The pumps were broken at the public pool I usually go to, so they shut it down for the day. I drove to another pool a little farther north. I was bummed about missing the aqua aerobics class at my pool, but at least I could go for a swim. It was the hottest day of the year so far and there was no way I wasn’t getting in the water. I’m almost 6 months pregnant and my lower back has been aching a lot lately. I swam a few laps in the easy lane and then took a break to stretch. I started talking to one of the lifeguards and she told me they had a gentle water fitness class in the smaller pool starting in ten minutes. Perfect! I swam a few more laps and went over.
There were a bunch of people already in the water when I got there. As soon as I started down the stairs, a few ladies came over and introduced themselves to me and then they introduced me to everyone else in the class. They were so nice to me and had lots of questions about my pregnancy and the baby. Then the instructor came and she kicked our butts for an hour. This was not the gentle fitness class I had imagined, but it was great. I could barely keep up while the people around me were killing it. They were racing me across the pool and showing me different exercises. It was so much fun. It’s also probably the best workout I’ve had in months. Okay fine, years.
After class I was starving so I hopped out of the pool and took a quick shower. When I got out, there were a bunch of older women in the locker room. Some of them were in wheelchairs and walking with walkers. One of them called out my name and asked me how I liked the class. I stared at her for a few seconds before realizing she was one of the women who had been in the pool with me. I looked around. They all were. I couldn’t believe it. These women seemed so… old. And slow. Nothing like the women in my class. I had met them in the water, where they were fast and free and totally unburdened by whatever was going on with their bodies the rest of the time. It was sad and also not sad.
I’m going to keep going to the class. I loved it and I feel like I stumbled through a secret portal where I got to see who these women really are. Or at least who they are underwater.