustle, no hurry speed and I’m short. Racing back and forth across the pool or through the deep middle required a stretch from my toes or hanging on the edge to keep my head out of the water. Sometimes an instructor would have us run the perimeter of the pool. If I started at a shallow end, I could ride the current over the deepest water. Once she could see we had… Read more »

Eva-Maria
Eva-Maria
8 months ago

It was the best decision I made this year to become a member of YMCA and finding this Aqua Fitness class. Not only the exercises are great, the people I met there are great as well. Thanks Pat for this wonderful article.

Martha
Martha
8 months ago

Being one of Pat’s pool buddies, I can attest to it being great exercise while being fun. Not only do we exercise together, we have become friends. We joke around, grow concerned when someone doesn’t show up and tell each other about ourselves. It’s a great place with great people. Thanks Pat for being part of the pool buddies.

Rose
Rose
8 months ago

I love being in the pool…we are putting one in our backyard! I can’t wait until it’s done. I need to try a water aerobics class.

Idalia Martinez
Idalia Martinez
8 months ago

Love the water. Wish I could swim much better than I do. Right now I hold my own across a pool. I don’t trust how long I could keep myself a float out in the beach yet. Need the rhythm of my breath and strokes to work together more succinctly. In the meantime, I enjoy the pool in my community when it’s not too full of people. I enjoy running across, swimming across and swirling like a mermaid from time to time. I’ve also enjoyed Aqua Fit classes from time to time at intro class or with friends. Pool fitness… Read more »

Sue O'Halloran
Sue O'Halloran
8 months ago

Love Aqua Aerobics! Definitely feels like play, not work!

Judy
8 months ago

I was a pool person. When I was a kid I went to Briarchex Pool almost every day during the summer. I took water aerobics here in the Villages but it didn’t do much for me. I like faster exercise like zumba better.

Lisa Mackenzie
Lisa Mackenzie
8 months ago
Reply to  Judy

Too bad my aqua fit class isn’t down there. We MOVE. No wimpy workouts. No wimpy sets. Aqua Strong!

Ruth Howard
Ruth Howard
8 months ago

I’m totally a pool person! I have various joint problems and being in the water makes me feel like I’m 15 again!

Orah
Orah
8 months ago

I have been afraid of the water as long as I can remember. I never learned to swim. I remember when I was about 7 or so, my family had a picnic at a beautiful lake. I watched everyone in the water. I did not go in. I did not have much energy. I was afraid that I would get out in the water and lose energy and drown. I did not know that trauma was draining my life energy; I` just knew I did not have much. I did not even put my head under the shower. Once, when… Read more »

Linda Peterson
8 months ago

I am not a pool person. After a near drowning accident when I was very young, (See attached story) I avoid at all costs, putting my face in the water. Unless I’m clutching the pool’s edge, the water’s movement makes me nervous. I know my aging, aching joints would probably benefit from water therapy, though.

David Godin
8 months ago

I am a pool person and take a class. Its a great way to soothe aching joints after other activities. My wife Lisa, who is becoming a gum rat, loves to soak after bike rides and working out.

jas newman
jas newman
8 months ago
Reply to  David Godin

Agree. Biking and pool activities are both great low-impact exercises. Also, both give me wonderful thinking time to work through story ideas.

Janet Evans
Janet Evans
8 months ago

I love the pool we have here in Wildflower condos where I live. After my husband passed I moved about 10 minutes from my gorgeous custom built 2500 sq ft home to a 1ooo sq ft condo. The pool and new friends have been truly a life saver.

Mireille Shenouda
Mireille Shenouda
8 months ago
Reply to  Janet Evans

I simply love swimming. I am member of a club since my childhood and enjoy swimming crawl, breast and backstroke in the pool. I also swam in the Mediterranean Sea in the North coast, & in Marsa- Matrouh , in Egypt., as well as in the Red Sea resorts. Also in Greece’s lovely beaches. There are also great pools in Canada’s Community Centres and in Niagra on the Lake pool hotels. It is a wonderful sport, hobby and so healthy too.
Mireille Shenouda

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