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The three months allotted for recovery from knee surgery is almost over, but the intensive physical therapy twice a week and other exercises at home are ongoing. Some of this has been interesting and innovative, but I would not necessarily describe it as fun.

A friend invited me to accompany her to Aquasize class at a community pool. Each time we went, the program was more appealing. I would think, “We need this in Calhoun County.” Our young people need it, but all of us could benefit from exercise that is fun and also a survival skill. My friend and I drove 25 miles to a community fitness center that housed the outdoor pool and an exercise facility. There were 40 participants in the class, men and women, with the oldest being 87. Various body shapes and health problems were there.

The friendship and laughter was the first part that caught my interest. An outsider from West Virginia soon felt like a part of the group. I then wondered about the cost. The approximate annual fees are $150 for senior citizens, $175 for adults and $250 for families. It includes use of the pool, fitness equipment and lessons. Classes are held at 6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

While we were exercising, a few other very fit persons were swimming laps in the lanes. When we were leaving, a group of young people were gathering for their lesson. A progressive program of instruction, even for very young children, assured the community of an oncoming group of swimmers. The schools have swim teams, and children grow up knowing water safety skills, participating in fitness activities that are fun, and competing on swim teams.

 The pool will be closed for several days next week while an insulated bubble top is put in place. The water is heated, if necessary. This will assure use of the pool even in bad weather.

Calhoun County is still working on the “Big Blue Dream” and the Legacy Center. We know that the schools, hospital and senior center can benefit from this project. I see other benefits. Swimming is a survival skill. It is also more fun than walking laps. Young people are employed as pool attendants. Senior swim class participants usually take time for a biscuit and drink after class, patronizing a local snack shop.

Most of all, overall health will improve for all ages. No other activity will benefit so many Calhouners.


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