Mermaids

My friend and next door neighbor Itzel is small but mighty. She has a black belt in Taekwondo, for crying out loud.

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I knew she was tough, but I didn’t realize how brave she is until she joined me for this week’s challenge. I thought it would be fun to try water aerobics, so after trying an Aqua Zumba class by myself, I invited her to come with me to a deep water aerobics class. Our conversation went like this (we communicate mostly in GIFs):

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I guess my GIFs didn’t communicate as clearly as I thought, because on our way there, I was telling her about my funny experience at Aqua Zumba: The old lady wearing a surf suit and a pink plastic shower cap letting me use her spot with the warning, “Stay in the square. The other ladies are very particular about their square,” or the older gentleman singing along with all the hip-hop songs, sometimes punctuating his moves with some “Hoo! Ha! Punch, Punch! Shake it!” outbursts. Good stuff.

Itzel said she was excited to try it. Then I said, “And today’s class is Deep Water Aerobics.” And then Itzel said, “Deep water? Um, I can’t swim…”

If I hadn’t been on the freeway, I would have slammed on my brakes right there to return her home to safety, but she was willing to give it a try (assuming there would be a life jacket there for her to use). I like to think I’m brave for trying dinky little things that are in no way dangerous, and here she was at risk of drowning?  She’s one tough cookie.

I do think I’m pretty brave for posting a picture of me in my swim suit, though. Not that that even compares, but seriously, I look like one of the old ladies in the class here.

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One of the perks of a water aerobics class is that no one can really see if you’re doing the moves right because from the surface it just looks like a bunch of floating beauty school mannequin heads.

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So I can’t really say for sure, but I strongly suspect that the old ladies in the back of our class were not really participating at all. They seemed to be there just to chat. I only heard a bit of the conversation, but judging from the few snippets I did hear, I started to feel like I was missing out: “…I love being unconscious, especially the feeling right as you start to black out…” “…and then they said, ‘Did you know that little boy has been urinating on your front door?’” Maybe next time I should hang out with them.

The deep water workout was much more strenuous than Aqua Zumba, but both classes were really fun with very nice teachers and class members. Itzel and I spent most of the time laughing – sometimes at how tricky some of the moves were, sometimes because we had no control of where we started floating and had to push each other back in place, and sometimes just because we made eye contact at the wrong time. If I were her, I would have been freaking out, with or without the flotation device, but every time I looked over, she had the same determined look on her face. No fear, just grit. I was impressed.

We liked our class so much, we’ve been trying to find a time to go back. Here’s how we talked about coordinating our schedules:

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