Decisions were made.
The early morning water class I joined in January attracted five women. We circled in the shallow end of the pool and did the pendulum swing, rockette kick, and cross country skis to the soft music of a CD so memorized we sang the lyrics of Jesse’s Girl while doing jumping jacks.
And we talked to each other. In January we were five individuals keeping New Year’s resolutions. By February we were allies, chatting nine to the dozens as our fearless instructor Kim deftly inserted “inside ankle” between discussions.
One was a retired teacher, widowed. One took care of her Alzheimer’s mother, who thought her daughter was a rival for her husband (who was married to the daughter, not the mom). One was navigating family trauma, the pillar to which the rest clung as they tried to sort things out.
By March, we needed each other. The morning class became the high point of my exercise week. On other days I cycled strong (350 calories burned per class!) Zumba-ed with laughter and sweat, kick boxed shouting names at the bag. It was all nice, but the reward was going to that Tuesday morning women’s swimming circle.
In April, we were notified that low attendance would lead to changes. In May, the class was just like every other thing the gym does. The spontaneous community that moved from skimming the surface to deep water became an aquatics aerobics class where the music pumped as we were urged to give it our all.
A different kind of give, the one the gym is set up for. Mission drift, increased class attendance, all that had to be taken into account. The gym is there so people can exercise. Decisions were made, in keeping with its mission and presumably its financial needs.
But oh, what I would give to have that quiet Tuesday morning community back, five women swinging in time to the rhythm of our shared life stories, unparalleled strength, giving it our all in the most true sense of those words.
Nothing golden can stay. Sometimes, nothing aqua blue can stay. Life goes on.