I went to a nearby town’s community center to swim this morning. I love swimming for all of its freedom from the everyday realities. When I get in the water and I can’t hear beyond the murmur of my own splashing, all the aches and pains that I felt when I get up in the morning all disappear & my thoughts are on my body in motion fulling engaged in the joy of semi-weightlessness. I feel like Superman, although I suppose Wonder Woman is more my super hero likeness. However, even this love for swimming does not get me in the car to drive twenty minutes and pay ten dollars to partake in the pool very often so today I thought I might stay after my version of lap swim and partake in the noontime Aquatic Zumba.
Well, I made a sad discovery, I am about twenty-five to thirty years too young to participate in the Woodbridge Zumba. Not technically too young, I’m sure the class is not agist but I’m also sure my participation would not be fully embraced. So I kept swimming back and forth happily in my lane stealing glances at these fabulous women (no men took this particular class). They appeared start at about 75 years of age; there was no particular type of woman it ran the gamut from small frail-looking “classic grandma” through the “zoftig blessing grandma” that could hug the life out of you. The instructor had her boom box set up and stands pool side demonstration the moves that the class is to perform while in the water. She looked to be about my age, perhaps a little older but probably not, in dark pink velour sweats (I am not so great with identifying fabrics so it could have just been a fluffy cotton situation) and some sort of water cross-over gym shoe. Her movements were of course slower than the beat of the Zumba Latina magic rhythms so her class could enact the same movements in the water. As the class went on my swimming became more of a frog legs/dog paddle swim so I could really take in the monumental joy of these Senior women as they owned their health and “danced” along to the Zumba. There were spins that ran at quarter time while their hands above water played mock horns with their fingers moving at tempo. They would all bop out of the water together a solid two beats behind their instructor. I was wearing goggles so I started swimming with my head under the water taking in the joy of their legs and ankles moving freely in the water. I thought of how my own mom has physically has slowed these past few years since she’s entered her eighties and how some of the fabulous octogenarians that I have worked with over the years take their steps with caution. My appreciation for the wonders of the water grew ten fold by the time I finally stopped sneaking glances ending my now very long swim.
The other discovery I made is I think my dream of being the Production Stage Manager for the yet-to-be-written Broadway musical production of Cocoon is unlikely. I doubt even the seemly invincible Broadway Producer Scott Rudin could re-create the magic of Senior Citizens finding their fountain of youth in a community swimming pool. However, I got to see a little of it today at the noontime Zumba in Woodbridge, New Jersey.