Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Dangers of Female Changing Rooms and Aqua-Aerobics

Right, first thing's first. I do not participate in aqua-aerobics. Aqua-aerobics is a sure sign of impending death through one of the following:

a) age
b) obesity
c) an irate swimmer grabbing you by the head and drowning you in the deep end.

The irate swimmer may or may not be called Mrs Jane Turley.

Yesterday, I went swimming at the pool. I thought I'd gone early enough to avoid the start of the aqua-aerobic session. But no such luck. I'm sure there is some cunning ancient aqua-aerobic lover in the sports centre admin team who is deliberately trying to make my experiences at the pool a living hell. Nearly every time I go there is an aqua-aerobic session on and there are probably about 30 ladies (most of them near death) and one man (also near death) performing strained movements to Saturday Night Fever. It is not a pretty a sight. It is also the only time the lifeguard ever looks alert. In other swim sessions he just watches the ceiling or examines the figures of any woman under thirty (not many I assure you). However, during aqua-aerobics he is on his toes ready at a moment's notice to haul some ancient carcass from the pool. I swear to God he gets paid danger money for the aqua-aerobic session. I mean - giving the kiss of life to some of those ladies deserves an extra payment, doesn't it?

Yes, so I get pretty irate when the aqua-aerobic session is on because they have so many oldies there the lifeguard confines the swimming lanes to just two resulting in people of all abilities in the slow and medium lanes jammed in together trying not to poke out each others' eyes or (if  you're a woman) kick some passing bloke in the testicles whilst doing the breast stroke.

I normally swim for an hour. Yesterday I got out after fifteen minutes. This was because:

a) I had swallowed so much water from the tsunami of water created by thirty plus heaving bodies I thought I was going to have an asthma attack.

b) At one point the waves were so strong even though I was actually swimming I was getting nowhere. It was like treading water in the Pacific Ocean waiting to be drowned by some marauding whales. I thought the lifeguard was going to leap in and save me but he was too busy waiting to see if one of the oldies snuffed it first.

3) Thirty pensioners trying to mimic John Travolta under water is not good for my sanity. I thought I was hallucinating at one point but then I remembered that the white stuff in my bag was only talcum powder.

Okay, so you're getting the idea now: I do not like swimming when the aqua-aerobics session is on. However, it's nowhere near as bad as being in the changing rooms when the ladies from the aqua aerobics session are actually getting changed.

Oh God.  It is bad. There is stuff hanging out everywhere.I mean everywhere. Now I know I have some excess pounds on me but I should also point out that being brought up as a nice catholic girl I was taught to have some modesty.

But not so for the ladies of the aqua-aerobics session. Fat or thin they have no shame, no modesty. The women's changing rooms are like some bizarre porno movie for the geriatric. They parade around start naked for what seem like hours chatting about the latest soap operas whilst their boobs are draping across the floor and their buttocks are wobbling so much the men at the National Emergency Centre are getting nervous about an earthquake ripping through South East England.

But worst of all is that the appalling lack of modesty is made worse by the desire to dry and then apply cream to every corner of their body. I mean every remote corner. There are parts of the human body I didn't even know existed. However, the real problem is these ladies do it


Let me ask a question:

Do you really need to apply cream to the balls of your feet without first putting on your knickers?

Oh. Dear. God. I have seen sights that no woman (or man) should be tortured with. When I leave the women's changing rooms I am usually wearing a face so aghast most people would think I'd seen George Bush Jnr dressed like Dita Von Tesse.

Now I've thought about why these women need to be so exhibitionist. I have concluded that the majority of them were:

a) at Woodstock
b) at Greenham Common
c) at both Woodstock and Greenham Common

So there you have it. Another intimate revelation from my life. And believe me it's very intimate. Way too intimate.

I feel queasy. Somebody turns the lights out.
This is the kind of woman I'm talking about. You just know that when her clothes come off there's going to trouble. Breathe deeply, Everyone.


  1. ACK!

    You drew that picture a little TOO vividly!

    1. I did rather:) And I've managed to be ageist, sexist and fattiest in one post. I'm going to give myself 9/10.

  2. Oh ... 10/10 I think. What a truly gruesome experience, from start to finish. I am a quivering pile of sympathy as I simply do not 'get' Aqua-aerobics. And why is there always a class when I want to go swimming? Why can't these classes be held at 7.30 am or 8 pm; times when I have no time to go swimming? Why do they sometimes take over the whole pool and, at other times, only three-quarters of it? ('Tsumani' is the word - when I read your blog, it's like I was there.)

    As to letting it all hang out, good grief! Sometimes, it's a relief to pay a very small amount, risk the verruca germs all over everything and go to the local municipal pool. They do at least have individual changing cubicles (though they are not the cleanest and the floor always seems to be flooded ...) Sometimes, you just can't win!

    1. Yes, Mrs B, swimming wherever I seem to go seems to have its trials and tribulations. I just need my own pool really:)I'll have to get a lottery ticket this week.

      What happened to modesty though? It is sorely lacking these days.

  3. I have done aqua twice this week, have been doing aqua for 22 years now so was in my 30's when I started.

    If you are worried about being pushed under water then play water polo.

    As for swimming you are welcome to join me anytime so long as you can do 50 lengths in half an hour which includes butterfly.

    Otherwise keep to watching tennis and cricket and once in a while football.

  4. Sue,

    What a welcome and pleasant surprise.

    Obviously, you seem to have taken my humorous discourse a little too seriously. That's the trouble with comedy it is so subjective! I am delighted to hear you do aqua aerobics as well as swimming though. Keep up the good work!

  5. "Otherwise keep to watching tennis and cricket and once in a while football."

    Yes Jane - KNOW YOUR LIMITS!


    1. I think watching might require too much strain on my eyes, Mrs A. I'm going to get someone to watch for me.

  6. Hey Mrs T, I'm from the Woodstock gen you know (though of course we only participated by watching the movie!) But being a modestly brought up Asian, the nudity bit post the aquatics certainly seems a bit over the top!

    1. Yes, that's exactly my point! Being somewhat old and flabby myself I feel can comment on this matter:) To be honest, I think when you're past your prime everything is best kept under wraps anyway. However, if the aqua ladies could just avoid the body manicuring sessions it would be greatly appreciated by those of us with more sensitive and conservative dispositions:))

  7. Ha! Jane, where did you get that photo of me?
    Anna May x

    1. Now I know you've got quirky Irish blood in you, Anna May - but not that quirky!

      I'm going to pin this picture of my wall to remind myself what NOT to aim for when I hit retirement:))


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