After complaining to a friend about how pretty much every type of workout hurts my hips, said friend suggested, “Maybe you should try the Water Warrior class, its harder than you think, especially Richard’s class.”
I think I snorted when I replied, “Yeah, right.” In my head, I was thinking, “Is this what its come to? Water aerobics? I used to do Master’s Swim class for crying out loud!” I assumed a bunch of seniors just bounced around in the water gabbing away.
“I talked to Richard after class last week about you and your hip issues, you should really come next time,” my friend pressed on.
Not wanting to admit that I am the perfect candidate for water aerobics, I did everything I could for the past month to avoid it: I had metal-smithing class in Denver on Mondays, perfect! Damn, that ended December 16. Holidays! Another perfect excuse. Just when I thought I was out of excuses, going skiing (for me only the blue runs) was a possibility yesterday, until I discovered it was -27 at the resort with 30-40 mph winds. No, thank you. Time to face the inevitable: Richard’s Water Warrior Workout.
I ran into friends in the locker room who were all geared up to go to spin class, and I longed to be walking up the stairs with them to pedal my heart and soul away. Instead, I walked to the pool, very self-conscious of my body in a swimsuit, trying not to slip on the wet tile.
After short introductions, before I knew it I was water jogging as fast as I could, doing 50+ crunches in the water (its hard!), and doing 10 sets of 20 second intervals of various high intensity exercises:
“OK! NOW! CLAM DIGGER! GO! DIG DIG DIG!” Richard barks. “IF YOU’RE TALKING YOU AREN’T WORKING HARD ENOUGH!” He certainly wasn’t directing that last statement to me, I was huffing and puffing away.
“Holy shit! This guy is a ramrod!” I think as I am clam digging, stepping alternating legs and alternating scooping my arms up as fast as I could. Good thing my body was under water, because it would have looked really funny otherwise.
I am starting to get winded by the 8th 20-second interval of the clam digger. “I LOVE THIS GUY!” He taught like a basketball coach yet checked on me occasionally to see how I was doing and if any modifications were needed (note: for those with hip dysplasia, no external rotation of the hips, limit abduction, no breast stroke kick). We progress through water jogging with a water belt, all the different intervals, flutter kick on the wall for 10×20 sec. as fast as one could, crunches, and then the styrofoam dumbbells for various traditional strength moves such as chest fly, rows, upright row, bicep curl and tricep kickbacks.
The hour ended, and I realized that was the hardest I exercised since I was diagnosed last March with hip dysplasia. I realize each person responds to different teaching styles but Richard’s strong coaching style combined with attentiveness on form and modifications was perfect for me. I will be back next Monday!