Aqua Aerobics

Aqua Aerobics

I left university in 2003 and started my career as a manager for Woolworths, I think that working in a town centre, with food outlets, buying my first car and working long hours helped the weight pile on.  In 2008 I was a size sixteen.  I had a career change and became a secondary school teacher and finding I had spare time, I took up becoming a member of David Lloyd and this is where I found my love, aqua aerobics.  Having come from a family where water has always formed a part of our holidays and social life and having completed my bronze medallion as a teenager, to include an aqua aerobic session in my workouts seemed the obvious choice.

WATER HIDES A MULTITUDE OF SINS

I loved aqua, partly because in the studio there was skinny size eight models, who knew the step aerobics, routine with perfect timing and I was larger and out of time.  In the water, size didn’t matter nor did it matter if I missed a beat.  The workouts were always fun, we had good music and we felt like we had worked without pouring with sweat.  I always tried to go to as many sessions as I could, I loved the school holidays as I could go to daytime aqua sessions as well as evening ones, the pool really was a place that was full of calm.  Little did I know at the time in 2012 I would start to teach my own classes.

TAILORED TO SUIT YOUR NEEDS

There is a real misconception around aqua, that it is an easy workout, that you don’t burn as many calories as you would in the gym and it’s for older people.  This is simply untrue and something with my teaching I try and discourage these beliefs by teaching, sometimes calling some of my classes boot camps to dispel the myths and teach them very much like HIIT or tabata classes which are very popular at the moment.  Whilst you are in water you constantly working against resistance so that your body has to overcome this, you are also working muscles in pairs, so there is constant movement in your muscles.  One of the reasons that people choose to work in water is because of gravity, the gravity is less in water so that you weigh less and therefore people find it easier to move and there is less impact on the joints.  In water people also find that they have a greater range of movement so can undertake exercises which they wouldn’t be able to do on land.

Aqua classes are usually very upbeat and friendly.  There is no need to feel nervous about everyone else, as when you are underwater no one can see you.  If you think you are uncoordinated or may move in the wrong direction, the water hides this. You can tailor the work out to your needs, if you want a high impact workout then you can, if you want a lower impact workout you can also achieve this, it really is a class where one size fits all.  I laugh and joke with my friends, in my twenties I used to go night clubbing and pay to dance to S Club 7, now I dance to S Club 7 in the day and get paid for it!

Classes N Camps

Time And Tide Waits For No Man

Time And Tide Waits For No Man

A common bugbear of swimming teachers is pupils being late.  Of course the occasional lateness is acceptable with good reason, but virtually every week?  C’mon!

Not being punctual to the swimming lesson will disrupt the whole class, as the start of the class always should begin with a warm-up that every swimmer should participate in.  Why is a warm-up so vital?

ESSENTIAL FOR BODY AND MIND

The warm up prepares the body for physical activity by increasing heart and respiratory rates and delivers more oxygen and nutrients to the muscles.  Certain activities will have been selected for warm up as other tasks (swimming butterfly and breast stroke) cannot be undertaken without a prior warm up.  In any physical activity the warm-up is important, but more essential in swimming.  Why is this so?  The warm up helps to reduce instances of cramping, fatigue and causes that can lead to accidental drowning.

So expecting the rest of the class to waste precious minutes of their lesson at the pool side whilst the late comer catches up is deeply unfair and so is the other option of the swimming teacher carrying on teaching the class, because it will only have to be repeated again with either swimmers getting restless or not being properly supervised whilst they are carrying out the drill.  At the end of the day, lateness affects progression and then who complains?  The parents!

If the lesson is just for the late comer, it isn’t fair for the parents to expect the full lesson as the swimming teacher will probably have their own time constraints such other lessons or (if at the end of the working day) personal/family commitments.  Quite frequently, teachers are used as glorified babysitters as parents turn up late to collect their offspring, as they have left the premises, without telling anyone.  Now this can present a whole multitude of problems.  What happens if there is a fire alarm?  I explain to my children that during a fire drill, they must always stay with me (we don’t allow parents on poolside, but require they stay on the premises) as they most probably don’t know where their parents are, but what about towels and change of clothing?  If their kit has gone with the adult, they are going to get cold, especially if we have to vacate the building during winter!  Admittedly, I work with only one pool, so if a parent is late and the child is old enough, I will ask them if they are allowed to get dressed by themselves, if this is the case, I send them off to get dressed with the instructions of they a) don’t talk to anybody and b) they come back to me on poolside as soon as they are dressed.  If they are not old enough, but have a towel they get wrapped up and either sit in a chair and watch (or even sometimes join in the next lesson) or help teach (this actually helps keep their mind busy and less prone to becoming upset).  The instances that usually get me angrier are if I have late collection from my last lessons.  These can be more difficult as the child can see that I am packing away in readiness to go home and quite naturally think I will probably leave them.  I always reassure them that I won’t leave them, but my main problem is that I have a home to go to with a family to look after, which to be honest, is higher up on my list of priorities, after all, I work to help provide for my own children.

FACEBOOK TALKS

I am certainly not the only one dealing with this issue, as sadly, swimming teachers based up and down the country experiences it.  Here are some of the reactions I have garnered from Facebook:

“It's when you finish the private lesson on time when the have come that late.  Look at you.... look at their watch...look at you again.  HELLO!!!!! I do have other lessons you know!” ‪Phillie

“Last Saturday had a dad drop his son off for one-to-one 25 minutes late.  It's a thirty-minute lesson.  TWENTY-FIVE minutes late!!!” Sophie

and the best one goes to:

“What cheesed me off especially is that I'd waited in the water for half the lesson, in fact I overran my previous class a little bit as I didn't have anything better to do.  After 20 minutes, this being my last lesson of the day, I went to have a shower.  Then had a knock on the shower door from the manager saying 'the kid's here now, can you do him 5-10 minutes?'  After his dad finally agreed to do as other parents do and leave the poolside, he disappeared for twenty minutes!” Sophie

So parents, please, as much as us swimming teachers love our job, do make an effort to be on time and remember we are not childminders!

Time And Tide Waits For No Man