I joined an aqua aerobics class this week…by accident. I had just finished my swim when I saw what looked like a bunch of humongous liquorice allsorts being handed out. So I went to investigate and the next thing I know I’m going with the flow,  strutting my stuff up and down the pool clutching my new toy which turned out to be a pair of colourful water dumbbells. I know fitness appears to be the new fashion so I’m nearly ashamed to say I never knew there was such a thing as a water dumbbell except me, perhaps, who must be the only one in the world who could unwittingly join a fitness class by accident!

I have been contemplating joining something since the new year. Yeah, I know, I have been contemplating for months, trying to work out what would be the best thing to get some cardio in without giving me cardiac arrest. God knows, running after Mowgli tests the old cardiovascular daily but it’s not the same is it?  Exercise should be by choice, right?

Swimming has been my exercise of choice since I was a child. I also walked, hiked, cycled and ran but this was not some manic keep fit regime, this was basically how I got around! Okay, the swimming was pure pleasure, and the most exciting trip out on a Sunday but growing up in the sticks had much to do with exercising on the hoof. Going to school involved walking a mile and a half to and from the bus stop, and the weekends were spent jogging and cycling the winding country lanes to and from friend’s houses. I played Camogie but before I got on the pitch I had a three mile hike to and from the club. When I got my first summer job I cycled up hill and down dale, a twenty mile return journey for roughly ten quid a day. I was rich, fit and loved it.

So there was no big conscious decision about taking exercise or the worry of not getting enough. Exercise was part of my everyday life. Later on, when I was working in Sidney I joined a gym, something I became fanatical about— it must have been a phase I was going through—and worked my body twice a day, morning and evening before and after my swim at Coogee Beach. The fanatical regime ended when I came home, settled down and started having babies.

There’s nothing knocks a fitness regime on his head quicker than babies, especially a baby displaying autism traits that never sits still. That baby is nearly sixteen now and there has been plenty of walking, swimming and running in between but to be honest I didn’t feel I had the energy, time nor inclination to exercise when autism gradually took hold of my child and my life. Mowgli tested my sanity as well as my fitness level due to his running away antics, sleep issues and other disruptive behaviours. At one point I considered hiring him out to my friends attending weightwatchers with a guarantee that they would lose at least two pound a week without counting points.

Mowgli still gives me the run-around which is probably why I have hesitated for months whether I should or shouldn’t join one of those classes happening near me; Boot Camp, Combo Classes, Cardio Pilates, Spinning, Boxercise, Zumba classes, you name it I’ve considered it for so long now I’ve exhausted myself with the idea of it and then what do you know, out of the blue an aqua aerobics class complete with dumbbells comes to me!  Who knew?