‘I will survive’ – G. Gaynor

Seriously?‘ – J. Taylor

I’ve had a bit of an unfortunate experience. This sort of thing never happened to me when I sat quietly at home, eating chocolate, drinking tea and scribbling the occasional paragraph.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this, but my lifestyle came in for a bit of criticism recently – and not just the normal stuff from my nearest and dearest. I was strolling through town one day when I was ambushed by one of those Healthy Lifestyle info vans the council leaves lying around to ruin people’s day.

Obviously, I did my best to avoid eye contact but the buggers ran me down in the doorway of Thornton’s Chocolate Cabin. I filled in a questionnaire and things weren’t too bad until we got to the section on physical activity. Apparently, you’re supposed to take 150 minutes of exercise a week. Who knew? Not me, that’s for sure. Questioned closely about the amount of exercise I took every day, and working it out on my fingers, the total was four and a half seconds. About the time it takes me to walk from bedroom to desk. Obviously, this was unacceptable – as was my offer to spin it out to thirty minutes by walking very, very slowly. Anyway, in a moment of weakness – and to secure my release – I signed up for Aqua Aerobics and that’s where I’ve just been.

I scrambled into my cossy with my eyes closed because there’s only so much I can handle at that time of the morning, underwent locker trauma – happily resolved by the lady next to me hitting it with her shoe – and the next thing I was up to my neck in pleasantly warm water. I waved a few arms and legs around, decided this wasn’t too bad after all and then the instructor turned up. With music. And a microphone. And my day darkened.

The first thing I discovered is that I have no coordination. Of any kind. Fortunately, most of the action was taking place underwater so I reckoned I could fake most of it.

Fake Aerobics – there’s a thought!

Paddling back to the point – the next part was a little bit of a disaster. Good old Gloria was belting out I Will Survive – not a statement with which I felt I could concur – when we were commanded to assume a horizontal position and kick.

Well – I assumed and kicked – and shot smoothly backwards. I think we were all surprised by that. Not least the very pleasant but slightly surprised lady behind me. I couldn’t believe it. It’s a universal constant. You kick – you go forwards. Not me, it would seem.

There’s worse. It was noodle time. Before anyone asks, I’m talking about those long tube things that keep you afloat. I don’t know what the world calls them – to me they’re noodles. Anyway, I seized my noddle, thrust it into position as instructed and the bloody thing promptly upended me and there I was, upside down, legs waving in the air, and seriously considering suing Gloria who obviously hasn’t got a clue what she’s singing about.

I’m sorry, but I can’t resist. Look away now. Never was the expression ‘tit’s up’ more appropriate.

It gets even more worser. Completely out of control by now, my noodle and I, battling for supremacy, floated, wildly flailing across shipping lanes of perfectly performing ladies, causing consternation and chaos wherever we went. People were upset. I could hear the occasional, ‘Oh, I say …’

Eventually, one end sprang free and caught me in the eye. I fell backwards and once again I’m upside down and taking in water and wondering if I should have written my name on the soles of my feet because that’s the only bit of me currently visible.

So – a bit of an ordeal, I think everyone will agree. I’m damp, bruised, blinded, heavily chlorinated and been tricked – tricked, I tell you – into doing it all again.

And before anyone asks – no, there are no photos.


47 thoughts on “‘I will survive’ – G. Gaynor

    • They’d better not have! On the other hand, unless I can be recognised by the soles of my feet – not a problem. But I am seriously traumatised.

  1. There should be a law against Disaster Magnets getting into a pool. It’s a miracle you didn’t drown. Honestly, what were those Health Lifestyle people thinking. There’s nothing healthy about drowning.

  2. Now at last I understand why I wanted to do aqua aerobics – but it would have to be in the same class as you (and with my waterproof camera handy).
    You are amazing – not for doing aqua aerobics, but for the way you always make me laugh till I cry.
    Thank you, wonderful Jodi.

  3. 😂😂😂 I’m off to try Aqua pole dancing in a few weeks – that should so entertaining I’m considering selling tickets. 😂😂

  4. Aaah…obviously you got one of the noodles ‘al dente’ – code for still alive and obviously kicking. Next time, look for the ones floating around slightly submerged. Those are the ones that have been dead quite a while and you’ll be safe.



    Actually, I have no idea. I get attacked by my own clothing on a regular basis so I’m probably not the right person to give advice here.

  5. Well I agree with you that if you are on your back and kicking you go backwards! I do. I also know what it is like to battle with those *#*#* noodles. I am sure they have a life of their own! However well done for trying

    • No – this is the injustice of it all. I was on my tummy and kicking my legs just like everyone else and they went forwards and I went backwards. How could that happen?

      • I think I may have solved the mystery. Maybe, you are a closet Historian and your body knows that to move forward in time is fatal, so, finding itself in an unfamiliar medium it decided to play safe and, ‘going with the flow’ (pun intended), travelled backwards.

  6. More to the point dear mermaid, did you get chocolate from the aforementioned retail outlet? The council does have a lot to answer for, the price of chocolate is shocking. A trip to the swimming pool costs the same as a large family supply ..
    Well done for this report, we now know where not to venture for fear of being accosted!

  7. Did you not mention to the Lifestye people you were St Marys.. they’d have run for the hills!

    If the swimming pool people find out you’ll be banned for a) being St Marys and b) obscene amount of flashing… though there are a few foot fetishers out there!

