Youâ€™ve got to be a little bit nutty to get up at 6 a.m. and do water aerobics. Maybe thatâ€™s why the YMCA calls it the Aqua Nuts class.
The head aqua nut is Ginny Thomson, who starts the classes Monday through Friday at the crack of dawn.
The class is open to any gender, or age group, and attracts a variety of students. Currently it has a class of 10 to 14, including a teacher, a mill worker and a librarian.
Thomson said the program started two years ago and follows the YMCAâ€™s motto to â€œpromote good health and mind.â€ On Monday through Thursday the class focuses on workouts, which combines aerobics, cardio, and, muscle workouts. Friday is considered fun day as the crew plays around with foam noodles, volleyball and sometimes basketball.
Thomson says she has a couple of people who workout on the treadmill at 5 a.m. before the class begins.
Her students are devoted, Thomson says.If she canâ€™t make it to a class, the group comes anyway and works out on their own.
â€œHow many other classes do that!â€ she asks proudly.
YMCA member Ethelene Leatherman has been coming to the Y for about 13 months. She likes the companionship.
â€œWe get up early and have a good workout. We love it, we have the best group in the whole thing.â€
â€œAnother swimmer, Pat Ritchie has been coming to the Y since January.
â€œItâ€™s made all the difference in the world,â€ she said. â€œI prefer water workouts to regular workouts. Itâ€™s lots of fun, lots of laughs.
The class also enjoys their lifeguard, Rudy Rudisill, â€œthe cutest lifeguard there,â€ Ritchie said.
Patâ€™s husband, Neal Ritchie, said he arrives tired, but the exercise wakes him up.
The group plays volleyball, which is more than a fun game. It helps improve reaction time and coordination. It also makes them laugh hysterically when the ball smacks someone in the head.
One of our ball bouncing swimmers is Alice Chance, a retired schoolteacher of 31 years. She has been coming to the Y for a year. Alice comes for the fellowship and for fun, she enjoys being around her classmates.
â€œThis is the best exercise one can get, and you donâ€™t think you are exercising until you stop and realize that you tired,â€ she said.
Kay Hollyfield is a former librarian at Pumpkin Middle School, comes three days a week.
â€œI can tell the difference with my arthritis, and on the days that I donâ€™t come, I suffer. I have lost weight in this class, that I havenâ€™t in places like Jenny Craig,â€
All of the Aqua Nuts love Thomson.
â€œShe is our motivation,â€ said Hollyfield.by Laura Leedy