Thursday, November 13, 2008


My primary reason for going to Allentown last weekend was to attend a workshop put on by the Aquatic Exercise Association. I recently did the retest for my certification and this came along at a perfect time for a practical refresher.

I had two full days of class and pool time. Saturday, I did an all day seminar on personal pool programming. This workshop was geared to meeting the fitness goals of clients who would prefer one on one or small group (2 to 3 people) training as opposed to a standard aquatic fitness class. It did not go into the exercise science portion of personal training, but focused primarily on helping the client identify their goals, screening and program design. It was a "lite" day as we only spent two hours in the water...but it was 2 hours of workout. A great workout!

I had considered studying for personal training certification, and then all the complications of the last few years came tumbling down on me. I'm starting to revisit the idea. However, at this point I do feel like I have the resources and experience to put together a personal workout program for someone without major health issues or who is not recovering from a serious injury. We shall see where this goes. At the moment, I don't have a facility to teach at. But I think I'm ready to start looking.

The second day involved 4 short workshops, each with an hour of pool time. They thoughtfully grouped the pool sessions so that there were two back to back and we didn't have to CHANGE four times (actually 8 times). Two sessions focused on deep water workouts, and the other two were geared to the shallow end of the pool. All four introduced some great equipment I hadn't used before. I got exactly what I was looking for in the weekend...ideas...lots of them! I'm ready to go...I just need a class!

I was kind of expecting to see a couple of the other instructors from the pool where I worked in Allentown. I was really surprised on Saturday when I recognized no one. But on Sunday, there were three women there who I'd taught with in the past. Two were on the staff at the pool when I left, but the other I hadn't seen in many years. The ironic thing is...of all the people I've worked with there, she was the one I was closest to. I was tickled to death to see her and catch up

The only down side to all this exercise was that it seemed to exacerbate the issue I'm having with my back/neck/shoulder. It felt great in the water and I had no problem with range of motion. But once I was out, my shoulder and arm were throbbing and my fingers were tingling. By the end of the second day, I was hurting pretty bad during the last hour of lecture. I have to watch my posture, sitting certain ways really hurts. I couldn't wait to get back to Janet's and get some heat on my shoulder. Thankfully, heat does give me some relief.

I'm at my wits end about this back/neck/shoulder thing, so yesterday I started with a chiropractor. He thinks that it's all starting in my neck and causing muscles in my back to contract and then press on a nerve. He wants to see me three days a week for four weeks! I've only had one session with a chiropractor....a jillion years ago. It's kind of distressing when they adjust you suddenly and you hear all that popping noise. I did feel a little better yesterday when I was finished there, but this morning when I got up, I hurt like the devil. During my appointment yesterday, I asked him specifically about the pool exercise and he said he was all for it. So, I don't think I need to worry that I worsened it over the weekend. I think, if anything aggravated it, it was the uncomfortable chairs in the conference room.

So the next step is to try and identify facilities that have a pool and offer classes. I wouldn't mind linking up with more than one facility but it's going to take a little research. When we were shopping for a gym, I made a pool a priority and I didn't find much. If I was to do some individual training, it could be worth my while to drive a little further. I don't want to spend more on gas getting to the clients than I make teaching. If I'm not careful, that's exactly what will happen. Hopefully I'll get lucky and find the perfect (or near perfect) place close by.


Lisa :-] said...

It's amazing what we can do to ourselves when we're older. You do something out of the ordinary and, bang, suddenly you're crippled. I've been having so much trouble with my feet lately...and I finally discovered it's from standing on my toes all the time at the cafe (it's a small place, so storage goes up to the ceiling...and there are a lot of things that are just out of reach for someone 5'3".) So, I'm crippled from standing on my tip-toes... Gahhh!

kath said...

Try some physical therapy, or cardiac rehab places too. Many of them have pools and exercise classes for their patients who are trying to get back into shape after an accident or heart attack. If they have unused pool time, they might even let you start a class.
Good luck!

Martha said...

Ugh! Getting older sucks! My shoulder is terrible, I know I'm going to need rotator cuff surgery some day. Everything hurts all the time and I even make old person noises (all the grunting and groaning, just getting out of a chair, LOL!.
Good luck Kat! :-)

Jon said...

It sounds like your weekend in Allentown was extremely rewarding - and I do hope you'll consider going through with getting the personal training certificate.
As for the injury - please take it easy & get plenty of rest (yea, as if that's possible......)

Carmi said...

The ex-lifeguard in me so understands where you're coming from. Have you tried community centers? Their aquatic facilities are often showpieces, much larger and better equipped than the afterthoughts installed in most health clubs.

Hotels may be another potential target of opportunity - aquatic exercise for weary travellers. I know I'd be first in line!