    You don’t half make me giggle,which is dangerous considering trampolines are no longer an option and the Tena lady ads now make sense…,

  8. Gawd, no chocolate! And no video either?? What happened to all those ubiquitous cell phones that people use all over all the time? Sigh. Disappointment all over. And I do hope those lockers weren’t combination. Those suckers used to confound me all the time!

  9. Oh, by the way, will this show up, in some fashion or other, in the next story from St Mary’s? And I gotta say, May, and the next volume seem an exceedingly long way off…

      • Even funnier if you consider the use of noodle to mean your head. (Is this a Canadian expression?) Maybe you should use your noodle to find a better way to avoid the health people in the future.

  10. I feel for you Jodi, I tried it too, all went well till they produced beach balls and told us to sit on them! In the water! I fell off and sank – several times while the beautiful people looked on pitingly. Eventually they got fed up with my drowning act and took the ball away and I had to hang on the side and kick while the rest did it perfectly. Of course being without my specs didn’t help with following the demonstration.

  11. Photos? I’d pay good chocolate to see a video of that! Getting tricked into one of those sessions once is understandable, but going back for torture a second time? Girl, I fear for your sanity.

  12. OMG I so hear you ! I go to aquafit twice a week and I really do love it, but I am the only lady in the pool who gets out looking like shes been deep sea diving! How do other ladies manage a full face of make up and a hair do and then look the same getting out as they did getting in I do not know haha ! Once you get used to that noodle you will be OK well I hope you will because you drowning will mean no more St Marys and that cannot happen xx

  13. I did it once and that was once too many as far as I am concerned! Do you know, that would make a good storyline for Markham in a future St Mary’s book!

  14. Stick to bathwater and lots of chocolate noodles next time Jodi,much safer then there’s no chance of a rogue camera lurking about…although ?????

  15. Oh dear, I’ve done the Aqua Aerobics myself; a good workout trying not to drown!! If you can survive it, that’s great exercise. IF you survive… Goria is sooo wrong about it!

  16. Develop an allergy to or phobia about chlorinated water Jodi. I once passed a sport shop which said “Over 70 sports”. Alas this means that I must participate this year. You however are safe. When I googled you IMDB said that you were 26 !

  17. I’m not laughing at you, but with you, Jodi! I never could master the “noodle” in the pool! Was thrilled to discover deep water aerobics some years ago: the best low-impact exercise anyone could ever devise. Unfortunately, we moved out of the city, and now must commute nearly 30 miles to the nearest swimming pool. But, I’ve promised myself that I will try to drive that distance and suit up at least once a month, because I miss the benefits of water aerobics for my ageing, arthritic body.

  18. I just started water aerobics myself and can attest to what Ms. Taylor says from half a world away. Coordination and an ability to survive repeated dunkings is a must. Unfortunately, not my forte.

  19. Omg. Thanks for making me laugh til I cried. That is exactly what would happen to me if I tried water exercise so I don’t. 😂

  20. What was wrong with your original exercise regimen?! Works for me… Well, it would if my employer would allow me to do my job from home. Or the Y. Oh, sigh. Alas, no. So selfish of her… At least the water was warm. And without Tim Peterson’s help.

  21. Just made my day dear. I only learned to swim, and I use that word very loosely, when I was 48 . Even then I think my instructor felt sorry as I still got a certificate. But I still can’t go in deep water lol

  22. and if you keep after it, it will be tits up with cleavage you never realized you had!!!! Best thing that ever happened to me, but I still can’t go in the deep water.

  23. I can feel your pain as I have watched lots of Aqua Aerobics from a safe distance but not participated myself. I can get by with that as I blame my heart condition, smiles. Anyway, thank you for making me smile today, your way of telling stories is priceless !!! smiles again ….

  24. The secret to getting sufficient exercise is to realize that exercise = using muscles. Nobody ever said WHICH muscles. I have developed a daily routine involving anywhere from 30-90 minutes of light convo with co-workers, a minimum of 10 minutes of caramel-based strength training, and at least an hour of vigorous typing. 100 to 160 minutes of exercise daily, no sweat!

  25. I started to read this comment without looking who wrote it. Then I realised I knew the style of writing. Hi Agnetha. …..smiles too …..

  26. Many thanks for the humor. I attended my first aqua exercise class yesterday. The experience Went pretty much as yours did. But now it is easier to laugh about it.

  27. Thanks for the laughs Jodi 🙂 I can totally relate, having been coerced by my good friend to do aqua aerobics last year. Can’t say I enjoyed it much, as the water was just too cold for me. And I’m sure those pool noodles are out to kill people……

  28. When at the pool I always keep my specks on . Mainly because I cannot see without them and also to check for harpoons aimed in my direction. I totally feel for your experience but had a good laugh anyway. Hang in there ..

  29. Jodi, my heart goes to you. As an ex-polio with a slightly shorter right leg, I cannot for the life of me ski in a straight, downward line, but by infinitesimal increments veer off to my shorter side until I face back the top of the gradient, then slowly ski backwards and graciously collapse into a heap, to the endless, unholy hilarity of my beloved daughter, friends and any heartless other skiers in the vicinity.

    Sport was invented to try bookworms’ souls.

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