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January 9, 2002
a year ago
two years ago
four years ago

Swim Aerobics

9:55 pm: Today was pretty much eaten by everything. I had a 9 am meeting at work, so John took Jet to Joan's and took care of him before going there. I just went out in the morning in the Passat and got to work in plenty of time to chat a bit with Debbie before going to my meeting.

The meeting only lasted half an hour, so I was able to get some things done before an hour and a quarter meeting and then the half hour one on one with my boss. I ended up with a To Do list that was a dozen items long. By afternoon I'd gotten half of them knocked off, some of that with a mention in the afternoon meeting that led to the answers to a bunch of questions that we'd had. So that was good.

I had checked out the handout John had gotten me, over the weekend, from the rec. center. One of the lines said that you had to bring your own lock for the lockers. So instead of going out to lunch with everyone, I went to McGuckins and picked up a combination lock. I didn't want to be carrying a key into the pool. Turns out that Masters now makes really colorful locks. I got one that was blue and fuchsia, so it would be easy to spot in the locker room. The combination was pretty easy to remember, too. Then again, a lot of the passwords that mkpasswd creates are 'easy' for me to remember, too.

From there I got lunch at Good Times, and munched on it on the way home. I ended up finishing the burger in the car in the garage after dropping off all the things I'd brought to work with me. When I finally stuffed the last mouthful into my face, I threw all the wrappers and stuff into our garbage can and took off, still chewing. I got there just on time, and Jet had only slept for the first forty five minutes he'd been there. So he was due for a nap.

Or at least that's what I thought. I nursed him and he went to sleep, but it was only for twenty minutes. So I fed him solids before my meeting, and then nursed him again, and he went to sleep, for another ten minutes. Finally, during the meeting, I had him in his infant seat, and I was rocking him back and forth and back and forth and gently bouncing him on the exercise ball. He finally went to sleep and when I put him in the office with me, while the voices were going, he slept like a rock for an hour. I guess the two hour naps of his are a thing of the past. Given that he slept through the night again last night, I really shouldn't complain.

I did get a lot of stuff done, during the meeting and afterwards, while Jet was sleeping, but there is just so much more to be done before I leave for San Diego in a couple of weeks. So it's going to be quite a rush before I go.

John got home at 4, which surprised me mildly, but he took care of Jet when he woke up and I got to cook an early dinner. I really wanted to eat at least an hour before going to the pool, and I didn't want anything particularly heavy, so I made leek and potato soup with toasted bread.

The soup was pretty easy. Leeks, celery, carrots, and potatoes all chopped up and sauteed in some butter for a while. Then water and beef stock, lots of pepper, a pinch of salt, and a good twenty minutes of simmering. All the vegetables were good and soft after that, so I had John use the stick blender on the pot until it was good and thick. Add the last of the milk, which was only around half a cup, and a good amount of dill and parsley and it was soup. Yum.

It was hot and hearty and the evening had gotten really cloudy. It's supposed to rain and then snow tonight. Joan is very used to driving in the snow from having grown up in Eastern Washington, so we should be okay getting there and back. John had offered to drive if it was snowing, but Joan said she had no problems driving. I was glad of that.

We were both pretty nervous on the way over. Joan, being an extrovert, was talking the whole way over. I, being an introvert, was pretty quiet, but I had enough presence of mind to encourage her to talk. It was very good to know that she was very glad that I'd come along. I had pretty much said the same thing, saying it was really good motivation to go, knowing that she was coming to pick me up. Otherwise it would have been too easy to blow it off. She said she was very glad that I was going with her, too, as she wanted someone to be with in this completely new situation.

The Fredrick rec. center is only about ten minutes away from our house. It's just across I-25. The weather was totally dry and clear and the stars were bright up in the sky. It didn't seem possible that it would snow. We got there in plenty of time, and Joan bought a 12 visit card while I paid for just tonight. I wanted to try it, first. I'll do the bigger outlay next time if I want to do that. It was warm in the building, and the humidity from just the pool was really comforting. The young lady at the front desk was quick, prompt and took all the money, had us sign in, and promised Joan her card when she came back out from the class.

We went into the locker room and Joan hadn't known that she needed a lock, so we shared mine. That worked out pretty well as the lockers are larger. We got undressed and then pulled on our swimming suits and then trooped out into the pool area. We wandered around, peering at things. There were big boxes of life vests, cabinets of float belts, and lots of kick boards everywhere. Lots of kids and their parents and lots of floatation things everywhere. I felt better for that.

