Thursday, May 14, 2009

It's been a long full day

Up and at ‘em at 7:45 this morning, first stop the pool practical session of Hand Buoy Choreography Challenge with Steph Toogood. She’s British, and one of the pillars of water exercise. This means she’s been at it for a long time, really knows her stuff, and it shows. What’s marvelous is that she’s still as full of enthusiasm and motivation as any just-certified newbie.

But on to the class. Steph said that she’s been teaching seniors lately and their only complaint about the class was changing apparatus—stopping to pick up buoys or noodles from the side and putting them back. So she designed a workout for them that has buoys in hand for the full hour in defiance of the general rule that says warm up first before adding resistance. She does this by letting the buoys rest on top of the water in the beginning and intermittently through the workout. She also adds variety by having some one-buoy time and some partner work. She’s especially proud of the fact that people don’t have to touch during the partner work. Sad, but a preference I’ve also found.

This was my first workshop class. They’re like the CEU workshops we get at the Alaska Club—a practical pool session and a land classroom session. Here, because the pool schedule is so tight, you can have a workshop, as I did, with the practical first, classroom second. This means you haul out of the water, dry off as much and as quickly as you can, cover your soggy self and jog to the convention center at the other end of the resort. No help for it—most of the seats in the room are kind of damp when we leave.

I took a look at my schedule and of the workshop classes I have, about half are soggy bottom style—wet first, indoors after. It’s not ideal, but everyone’s in the same situation, so we don’t mind the odd looks from the pantyhose and necktie crowd hanging around from other meetings in the convention center.

Second this morning was Senior Aqua Training with Joao Regulfe, another Brazilian guy. A guy with balls. A whole bag of 6-inch rubber balls which he used in his workout for resistance, balance challenge, partner work, and fun.

The only beef I had with him is that it would be hard to keep gripping that ball for an extended period with one arthritic hand. The two-handed stuff was ace, and the partner work was inspired. Again, a lot of it did not require the partners touching.

My class partner told me about how she uses balls in her class. You can get them cheap from Oriental Trading and make the 6-inch size easier to grip by deflating them a little. She also told me how she uses ping pong balls (really cheap) and here's a Hint from Heloise: revive a dented ping pong ball by microwaving it briefly.

Then there was lunch, the first meal provided by the conference (more about food another time) and on to a product demonstration workout—Speedo hydro resistance gear given by Mark Grevelding. Mark’s another pillar of the profession and really fun and funny.
The session wasn’t at all a sales pitch; it was a tryout of the hand and ankle resistance cuffs and a new buoy/disk thingie. I was really glad to find out more about how to use the red hand gizmos in some effective boxing-type moves. The disks were interesting, but not a must-have item unless your facility has no buoys at all.

And then it was on to SCRAMBLED Choreography progressions, a lecture by Ruth Sova (yet another pillar). And a super knowledgeable yet super nice person. Ruth was trying to find a good way to quickly come up with new moves or changes in choreography both on deck and when making an advance plan. She made a list of all the things you could change about a move: Speed, Combine with other moves, Repetitions, Arms, Move, Bend, Link (people together), Elongate, and Direction. Then she had her husband find an acronym of the first letters of the words so she could remember it easily and behold--SCRAMBLED. The basics of her method are in an article she wrote for the February/March 2009 issue of AKWA magazine; I won't belabor them any further here.

As thunderclouds gathered, I headed to my last workshop, Aqua Yoga2gether. I knew that there probably isn't much call for this sort of thing in any of my classes (people don't like to work in partners and the water is usually too cold for this kind of slow movement), but I was curious to see what the concept was. It was taught by a lovely Brazilian couple, Ivan and Tinoca. They were very sincere and knowledgeable about yoga and Tinoca had adapted it all for water, but alas, we had to try to try it out on dry land, as water was falling out of the sky.

For me, it was all pretty far-fetched to be very engaging. That, and by the time the class was over it was 7:15 pm. It has been nearly a 12-hour day and I'm knackered. Good night.

1 comment:

  1. Kathy, you did us Alaskans proud! Can't believe how your day was packed. And I'm just tired from watching Alena today (She's one today, party is this weekend). Back to work tomorrow; can't believe you're coming to the end of your workshop. You have taken classes from the "gurus" of aqua that we have only been able to read about. No rain here, how's that for a positive comment??