Rain, rain go away.

Northern Virginia has been getting doused for what seems like months and we are all dripping mad.

However, the sun briefly came out this past Sunday morning so I drug my soggy self over to the neighborhood swimming hole.  There, a sharp woman named Sharon leads a wacky weekend water class for seniors and glamourous “young” gals like myself.  ( < :

Arriving at the pool a few minutes late all I can see from deck is over a dozen female heads bobbing up and down.  I slip gingerly into the refreshing water amidst the bevy of bathing beauties.

From the bank above, shapely Sharon is barking her weekly figure-forming commands:



Now, side step to the right…2,3,4– and hit it  back to the left!”

You get the pathetic picture.

Meanwhile the tanned teen guards watch from their towers with apparent pity if not disgust.

Just as I begin wondering if the torture will ever end, I catch the scent of bacon sizzling from the pool-side snack bar and vow to treat myself once our session finally ends.

I will have earned it.

But first…Shapley Sharon decides we weary women need to race.

“Great!” I curse under my breath.

Next the bossy broad tosses about 16 of those colorful, cheap, Styrofoam water noodles into the pool, all the while explaining to us barely fit  fools that we are about to experience a challenge–a “healthy competition”.

“Everyone, pair off.  Snap to it ladies!  Shake a leg!”

So the not-so-serious swimmer next to me inquires,

“Would you mind being my partner?”

“Sure, why not?”  I reply.

(What else could I say?)

Next we are instructed to put a nasty noodle under each arm, line ourselves up back to back in pairs against the far  wall, and prepare to charge.

Imagine seven pairs of wobbly, wet women in a rough row, set to race across the practically pristine pool, reeking of chlorine.

Now, I don’t have the strongest of upper body strength, but when it comes to leg work, I could give a racehorse a run for her money.  Overconfident, I am ready to take off like a Derby winner, dragging my partner through the sloshing water as she idly floats on her back.

I silently plunge into the zone, concentrating on what I call my “edge”, confident that with my competitive streak and hoarsely strong calves, I and this complete stranger will take this match.

Suddenly Sharon shrieks:


To get to the point–we lost the first lap–BIG time.  Admittedly, I caught us up when it was her turn to drag me, by helping out with my gold medal -winning whip- kick.  I think in the end we came in a respectable third place amidst the seven pitiful pairs.

Embarrassed if not enraged, I consoled myself.  “You simply could not get any traction, Nan.   You need to buy some good water shoes before next week’s class.  That should do the trick.”

As class ended and I practiced treading water with no hands to build even more strength in my gams, I caught sight of my loser of a partner exiting the pool, trudging up the steps in shallow water.  I felt my eyes grow larger.  The waddling woman with what could be described as a major “pear-shaped” figure must’ve weighed close to 300 pounds!

Who knew?  She definitely carried most of her weight under the water.

“No wonder!” I marveled, vowing in the future to ignore this “pleasantly plump” person in the pool.

Pulling out of the parking lot, I noticed the wet woman lumbering towards the snack bar, considerably faster than she had drug me across the sparkling pool earlier in the day…



3 Comments on “WET NOODLES”

  1. Sandy says:

    So who is the smart ass that said you are weightless when you were in the water!

  2. Nan says:

    H E L P !!!!!!!

  3. doug clegg says:

    Nan… I love the water story and your ability to weave it into a yarn. Great to see you write and to know you still swim. I will enjoy reading your blogs.

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