That's right, I said it... water aerobics. It was one of my first "reclaiming childhood" activities. Now you may be thinking, since when is that a childhood activity? It's not. But what IS a childhood activity is going to the local public pool...
I went to one swimming lesson as a kid. Apparently I had issues with jumping into the deep end and into the arms of a scary-looking man-stranger who said he'd "catch me.” Apparently they also had problems with stubborn little girls who wanted to do things on their own terms. Go figure. Needless to say, though I figured out how to swim on my own, my professional aspirations of becoming a gold medalist in the 100m fly were short-lived.
So this week, earlier than God arises, I set out for an hour of geriatric-geared aquatic bouncing. Sitting in the parking lot being stared down by my snow-topped neighbor, an obvious class veteran, I began to wonder what sort of endeavor I was about to stride into. "Oh look! My friend's here, what a relief... wait maybe not, that means I have to actually go through with this little bout of cardio humiliation." Taking upon the attitude of trying new things at least once, we entered.
After a fumbling mess of "floater belt" adjustments, we entered the pool. I relaxed into the warm water, greeted by the smiling face of a woman who should have been named Olga. The damp smell and lingering taste of overly chlorinated water brought back a few slight memories of that first day of swimming lessons. The warm ups were over quickly and Olga began. “Ok everyone bicycle paddle!”
“What the heck is bicycle paddle?” I thought.
“Alright, now take a lap!”
“Man, this lady to my left is quick!”
“3…2…1…very good! Now opposite jumping jacks!”
“Really? Really. Opposite jacks?” I was a bit frazzled now.
“I didn’t know I was signing up for swimming laps!”
“Ok frog jump! You-- your core isn’t centered!”
“Me?!” How do I always manage to get called out? Is my friend laughing?
“Yes you. Now everyone, lap!”
Oh brother. You want to know a secret though? Aside from being completely shown up by my wrinkled classmates, I actually enjoyed myself. Letting down the barrier of “coolness”, letting down the need to be in control and to be the best at what I’m involved in, the need to know at least a little about every activity wasn’t anything I’d consider comfortable. But since when is God’s process of molding us comfortable?
Huge credit goes to my friend, Beatrice. I would have never made it there without her prompting and laughs throughout—thanks girl!