On Nail Polish and Books and Water Aerobics

I keep promising myself that I'm going to post something witty or moving or inspirational, but it turns out that I don't really do any of that stuff on a regular basis, so coming up with it is a lot harder than it sounds. And I could wax poetic about what I've been up to lately, but I'm not sure how to make giving myself a pedicure while watching reruns of Bones on TV sound poetic.

(Well I could, but it probably wouldn't be very impressive).

(Okay fine, how's this?)

Coral on my toes
cat tries to rub on wet paint
keen for fall lineup.

When I haven't been picking stray cat hairs out of OPI's Shootout at the OK Coral, I've been reading and going to the gym. Lately I've been focusing on the books I haven't read yet on the Book List, and am proud to note that I have just finished Nineteen Eighty-Four and The Handmaid's Tale. And then, due to a possible overload of dystopian, totalitarian regimes, I had trouble sleeping for the next three days. (I rebounded with an easy yet thrilling Lee Child novel, because why worry about reshaping contemporary society's morals when you can just kill a bunch of people with your bare hands?)

(And what does it say about me that reading about an ex-military guy snapping bad guys necks makes me sleep like a baby?)

The gym turned out to be a pleasant surprise. I messed up my usual swim schedule from the day before, so I made up for it by going the following day. Only I don't usually go those days, so I didn't realize that there was a water aerobics class scheduled for that time. But I thought, why not do the water aerobics class as a gentle warm-up until the pool is free again? So I grabbed the biggest pair of floaty pool weights I could find and joined all the little old ladies bobbing around in the pool.

[I'm going to be completely honest here. I was feeling a little smug about taking the class. I swim, I do the treadmill, I take a free weights class three times a week. I'm not out of shape. And I'm roughly 3 decades younger than the rest of the ladies in the class. So I was not worried about anything that the water aerobics grannies could throw at me.]

Kicked. My. Butt.

It took about 4 minutes before those super-grannies wiped my smug smile off of my face. 2 more before I couldn't feel my legs anymore. And 3 more after that when my lungs exploded. They had me kicking and jumping and water jogging without pause for an entire hour. And they totally called me on it when I started slacking off. (Standing shoulder-deep in a pool will not hinder the hawk-like vision of a Drill Sergent water-granny. She will know instantly when you are not getting your knees up as high as you're supposed to). Either I'm not as in shape as I thought I was, or the mild-mannered super-grannies are secretly all power-lifters. I suspect a little of both.

Right about the time I considered that drowning would be a sweet way to escape another round of underwater sprints... it stopped. Our hour was over, and the evil sadist water-grannies transformed back into sweet little ladies in conservative, ruffle-skirted one piece suits who compared grandchildren stories and worried about getting their hair too wet before the next beauty parlor appointment. They patted me on the shoulder as they left the pool, telling me how nice it was to meet me and how they hoped that I'd be back for the next class. I spent the next few minutes just floating in the pool because I'm not sure my legs would have supported my weight if I'd tried to get out right away.

Not judging a book by its cover seems to be a lesson that I am destined to learn over and over again. I have a tendency to make snap decisions about people (or aerobics classes) based on what they wear, or how they look, or what they say. And more often than not, I'm wrong. They turn out to be stronger, or smarter, or kinder than I give them credit for. Sometimes it comes back to bite me. This time it was a pleasant surprise.

So it turns out that my stint in the water aerobics ended up giving me more than just a good cardio workout. I learned a couple of lessons also. Don't believe the stereotypes, because how people look on the outside has no bearing to who they are on the inside, and two, water buoyancy is a great equalizer.

1 comment:

Erin said...

I've been there and done that. Literally! I took a water aerobics class with a friend of mine when we were in our early 20's. Yeah, we got our butts kicked, too! :)