Spring is here, and I no longer have the excuse of it being freezing cold when I get out of the pool. So, when I'm well enough, it's back to hydro a couple of days per week.
About half an hour of gentle exercise in a warm hydrotherapy pool leaves me tired enough to have a three hour nap afterwards, so my trip to hydro is a major event.
Exercises include walking up and down the pool, forwards, backwards, sideways; doing "push-ups" against the side of the pool, arm and leg raises, stretches, etc. It's pretty much a full workout, with both the support and resistance of warm water.
It's interesting to observe the other people around me. I'm about the youngest person in the pool for hydro. (There's usually a parent or two teaching a toddler swimming.)
The pool is quite often crowded, so we're all having to be careful to move around each other, and it's strangely difficult to change direction while you're walking in the water.
In the crowd, there's usually one or two older ladies who get in the pool with perfectly done make-up and perfectly styled hair. And when they finish their work-out, they still get out of the pool with perfectly styled hair and perfect make-up. I don't know how they do that - I get out of the pool looking remarkably like a drowned rat.
There's a couple of ladies who seem to be there more for a chat than exercise. They stand in the pool and talk and never seem to move.
There's some older men who walk together up and down the pool to talk as they go, talking and keeping pace with each other.
And there's some who say hello to everyone, and some who don't say anything to anyone.
Yesterday, there was something new. There was a lady who borrowed my pool noodle, without asking, just took it from where I left it at the side of the pool without a word, to use it and then left it at the other side of the pool without a word to me. Later, I realised that the plastic-covered sheet with exercises listed on it that she was using wasn't hers either; the owner came and collected it before leaving the pool. This strange lady was not only using other people's equipment, she was also using an exercise program a physiotherapist had designed for another person. (Very interesting.)
There's always a couple of people working with physiotherapists, still learning how to do their exercises.
And there's one or two people with severe disabilities who go into and out of the pool on a hoist, and have a carer with them to help them out.
At first, I was self-conscious about going to hydrotherapy. I don't look sick. And I'm certainly not as old as most of the people there. So I felt bad about how little strength, energy, and flexibility I have. I don't feel that way any more. Everyone there is at a different level. There's no competition. It doesn't matter whether I'm having a good week or a bad week. I just do my own thing at my own level, the same as everyone else does.