Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Treading Water

There I was in the deep end of the pool with my flotation belt on. I was simulating running. All I had to do was keep my head up and my knees pumping.

Thank god no one else was in the pool near me. I looked like a wounded fish flapping around in the water.

At the far end of the pool, in the shallow area, several older woman had entered the water. They stood next to each other talking and bouncing slightly. I guess going up and down on your toes is some type of new exercise. Come on down to the deep end, ladies. I'll show you some real exercise.

Ten minutes had passed. My goal was 45 minutes. The monotony would kill me before the workout. I started doing short laps from side to side. Then I jogged the alphabet. F was quite difficult. Time was still passing slowly.

I noticed that the water had become choppy. I looked toward the other end of the pool and was surprised to see about 30 elderly women now in the pool. An aerobics class was starting. I watched these ladies perform stretches and bobs. It was a geriatric water ballet - without an ounce of precision.

I continued on my path going back and forth from each side, and then started jogging the numbers. 8 was my favorite.

When I got to 13, I heard someone say: "Beep, beep. Coming through."

An armada of wrinkled seniors had invaded. They rode from their end of the pool on the tops of colorful foam noodles that stuck erotically out of the water in front of them. They had surrounded me.

"You should join us," one of them said.

"It's a lot of fun," another said.

I was now in the middle of their exercise class. I navigated left, then right trying to avoid these flabby buoys. "It looks too hard," I politely responded.

Some of them giggled at my retort. A couple of them winked and waved for me to come join in. I just smiled and started pumping faster.

They continued back to the shallow end and then back to the deep. It had turned into a game of Frogger as I tried to steer clear of the doddering fleshy floaters.

Even when they had me pinned in the corner of the pool, never did I stop my knee pumping and arm thrusting. This, I believe, kept them at bay.

Eventually, they lost stamina. Only about 3 or 4 of them were able to continue doing full lengths of the pool. The rest stayed on the shallow side, teetering up and down on their noodles, sliding them back and forth along their bodies. Do not use the noodles in public pools.

The pool emptied out and from my vantage point I watched the women walk along the deck to the changing room. I got a good look at them, their legs - a parade of Italian white marble.

I averted my eyes, kept my head facing forward, worked the knees, and kept thinking good thoughts. Only five minutes to go until I reached my goal.

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