Adventures in... Water Aerobics?
Well, I have officially sunk to a new low—literally! It was an in-ground pool.
Some people may ask me why, at the tender age of 18, I decided to engage in an activity that most reserve for their twilight years. I say, why not? When someone tells me that my college offers a free class called Aqua Zumba, you can’t very well expect me not to go. Even the name is funny, for crying out loud.
It was with a sense mild of trepidation that I dragged myself and my friend, who we’ll call Caitlyn, to this particular class. I couldn’t help but find the name a little suspicious, and as it turns out I was right to. Aqua Zumba turns out to mean thinly disguised Jazzercise in the water, set to Latin-flavored music.
The first thing I noticed when we arrived at the pool was that this class had a rather, well, different age dynamic than that of the regular Zumba class. That is to say—and I have no idea how they found us, because this class takes place at my college’s student recreation center—there was a healthy smattering of older women students. (I assume that at the age of 65, all women are handed a guide to any fitness classes taking place in pools for the next 15 years or so and set loose to wreak havoc upon the world.) As for what my fellow students were doing there, I assumed at the time that they were all either confused or insane. I have since been forced to alter that opinion, however.
You may wonder what sort of person would teach a class such as this. Well, I’ll tell you. A very brave one. You see, Aqua Zumba (I can’t say the name without snickering) is held outside, in full view of the judging eyes of the world. And while the participants in the class can hide in the water, where no one can see if they are successfully Aqua Zumbaing or just sort of bobbing around in the water, the instructor has to stand on the sidewalk in front of the pool, so as to enable us to see what we’re supposed to be doing. Of course, since the class takes place in water, which as it turns out offers considerable resistance to dancing—the term “dancing” being used very loosely here—the moves themselves must be both more exaggerated and considerably slower than they would be on land. Which is fine for those of us hiding our shame in the chlorinated depths, but rather unfortunate for our instructor. At least she didn’t have to wear a swimsuit (my ancient enemy!).
Class began, and at first Caitlyn and I couldn’t help but giggles like the schoolgirls we are. Were we really doing this? I wondered about the motives of the others in the class. Maybe they were lost.
For the first couple of songs, I didn’t really feel I was working out, and wondered if I had just resigned an hour of my life to syncopated splashing around. Loss of dignity? Check. Increase in fitness? Not so much.
As we continued our strange dance, which I deeply hope is discovered and studied by archaeologists of the future, who will then probably become very confused archaeologists, I started to feel a burning in my legs that could only mean one thing. This was exercise, after all! Very odd exercise, but still.
Between our instructor, who was delightfully eccentric and had to keep reminding herself of the moves that went with each song by looking at a stack of flashcards, and the older contingent of the class, which I was amused to see had a healthy amount of good old-fashioned sass (to complement their moxie, I assume), you might think that we would not have gotten anything done fitness-wise, but I was actually a little sore the next day. I don’t know whether to be glad about that, as it means the hour I spent in the class wasn’t entirely wasted fitness-wise, or embarrassed that I was sore after participating in something popular with senior citizens.
If you ever get the opportunity to take a class like this, I recommend going, for the entertainment value if for nothing else. If you’re really looking to get fit while in the pool, however, you’re probably better off swimming.
Have you ever Aqua Zumbaed???
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