Stepping down the steps I sank into the tepid water – that felt cold against my skin – waist deep. Cool, I think. Yet chill bumps run up my arms. Standing and looking around I think I see snow outside the window. The last thing to dip is not as easy. Breath in – I dip to my neck – and shudder.
Winter outside and an indoor pool full of women ready for the Y Aqua Aerobics class. I can do this. I used to teach in this pool and several others around town. I used to do a lot of things. Now, I’m retired and the swimsuit and the body underneath it have changed.
When my kids were small I managed the Olympic sized pool owned by the City of Enid. I taught swimming in the morning to most of the kids in town, and then in the afternoon I managed the pool for the public. I lifeguarded only when we were shorthanded. But I was certified if needed.
Recently the Y decided to cancel my Core Strength class that I’d attended for 10 or 12 years. I had a lot of good friends in that class and it was a regular thing twice a week. I had to do something for this aging body and the pool seemed like the place to go. So, I donned my old-lady swimsuit and joined the girls in the pool. Girls?
It was a difficult transition. Monday and Wednesday morning Aqua Aerobics and then Yoga on Thursday. And I found I still felt at home in the water. Others do too. There are two women who come to the pool on a walker, park it on the pool deck and then climb in to work out with the rest of us. There are all ages, sizes, and skill levels with one goal. Fitness.
It takes a certain type of courage to come to a pool on your walker. I call that determination. I bow to a person who is that committed. And I decide to ignore the chill bumps and get to work. I’ll warm up.