For over twenty years, I’ve been taking water fitness classes at the YMCA. I once heard that water exercise is better for you than anything done on land because it is low impact, and the water offers more resistance. I like it because in the pool, I don’t feel like I’m working up a sweat like I did when I used to take aerobics classes out of the water. Besides the usual jumping jacks, jogging, and other exercises you would do in an aerobics class, we work with floatation devices and other equipment in the water to strengthen our muscles.
Over the years, I’ve had many wonderful instructors. One of them struck my fancy. Besides teaching water fitness and swim classes at the YMCA, she drives a school bus and manages a farm. Despite everything she has to do, she takes the time to bake cookies or other treats that she brings on the last day of each session for us to enjoy as a reward for all our hard work in the water. Her energy and enthusiasm inspired the following poem from That’s Life: New and Selected Poems.
A DAY IN LORRAINE’S LIFE
Up with the rooster,
she milks cows, feeds and waters stock,
gathers eggs, shovels manure.
After breakfast, it’s off to the bus barn.
She picks up children from other farms,
drives them twenty miles to school.
After that, she goes to the YMCA,
jumps in the pool, once, twice, three times,
encourages adults to jog, jump,
breast stroke while sitting on kick boards,
teaches little kids to swim,
makes sure no one drowns.
In the afternoon, back in her school bus,
she drives kids home.
When she returns to the farm,
there’s milking to do,
stock to feed and water,
more manure to shovel, supper to fix,
and oh yes, she must bake cookies
for her water exercise classes.
Tomorrow’s the last day—
they should be rewarded.
What do you like to do for exercise?