We got into the water and it was *warm. Lovely and warm. The information sheet said that it was heated to 89 degrees, and it felt wonderful. Joan talked about how Alex's class was held in a pool that was so cold that all the kids were just shivering violently when they got in, so she was very glad that she'd signed him up for classes here. It was really comfortable. We wandered about happily and saw a bunch of women starting to congregate at the deep end of the pool. So we went over there as well.

Folks were fitting themselves with floatation belts. Folks mostly had three floats, so I took four, which was as many as could fit on the belt that fit around my waist. The instructor said to put it around my waist as tightly as possible, so I pulled it tight. Evenso, the float belt kept riding up until I had it around my rib cage, pressing hard at the edge. I couldn't get it back down or any tighter, so I just left it. It wasn't too uncomfortable and it made a huge difference in how well I floated. I was very, very glad of the belt as we proceeded to go back and forth the short way of the pool.

It felt a lot like laps, but the really cool thing was that whenever the instructor passed anyone, coming back, she encouraged everyone to just turn around as soon as she was even with them. So no one got left behind, and it was explicit encouragement to not kill ourselves and feel good about 'staying up' with the rest of the class. I really liked that, and the easy-going attitude of it. The instructor was very good about giving instructions to Joan and I very clearly and explicitly showing us how each exercise worked, and we were doing something different for each lap. That was fun and interesting, I always like this stage of learning things, new, and knowing that no one 'expects' me to do it perfectly.

In face, it was obvious that there were a lot of women that were there regularly, and they were as happy and easy going about things as the instructor, and I really liked that. We just got to meander back and forth doing different motions to power the movement, everything from Australian crawl to moving like a frog, from pretending that we were skipping rope to just kicking side stroke kicks across.

After fifteen minutes, both Joan and I were saying, "Can you feel it? I can feel it." Both of us were a little short-winded, but happy, though a little bit daunted by the fact that it was only fifteen minutes of what we thought was going to be an hour-long workout. Then, however, we moved to 'water weights' or floats that could be used as arm weights under the water. They simply provided resistance as we moved them, and we did quite a lot of upper body work with them. I could definitely feel the muscles of my arms burning as we did that. I also found that between exercises, I was kicking continuously, especially when my arms weren't moving.

Next was hand paddles, where we got paddles to put on our hands and used those for motivation. That worked out interestingly as well. I got to remember and use a lot of the forms that I'd learned as a kid. That was interesting. I also got to meet, head-on, all the emotions of being in deep water. With the floats, I found that even the old emotions didn't really do much. I was okay with it, so long as I had way to float that wasn't going to exhaust me. I found, during the stretching exercises and the relaxing exercises that if I just did them and didn't kick a little or push with my arms that I would sink under the surface. It was really funny during the breathing exercises because when I breathed in, I would go up, and when I breathed out, I would sink under water. It was mildly astonishing to me.

Still, it did mean that after I found that out, that I kept moving whenever we were supposed to be still. I needed to stay above the surface, so I was pretty tired by the time the instructor said that we were done. It had 'only' been forty-five minutes. We stayed in the pool for a little while and talked, and when we finally came out of the pool, both Joan and I noticed that we felt kind of rubbery. The kind of rubbery after a really solid workout. So it was certainly a good workout.

I felt really good about that. It was a real accomplishment all around, and I was glad that I had helped to set things up so that I could be successful at all of this and get this done. Both Joan and I felt pretty good about having taken the chance and done it.

We went back to the locker room, rinsed off under the hot showers, which felt very good, dried off, and got dressed. We got to talk with the instructor while in the locker room. It turned out that she had a brother that just moved back from Olympia, so we talked about rain and how John and I missed it, though Joan didn't. The instructor's brother was tired of the rain, too, he felt that it was just too much. We got to laugh at my not being able to sleep when it was sunny out.

Then, when Joan and I headed outside, it was raining.

I took a deep breath of the rain scented air, that smell of clean, raw humidity, with the cool overtones of grass and wet earth and the promise of snow. "Mmmmm... the smell of rain." I said happily.

Joan laughed, "You guys and rain..." and I laughed with her. Yeah.

We were both happy and relaxed getting home, and it was just really nice to have done it together. She got me home readily, and I enjoyed a long, hot shower and got all the chlorine of me. I really needed that. Jet and John were having a good time together, so I was pretty happy. I could really feel the workout through my whole body. This would probably be a very good thing to do, long-term

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