The conference is now officially open and the fun has begun. I was a little surprised at the minimal amount of swag conferred on registrants. I had put off getting a tote bag and water bottle, thinking those were the sort of handy things likely to be given away to keep the name of Speedo or H2Owear in our minds. Hard economic times curtail the swag, apparently. I sped quickly to the tourist mart across the street and eventually filled my needs with a bag and bottle NOT marked with the image of a Disney character. Going non-Disney here isn't the easy choice.
Coming back to the hotel I heard the unmistakable sound of latin music and followed it to a pool where an aqua Zumba class was in session. It looks and sounds as cool as I thought it would.
But I had to scurry off to suit up for my own first class, “In Synch” with Julie See. It incorporates some synchronized swimming moves into the deep part of a combo class. The silly flowered bathing caps were loaned to the class, I think, to make us more photogenic. Even the two cool Brazilian dudes wore them (after I put my camera away, of course). It was a good class, a good workout, and by using only 3 different synchro moves among the conventional ones she made it very memorable.
Next was “Flex and Stretch”, a repeat of a class from last year, I was told, that was very popular. It was taught by a Brazilian guy with lots of academic qualifications, a very serious manner, and very little English. We had a hard time until we decoded some things—like “push” means pull and “left” means right. It was mainly isometric exercise aided by a specially looped piece of toweling that the guy had designed. A good deal of what he was doing, my partner Mary and I agreed, would not be recommended for people with upper body issues like rotator cuff or carpal tunnel. Class was cut short and I didn’t get a picture because a huge thunderhead was piling up and at the first bolt of lightning everybody scampered out of the pool toot sweet!
From the safety of my room I had the pleasure of watching and listening to a tropical rainstorm, the kind that rattles the palm leaves with hail and turns the air to water in an instant.
After 45 minutes of wild wetness, it settled down to a steady dribble with intermittent thunderbolts. In theory, inclement weather moves classes indoors, but doing aquatic martial arts on land doesn’t have much appeal, so I think I’ll just stay in this evening and watch a movie.