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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.


Material Mary said...

Beautifully put in to words, you have described exactly how I feel and why I love going to water aerobics. It truly has been enriching in more ways than one.
Love Mary

pollywallydoodle said...

I am jealous that you have a pool nearby--I have nothing --so we go for the nightly drag with the giant dog!! Keep up the swimming and the bonding!!

cara lou said...

This was a great little essay!

I am so impressed and proud of you for keeping up the water aerobics for so long. It is seriously very impressive. I'd definitely not a morning person either and don't know if I'd be able to get up that early day after day.

I've started getting up at 7 to walk everyday, which is quite an achievement for me (though it's really thanks to William waking up at that hour). I don't know why 7am now seems so hard when I had to be up at 6am when I was working. Haha.

Also it's so great that all those ladies have so much knowledge to share. That is so much fun!

Keep it up!

I love you!