Friday, January 27, 2012

Water Aerobics from Hell

I'm overweight.  I know it.  Anyone who looks at me knows it.  It's just a reality that I'm living with.  But, I'm slowly coming to terms with it and trying to change my life.  I decided not too terribly long ago that, when I turned 45 (just three and a half more years to go!), I would compete in a Sprint Triathalon.

Sprint Triathalons are the sane-man's version of a triathalon.  Instead of running 3,000 miles, then swimming the ocean, then biking the Tour de France, a Sprint Triathalon consists of running a 5K, swimming a half-mile, then biking something like 12 miles.  Easily doable.

Unless you're out of shape.

And I'm out of shape.

So I mentioned this desire to my work-wife (we are the only ones who do what we do here, we sit right next to each other, and, over the course of the past several years, we have gotten to be pretty close friends.  We're always together, so she's become my work-wife.  My real wife is OK with this.), and she says to me "Hey!  That's a great idea!  Why don't we do it together?"

Why not indeed?

So, we started walking in the tunnel system here (they don't let us run in them thar tunnels) every day at lunch, started walking the track at our neighborhood (yes, we live relatively close to each other) YMCA, and have even signed us up for not one, but TWO 5Ks--one at the end of March, and one at the end of April (the Oklahoma City Memorial 5K, which is part of the Memorial Marathon).  Because we are INSANE.  ME?  RUN?  WHO ARE WE KIDDING HERE?

Since my family is going off on an EXPENSIVE vacation at the end of the year, I have chosen not to fork over the hundreds of dollars to have a personal trainer help me with my weight loss.  My accountability partner has.  I'm very proud of her.

Which brings me to the point of this post:  Water Aerobics.

You see, she got me involved in water aerobics.  It's a low-impact, full body workout.  Oh, I know you may scoff at the idea, saying it's only for "old" people, and they don't do much, and that's fine with me.  But you haven't been to the water aerobics classes I'm in.

Our instructor, Danielle, is trying to KILL US.

Take, for example, our workout last night.

Y'all, she made us do crunches.

I know, I know, crunches aren't that big of a deal.  And, normally, I would agree with you.  Yes, they hurt me, but then, I'm overweight.  So exercise of any kind hurts.  But, I can still do some crunches.  (Note the word "some".  It comes back to haunt me later.)

However, this is WATER AEROBICS.  Do you know what is required to do crunches in WATER AEROBICS?  First, you have to float.  Not a problem for me.  I'm naturally buoyant.  THEN, not only do you have to float, but you have to push your butt down into the water, bringing your head as close to your knees as possible, and then back out again into a lying flat position.

Think about this for a minute.  You're floating, and you have to curl up into a ball.  While floating.  And, preferably, NOT DROWNING.  That's pretty key, here.  Trying not to drown while doing this is NOT EASY.

And to make matters worse, she made us do FORTY of these things!  4-0.  HOLY.  SCHNICKEYS!

And all this was at the END of the workout.  This was AFTER the "let's cross-country (ie, you scissor your legs out all the way like you would cross-country skiing while using your arms to pull you through the water since your feet don't do diddly) the entire length of this Olympic-sized pool TWICE (once is all the way down, then all the way back), then go BACK DOWN to the deep end.  From there, we "flutter" (I hate that word.  I prefer to call it "shimmy") our legs for one, then two, then three minutes, plus a few other things.  Between these activities, we have to kick-box our way back and forth across the width of the pool, shadow-box while running in place, and the list goes on. 

We do all these things for an HOUR.  Any part of me that's out of the water is usually drenched in sweat by the end of it.  Heck, last night there was a new girl joining us--a cardiac nurse--who thought, because I was sweating, had gotten flushed, and had lolled my head at one point and closed my eyes (I was actually plotting Danielle's death at that point), she thought I was having a heart attack.  I was so painfully embarrassed by this. 

After these workouts, I can barely crawl out of the pool.  Thank God there are stairs.

Even sneezing (my allergies are acting up) is painful today.

So, as I said, go ahead and laugh and poke fun at me doing water aerobics.  I will tell you this:  on the days that I do them (three times a week), I actually lose more weight than the days that I just do the walking/running thing.  Typical weight loss is an extra pound to a pound and a half.  And that's with eating my normal 1,500 calorie diet.

Yep, I'm staying with this class.  At the very least, it'll help get me ready to swim that half-mile...


  1. What can I say ! I've been to the Y and participated in "Water Aerobics" This is all too true. Keep it up, Jason. Love this ! Jan

  2. Love it!! You are an encouragement to me and those who are reading it right now!