Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Well, I'm not feeling very funny at the moment, but I have received many requests from those who have heard this story to post it as a blog... so here goes.
This is a humorous but self-deprecating story akin to the time I played Halo for the first (and last) time (which is another story for another time)... So, I have been faithfully hauling my butt to the local Natatorium and taking a variety of exercise classes in a long-suffering attempt to lose the baby weight from NJ. A good friend of mine, we'll call her K, is also trying to be dedicated to diet and weight loss and now that her only child has started kindergarten she decided to join me at the gym. K studied the schedule of fitness classes and decided on a class that she thought would be appropriate for the two of us. Now seeing as we are both young mothers, young enough to still be relatively cool, and not totally out of shape, I was expecting something along the lines of Pilate's, spinning, or yoga. So you can imagine my surprise when K excitedly announced that we would be taking "medium intensity deep water fitness!" I had been going to the Nat long enough to have seen a water class in action a time or two, and I was well aware that the average age for members taking those classes was approximately 78. But having been a swimmer in her high school years, K was set on it, so I reluctantly agreed to give it a try on the following Friday.
When Friday morning rolled around I drug myself out of bed and squeezed into my bathing suit. That was when it happened, while I was hopping around my bedroom trying to lever myself into the suit, with the peanut gallery (my kids) jumping on the bed and laughing hysterically at me, K called to tell me that she couldn't come to class. UUUGGG! Now what's a girl to to? I had already missed my regular class (for some unknown reason, water fitness is scheduled at a later time than cardio classes... not sure why considering that every senior citizen I've ever met wakes up at the crack of dawn). I was VERY tempted to flop back on my bed, heave a sigh of relief and call it a day. But nooooo, I'm dedicated remember... faithful to the pursuit of my goals. So I went to that class anyway. Alone.
The time it took to talk myself into going had caused me to be ever so slightly late to the class. When I got there, class hadn't started yet but all the old ladies were already in the pool, happily treading water and chatting about whatever it is they chat about (grand kids and fiber I assume). Not wanting to miss the beginning of class, I quickly hopped in and swam out to the deep end, nodding and smiling politely at my blue-haired classmates.
Almost immediately, class got started. The music was turned on and the instructor, also a Golden Buckeye Cardholder, took her place by the edge of the pool. That's right, the teacher does not actually get into the water (not sure how she worked that deal, but it seems totally unfair). And one and two.. jog in place (how do you jog when you can't touch the bottom I wonder).. and three and four.. jumping jacks (hello! the water is ten feet deep out here).. and five and six.. and on and on and on. It started out ok, but about fifteen minutes into the class I began to tucker out. That might be an understatement. I began to drown. Not an understatement. I resumed treading water and looked around at the other women in the class. They didn't seemed to be phased one bit. As a matter of fact, many of them were still happily chatting about hip replacements and the like. I was completely bewildered. I mean, I was at least forty years younger than the youngest woman in there! Why was I on the verge of cardiac arrest while they were flitting around like mermaids (wrinkly mermaids, but mermaids none the less)?!?
While I was staring around the pool slack-jawed, I noticed something. All of the other ladies had something in common. Something barely visible beneath the water. When the instructor told the class to take a lap around the pool I casually (as casually as you can while gasping for air) swam over to where the instructor had her comfortable perch on the side of the pool and asked her if I was supposed to have some type of gadget to keep me afloat. She asked me what my name was. I didn't see how that was relevant to my current crisis, but I answered her anyway. After the typical explanation as to how to pronounce my name, she stood up, yelled (that's right YELLED) for the class to stop swimming their lap, and announced that I (mis-pronouncing my name of course) wanted to know if I needed some kind of "gadget" to keep me afloat. She actually used the finger quotation marks when she said "gadget". Needless to say, the class thought this was hilarious. The instructor told me, hand on hip like an exasperated mother (or grandmother in this case) to get out of the pool. So right there in front of everyone she "fitted" me for the blue (which is why I couldn't really see them under the water) belt that apparently keeps you from drowning during these classes. As if this wasn't embarrassing enough, during this little "fitting" in front of what felt like the entire elderly population of Northeast Ohio, she asked the unforgivable question. The question dreaded by every slightly chubby girl in America. That's right, she asked if I was pregnant. PREGNANT! You should of seen my face. For those of you who know how big my eyes are normally, they were practically popping out of their sockets at this point. I was beginning to wish that I actually had drowned during the first fifteen minutes of class. I mumbled "uh no" and hurried back into the water. The only thing that kept me from running out the door was the fear of slipping in a puddle and falling on my head in front of the crowd that had already witnessed all of the above.
After all that, I managed to make it through the rest of the class. The old ladies turned out to be very sweet and treated me like some kind of cute, but helpless (or beltless) mascot. However, I was discouraged when one pointed out that we were wearing the same bathing suit. It wasn't a bad workout either. I might even try it again... after an appropriate amount of time has gone by, of course.