As Summer 2018 comes to a close, I reflect on the many moments I’ve been lucky enough to share with my friends and family. This summer has been filled with countless laughs, traveling to new places, and sun-kissed days. But surprisingly, after all the places I have been this summer, my favorite memories are from the neighborhood water aerobics class I joined at the beginning of summer – I know, who would have thought?
I will be the first to admit that when my mom approached me asking if I would come to a new water aerobics class with her, I was a little hesitant. I had never even been to our neighborhood pool before, let alone a water aerobics class. All I could imagine were a group of middle-aged women wearing identical swim caps while waving around floating dumbbells, not exactly how I’m looking to spend my summer. But I knew this would be an interesting experience nevertheless, so I told her I would come with.
My mom was so excited, she even bought us matching water shoes to wear to class together; And let me tell you, water shoes are NOT the hottest fashion trend. But my mom’s joy-filled smile was encouragement enough, and on the second Saturday of June, we attended the first class.
I’m not exaggerating when I say that after the first class ended, I could not keep a smile off my face. It was the most fun I had in such a long time and I already couldn’t wait for the next class to start.
After that first class, my mom and I started going to water aerobics three times a week and continued working out together all summer. Through both our crazy traveling schedules, water aerobics became a set time for my mom and I to spend together, something I am so thankful for.
Water aerobics is not like any workout class I have attended before. Each class is about an hour and a half long (depending on how much our instructor, Miss Shannon, talks and laughs at her own jokes), and is divided into four sections: warm-up, cardio intervals, deep water, and stretching. Everything is done below the water, which is amazing due to the low-impact on body joints from the water resistance. It is a great way to workout outside in the summer without sweating uncontrollably – the beautiful tan you get is also a plus. The class works every muscle in your body and after three months, my booty has never looked better.
Miss Shannon famously says, “What you get out of class is how much work you put in,” as she turns up her workout playlist on a speaker at the beginning of each class. We listen to everything from Ariana Grande to Elvis Presley, and we all can’t help but sing along as we follow along to the teacher’s movements.
I have to give a special shout-out to my love, Karen, as I have never seen a fifty-five-year-old woman get more excited to hear Happy by Pharrell play, as she did the first time it played during class. The way she danced and sung along to the catchy tune will forever bring a smile to my face. Karen helps remind me to make the most of every moment, and that you are never too old to dance to your favorite song.
One of my favorite things about water aerobics is that it’s an all-inclusive, no judgment zone. Each class has roughly fifteen people of all ages. With this wide age span, all of us have different capabilities, but have the same goal to get our bodies moving and have a good time.
I loved getting to hear everyone’s stories about their families, jobs, and experiences. No matter what age, we all have similarities, whether that be gossiping about our latest date night, talking about a local restaurant opening, or how our dog decided to chew our favorite pair of shoes, the topics of conversation are endless. I feel so lucky to have befriended all the incredible women in my water aerobics class. Who says you have to only hang out with people your own age? I’ve found that age is just a number when it comes to making new friends.
In celebration of the summer coming to an end, Miss Shannon convinced a cute lifeguard to open up the pool’s tiki bar to serve us drinks after our last Saturday morning class. We all cheered our mimosas to the hard work we put in this summer. It was the perfect way to end water aerobics and share our favorite class memories.
I want to encourage you to step out of your comfort zone every once in a while. I had no idea what to expect taking a water aerobics class, and it turned out to be a great decision. But even if the class turned out to not to be my thing, you never know until you try! There are all kinds of creative ways to get yourself moving. It can be anything from going on a walk, to following a yoga video from YouTube, or turning on your favorite album to have a solo dance party (highly recommend that last one). Trust me, you are bound to find some fun along the way.
Will water aerobics become the next trendy workout? Who knows! But I know that it allowed me to share many laughs with new friends and easily became the highlight of my summer.