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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Getting wet in the predawn...

For the past 2 1/2 years I have completely gone against my nature by getting up almost every morning before 5:00 a.m. to get into a cold swimming pool. It started when I was desperate to lose weight, but my feet were protesting my walking on I decided I'd have to do something in the water. I am not a good swimmer, since I really don't like to submerge my face, so water aerobics was the route I chose to go. There are evening water aerobics classes at the local high school -but seriously....who has time every evening to devote to exercise, and who wants to go home with wet hair at 9:30 at night? Not me! So I decided to "plunge in" to the 5:15 a.m. class. This was a serious decision, since I have always been a night owl, but I needed to do something that my feet wouldn't protest.

It wasn't easy to drag myself out of bed IN THE DARK to face a pool full of strangers, but after the first couple of weeks my body no longer protested. It took a little longer to lose my shyness with the people - but how long can you feel like strangers when you get naked in the dressing room together day after day?

Now I so look forward to seeing Mary, Anne, Ruth, Ardella, Lila, Sarah, Stacie, Lisa, Dean and the rest. We are more than just members of a class, we are friends. Stacie is a youngster at 30 or so, and is the instructor on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, but when she's not teaching I'm the youngest person there - and that doesn't happen often for me any more! I have learned about cooking, canning, quilting, and human relations from these ladies. I have learned how important it is to be able to laugh at yourself. I have learned that everybody has wayward kids. I have learned that a sense of humor can make even the worst situations bearable. I have learned that it's never too late to learn something new. And I have learned that friends are to be found everywhere as I treasure the wisdom of these ladies who range in age from the mid-80's to late-40's.

We are the "Little Mermaids" and I hope that when I'm 85 I'll still be crawling out of bed in the predawn darkness to plunge into cold water and keep learning about life.