Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Pop Goes the Noodle
I took my first aquacise class today. See the graceful, serene person in the photograph, in perfect harmony with the water and her buoyant foam noodle?
I am not in this picture.
To be fair, I was in trouble even before we got to the noodles. The class -- an instructor somewhat younger than I am and a group of hardcore students, all quite a bit older -- were very welcoming, but I'm really uncoordinated, especially when I'm trying anything new. So the instructor would show off maneuvers which involved things like touching the right palm to the left heel while kicking out with the right heel and spinning like a cork (there actually wasn't anything that complicated, but it all felt that complicated), and I'd be touching the right palm to the right heel while trying to kick with the left foot, and instead falling over.
The instructor was on solid ground at poolside, wearing a headset. Periodically, she'd stand in front of me and offer encouragement. "No, use the other foot, Sue. Left. Your other left. There, you got it! Ooops. No, honey, kick out and not back," and so forth. I was definitely the aquacise poster child.
After a while, the other students got into the act. "Susan, it will be easier if the water's only chest-high: you're too deep." "Lower. Get lower in the water. Squat." "No, honey, you're swimming now. You aren't supposed to be swimming." And so forth.
And then we started with the noodles.
The noodles are long, cylindrical foam floaty things with which one is supposed to perform fun tricks. Sit on your noodle like a swing and use your arms to propel yourself around the pool! Rest your ankle on your noodle to do a stretch! Put your noodle between your legs and ride it like a seahorse! My problem was that I couldn't find the proper center of gravity, so whenever the noodle was in the proper position, I couldn't stay upright, and when I arranged the noodle so I could stay upright, people started telling me it was in the wrong position.
Also, someone told me later that these were new noodles. When they're broken in, there's traction. These were very slippery, so I got most of my exercise during the noodle portion of the program by wrestling with a buoyant eel-like object which kept trying to get away from me, and which, in one instance, indeed flew out of my hands, shot up out of the water, and described a graceful arc as it came down on the head of the lady to my left.
She laughed, thank goodness. Noodles don't weigh much.
It was all very, very silly. It was a lot more bearable than seventh-grade gym class -- although that's not saying much -- because everyone was so nice. I can't say it felt like much of a workout, either, although maybe it would have if I'd been doing it right, and it was at least a light workout, which is nice some days.
So I'll try it again. But I'm looking forward to plain old swimming tomorrow!