Every Monday and Friday mornings, I go for the aqua-aerobic class which lasts one hour. We are a group of ten to twelve ladies who receive training from a wonderful lady from New Zealand. Unlike many others in my group, I am not a swimmer. In fact I struggle to swim across the pool. The best part of aqua-aerobics is though swimming is an advantage, it definitely is not a pre-requisite.
The trainer does various muscle-strengthening exercises in water using noodle, swim board, plastic balls, weights etc. Since I have this opportunity of learning aqua- aerobics, I thought of making the best use of it. The best part is the coach offers lot of variety each time. That's where lies the fun bit for me, since I am a person who needs a lot of variety in everything I do. Secondly the charm to exercise in a group has its own share of enjoyment as insular activities do not sustain my excitement for long.
I did try monotonous and insular activities before, like walking. I was earlier walking regularly and I did find it enjoyable. But if I have a choice, I would opt for variety. Walking indeed helped me a lot, since I got into the mood of doing physical exercise. I did try my hand at swimming before, but swimming daily seemed monotonous for me. I could not sustain long.
At the aqua-aerobics class, most of the exercises are done at the lower or middle end of the pool. Since I am a short person, I am happy exercising at my comfortable level. Some exercises even involve doing with partner which is really pleasurable. Exercising in water has lot of benefits. One does not feel the heat of sweating out, even though one is exercising. Secondly, limbs get a very good work out since one does not feel the weight in water. The same exercise if performed in land definitely would seem strenuous. The splashing, the giggles, running across the pool, the twists all are great entertainment. One hour just flies by.
I also enjoy the way the coach keeps enquiring 'Are we all still smiling", when we are all sweating out in water. She is a very good motivator who always has a smile on her lips. She charges 5 ringgit from each person and the money is utilised for educating two orphan girls.
The lesson always ends with a self -hug. I at least never knew one could hug oneself and give a good pat for having done a good job. I am sure many of us have heard giving oneself a good pat at the end of a task, but how many of us actually do that in real life. A good hug seems more motivating to me than good pat. I just adore the way our coach says "So isn't it time we give ourselves a good hug ? ". The first time she asked, I was not even aware how to do it. How does one hug one self, I thought ? But it is so easy, one just has to cross arms. It is so easy, but it feels so good after the exercise. We all get out of the pool beaming after our self -hug.
I am slowly learning to apply this concept of self- hug in other aspects of life. It will take a lot of time, since I have never learnt to appreciate myself. It's always not possible for others around us to appreciate us. In fact we ourselves do not appreciate others always. At least we can learn the art of appreciating ourselves each day. All of us keep doing lots of good jobs each day. So each of us need to give ourselves a good hug many times in a day to keep our enthusiasm going. Now I realise its importance, it definitely is tremendous booster. I seriously want to make an effort to implement it whenever I have accomplished or even tried doing a good job.