Into the Deep

20 Jun

This morning I ventured into a part of the Y that I have evaded for years.  THE POOL!!!

What has kept me out of this area for so long?  Ummmmm…..fear of the water would pretty much sum it up.  However, I heard that in aqua fitness classes you get to wear these cool belts that keep you from sinking to the bottom when you go into the deep end. So equipped with that knowledge I decided it was time.

(Additionally, I want to have more of an understanding of how the resistance of the water can create a great workout yet be easier on the joints.)

I made sure to get to the class early so I could tell the instructor that I was a first timer and NOT a lover of water. I have to admit I was somewhat nervous about walking into a new environment all by myself and was a little worried that I might do something that would make me stand out as the newbie.  This was way out of my comfort zone.

Well, right away I stood out because I was the youngest person in the pool….and the smallest – but I sensed this smirk of satisfaction on their faces and I realized they were going to enjoy watching my first time in an aqua fitness class.

I was very relieved to find out that we started in the shallow end…I could handle that – or so I thought until we started running through the water forwards and backwards.  I felt I was pushing against concrete!!! After 20 minutes in the shallow end, the instructor had us put on the belts and grab our weights and jog to the deep end.

Now I don’t know if you have ever jogged from one end of the pool to the other but it is NOT the same as jogging on a treadmill!!! I felt as if I were stuck in the sand and just spinning my tires….feet & legs were moving but I was not moving forward. It was a very disconcerting moment as I realized that my feet were no longer able to touch bottom. I was grateful for my belt and the weights that were holding me up.

We began to incorporate movements that were targeting our core muscles….holding our arms straight out and swinging the legs forwards and backwards, then side to side….and we did it over and over.  I realized that my triceps were beginning to feel the burn and I figured out it was because I had a death grip on those weights and was resisting going any lower in that water than I had to!!! Needless to say, I was not relaxed and my muscles were in permanent isometric contraction!!!

When we finished the work in the deep end, we were to alternate pushing the weights down while jogging back to the shallow end.  All the people older than me had made it back and was waiting for me and I was still stuck by the wall…..the lifeguard and instructor were having a great time watching me work so hard to stay in one place!!! I’m sure my abs are sore because of all the laughing I was doing.

Back at the shallow end, we began to use the weights and work our upper body. Have you ever done a lateral raise followed by a front raise in the pool while using weights? It took every ounce of strength to keep those weights from popping out of the water while I was lifting them straight out in front of me.  I had this mental image of me being catapulted through the air as the weights shot me up out of the pool.

I made it through the hour (while wondering how in the world the other participants could talk so much….It took my total concentration to do the moves correctly!), got out of the pool, and tried to get my “noodle” legs to get me into the locker room.  I was completely exhausted; and as I write this some 15 hours later, I’m already feeling the muscle soreness. (I can only imagine what it would feel like tomorrow!!!)

To sum it up, I had a great time….loved the challenge of doing something new while getting out of my comfort zone….and I will continue to go back until I’m no longer the last one out of the deep end!!!

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