It starts with an email: “I’m thinking about swimming tomorrow, anyone else?” More emails float in as the women in my water aerobics group weigh in on air temperature, how cold the lake might be, wind factor, how sunny it is, algae reports, our schedules. Usually one crazy voice saying “I’m going!” is enough to tempt a few others to join.
This year, we are bolder, more daring, willing to tolerate some not-quite-ideal conditions to continue our swimming and water aerobics into autumn. We’ve been eager and giddy in the face of pushing past our goal date of Sept 15 (as I wrote about in part 1, The Mermaids of Lake Nokomis). We crank up the heat in the car on the way home after we emerge shivering from the water, and some have brought fluffy robes to wear afterwards. Continue reading
What does it take to find bits of magic in your life? Sometimes all you need is a lake and friends and a desire to move your body. That’s what happened for me.
It started in July of 2020. Many of us women had been taking water aerobics classes at the YWCA for years together, several times a week. We’d become a community who knew each other’s faces and stories, who laughed and breathed hard, and sometimes complained together.
When COVID came along, of course the Y and everything else shut down. As the summer ticked by, one of our members who had been a former water aerobics teacher had the brilliant idea to start emailing to see if anyone was interested in having some unofficial classes at one of the city lakes a few times a week. Everyone loved that idea. Continue reading
Today I’m taking a break from the Subject of the Month to write about something new. Just shortly after My Life Changed Big-Time, I threw caution to the wind and decided to sign up for an improv class. Improv comedy has always intrigued me– I’ve gone to many performances over the years, I know a lot of people who do it, AND it scares the SH*% out of me. I’m not a person who feels comfortable doing public speaking. Even speaking one-on-one with a person who is a little bit intimidating can make my mind blank out, and I’ll have no idea what I was going to say.
I’m a writer, so communicating on paper comes completely naturally to me. The words flow, and I can free-write a la Natalie Goldberg til the cows come home (which is actually a bit improvisational, writing whatever comes to mind with no editing, and my mind and pen have no trouble with that). But I still remember the complete and utter panic I felt the night before teaching classes on National Novel Writing Month with my friend Sherri at The Loft. I knew my subject matter really well, but I was practically paralyzed and adrenalized with fear before and during the class. Continue reading