Monday, August 10, 2009

The Scene In Which We Feel The (Water) Burn

One of the perks of working from home is that my schedule is a little more flexible, so now, I've got enough free time to go back to my salsa dance class, my belly dance class, my ballet class, and my yoga class that I've been neglecting for the past year or so.

Unfortunately, one of the non-perks of working from home is I'm sorta not getting one of those awesome paycheck thingies every two weeks, so while I have enough time to go to all those classes, they'd cost me over $45 per week if I did. Riiiiiiiiiiight.

So I'm saving money by joining a gym. And buying a Skip-It. Which you'll read about soon enough.

One of the coolest things about joining a gym during a recession is most are willing to let you try them out for FREE, so last week, I went up to a gym on the north side to try their dance and yoga classes, and to check out their facility. I skipped the tour of the locker room, figuring that it would be like most every other locker room I'd been in- bunch of lockers, couple benches, racks of towels, the inevitable scale, couple of old-model hair dryers, and there you have it. Sad, sad mistake.

Anyway, today I ventured back up for my second visit, this time to try "Aqua."

On paper, Aqua looked easy and fun. "An aqua exercise class designed to invigorate and improve cardiovascular conditioning, total body strength and endurance using the buoyancy and resistance of the water to give you a safe and fun workout. Options for all levels."

Hence, there I was, bobbing around waiting for class to start with about 12 other women ranging from 30s to 80s, including a woman who was a dead ringer for Estelle Geddy, dressed in a floral print suit and sporting a hot pink swim cap.

Innocently swimming laps on the other side of the lane marker from our class was a guy about my age.

We got started.

The class consisted of a bunch of repetitive movements like marching, jumping jacks, lunges and other leg movements, occasionally mixed with opposing-arm movements.

First you do all the motions facing forward, THEN you do them facing each side and moving back-and-forth for resistance, and THEN you do them facing backward. Our buddy in the lap lane was getting first a rear and then a frontal show. Yippee.

Oh, and I forgot to mention the best move, called "the frog," or something like that, that basically involves jumping from foot to foot in the water (lots of bouncing) while lifting the knee of your other leg sideways towards the top of the water. Theoretically, it's designed to work your inner thighs.

In actuality, it kind of makes you look like you're trying to high-kick your neighbor while simultaneously flashing her all your bits.

I'm preeeeeeetty sure "the frog" is when we lost our friend in the lap lane.

After a couple rounds of moves, we swam over to the wall and did flutters, crocodile legs, and scissor legs. And after legs, the instructor announced it was time to work on our arms and herded us all to the shallow end of the pool. Then, she disappeared into the equipment room and came back with a huge armful of POOL NOODLES.

And passed them out.

In my heart I knew what was coming, but until my buddy Estelle saddled up, I was reeeeeeeally hoping we'd be sitting on them sideways.


Ride 'em cowgirls.

I mentioned the pool has windows into the club, right? Yeah. Moving on.

Our next instruction was to - using only our arms - propel ourselves to the other end of the pool and back. I felt reasonably ok with this. I don't have the best arms in the world, and I haven't worked out in approximately forever, but I figured I could get through it with decent effort.


First and foremost THOSE GIRLS CHEATED. Seriously, at least 4 of the 80s gals, Estelle included, were TOTALLY USING THEIR LEGS. least, that's what I told myself as the pink swim cap bounced merrily past me while I was "working through the burn."

But overall, I felt pretty good about my first class.

Until it ended.

Remember when I said I hadn't toured the locker room during my first visit, choosing instead to rely on past locker-room experiences? This was a bad, bad idea. Because apparently, what I've missed in gym-membership-etiquette over the past two years or so is that most gyms NO. LONGER. PROVIDE. TOWELS.

Gym Membership- $39.99.

New Swimsuit- $15

Water Workout With Seniors- Free

Having to Dry Yourself Off With Your Cotton Yoga Pants-



  1. Oh that's too funny! NIFS has towels. I also have a free two week pass if you want it!

  2. Woohoo for NIFS! I'm going to be trying them out next after my week up north is over. Is it easy to do the swim stuff and workout in the main facility?