By Ellie Behman
I gingerly made my way into the pool. What was I doing here and how long would I last? I’m not even crazy about the thought of swimming let alone spending an hour doing exercises with dozens of seasoned swimmers. I snapped back to reality, took a deep breath and actually went in, all the way up to my neck. I realized I was kidding myself. I knew very well why I made the decision to do water therapy. I was facing knee surgery and was told by others that it would be beneficial to my recovery. So off to the YMCA I went, signed up and took a tour of the bustling facility. Music was blaring as dozens of seniors moved quickly to the intoxicating music. I made a mental note that I would try that class as soon as possible. Yeah, right!
Water therapy was my priority as well as my nemesis. I felt like a little kindergartener on her first day, trying to follow instructions. As the water coach explained each exercise and I desperately tried to copy her every move, I knew what it felt like to experience clumsiness. When she shouted “Kick with your left leg” and my right leg shot out I did notice a lady watching me and laughing at my confusion and lack of co-ordination.
Looking around I quickly realized that the majority of participants were elderly women. Then I caught a glimpse of my reflection and an elderly woman stared back at me. I took a good look at myself and instantly had a reality check. Talk about an awakening.
I backed up to the wall to keep me steady and remained there as I shifted from one leg to the other. I wondered if I would ever be able to stand with the others without falling over and stumbling about like a new born colt. Then out came the buoyant water noodles and I got a little more nervous. I wondered if this new exercise would be difficult to master and make me look more ridiculous than I already looked. The instructor commanded, “Step on the noodle and cross one leg over the other.” Was she kidding or what? I looked around and saw everyone completing the exercise smoothly and I felt a tad embarrassed. I gave it my best shot and, amazingly, this long Styrofoam water accessory kept me from making a fool out of myself and I soon developed a huge respect for my new friend, the noodle. My first few visits to the YMCA proved to be fun as well as helpful. The decision to try water therapy was a good one and I mumbled to myself, “That’s using my noodle.”
Ellie has been a freelance writer for more than 40 years and has written over 400 articles. She and her husband spend as much time as possible at their cabin where they enjoy the beauty of the surrounding area. This is where the majority of her writing is done as it is the perfect quiet setting for a writer.