With a couple of dodgy knees, hours of outdoor nursery and garden work behind me, pushing 69, and after three years, the gym now a no-go area, I looked for something I could do to help me retain what little tness I had kept after an active life.
I had always walked and swam. In the dim dark past of my youth I was a Southland champion swimmer. My father was a New Zealand champion so swimming was a natu- ral for me.
A friend, also with dodgy joints, suggested Aqua t so these two relatively un t women rocked up to the Ōtaki pool to join a class. We bravely went together and three quar-
ter of an hour later, gently puf ng we were hooked. So we will go up to three mornings a week keeping up with the women, young and old, and a brave solo man who have already mastered the art of walking, jumping, lifting weights, shadow boxing, skipping, twisting and turning in the water.
The water is tepid, gently warm; the smell of chlorine not overpowering. There are warm showers available afterwards or if you are completely indulgent and not rushing elsewhere, a natter in the spa can soothe you as you wind down.
The tutor is Tracy Johns, competent and cheerful. She pushes you through an ever-changing routine, always praising and never grumpy. She certainly motivates as she encourages people to use water as a form of exercise. It’s gentle on your body and a great workout. The exercises are done to music and the long term aim is tness, muscle toning and stamina. Throw in some laughs and good company and it’s a winning formula.
And even better – the knees are holding up and so is my gardener’s back.