Swimming brings health, vitality and friendship


POSTED: Sunday, September 06, 2009

About three months ago I was feeling a little restless and, in light of my busy schedule, felt it was time for a new challenge. I contemplated the different things I could do, like take another computer class or sign up for Pilates or yoga, when swimming came to mind.

I thought about how much I once loved the water, and with my “;no time like the present”; attitude, I went online and found that the Kokokahi YWCA was starting a water aerobics class that day. After work I put on my suit, signed up and, at the end of the day, was in the pool.

The aerobics class was a wonderful workout, but during class, Erin, our instructor, mentioned the swimming class that followed. I can swim, but thought this might be the challenge I was looking for—really getting back into the water and brushing up on my swim strokes. So, I signed up for that class, too, and three months later I am hooked on swimming!

WHEN WE ARE young, most of us love the water. I remember spending my teen years lying on the hot pavement next to a swimming pool, chattering away with my friends. When it got too hot, we'd roll over into the water where we'd remain for hours. As we get older, many of us stop doing the things we did when we were young. I rarely spend time in the water anymore, so being in the pool again brought a joyful vitality back to my life.

In my swimming class, there are the older folk, Roger and Susan and me, and a younger bunch. When we started, Roger was not a swimmer at all and was afraid of the deep water.

A few weeks later, well after mastering our basic swim and survival strokes, it was time to move to the deep end. The deep water isn't an issue for me, but it definitely was for Roger. I treaded water, watching in anxious anticipation while Erin coached his jump. It took him a while to muster up the courage, but after jumping he emerged with a smile I won't soon forget. I felt so happy for him, like a proud mom.

The three of us swim well now and have signed up for the next class. We tell people it's to perfect our strokes, but we know it's because of the bond we share over this newfound passion of ours. Even at our age, we strive to become better swimmers. We are also planning swim dates.

WHEN OUR first class started, a little over three months ago, Roger was on insulin shots and my cholesterol was high. Since we started swimming regularly and watching our diets, he has gone from shots to pills, and to my amazement, my cholesterol has dropped 30 points, an added bonus to this wonderful new exercise of ours.

My husband told me that he recently overhead my daughter asking her sister where mom was. “;Where else?”; she replied. “;At the pool!”;

“;Mom rocks,”; she said, to which I replied, “;Swimming rocks!”;