We show up regularly to water aquatics class. Mostly women — a few gents too — shaking our booties at 8:00 a.m. The heavily tatted instructor shouts out the movements:
“Run-in-place: take it up to a 3!”
Then: “Now pick it up! Take it to a 4!!!”
Jeesh. I was happy at 3. Why doesn’t she factor in the resistance from the water as we run? 3 could be the new 4. I need protein. Why didn’t I eat that egg before I came here?
“Take it to a 6!!!!!.”
Then relief comes — the cross-country ski stride. Long, luxurious, and slow.
But not for long.
Now it’s “Raise your knees high and wide. We’re doing tire pumps.”
Next, it’s the bicep-busting Maytag wash machines with water weights, kick-backs for rocking horse which ache my sacroiliac, and finally “the Marilyns.” This is a set of 100 jumps where we press our foam weights between our thighs. The instructor named them after Marilyn Monroe.
Don’t ask me why.
And show me a woman in the class who could live up to the Blonde Bombshell’s standard.
No. We are the Mer-Crones.
Our hair may be gray or dyed or hiding under flowered bathing caps, but we perk up in the water, wear glorious smiles as our float belts carry our spotted, wrinkled, sagging flesh around the pool.
And we are wise. Bikinis? Gauche. Much more comfy to sport a 1940’s-style Esther Williams swimsuit. You know the kind — the halter one-piece with a bit of drape to cover the tum? Nice, tight spandex to tuck the bum?
I applaud you, Lands End, for providing quality and variety in women’s swimwear.
Until I discovered LE, finding a good swimsuit was a search for the Holy Grail.
But back to aquatics class.
I have a hard time keeping up with Mary. Mary is 75 years old and jabs her water weights like Rocky Graziano.
If I live to be her age, will I have such stamina?
(Confession: back when I was a smirking mermaid, I used to swim laps adjacent to what I deemed The Codgers Aquatics Class.)
How times change😊.
I am in awe of the peeps in class who show up with battle scars.
Take, for instance, one of the men in the class. “Foghorn Brad” (so named by the instructor for his bellowing interruptions) returned to the pool only three weeks after melanoma surgery. Though he habitually annoyed the instructor with his thundering disruptions of our foot circles (shouting out REVERSE and causing the water to ripple with his booming voice), I noted that the instructor smiled, glad to see that he had returned.
And me? I shall defend being a mer-crone, whatever the cost may be. I shall never surrender.