Emboldened by my swimming in Madeira, I decided to take the bull by the horns and go to a aquafit class at my local pool. Now, to anyone who doesn't know me, the last time I was in a public swimming pool (or any water apart from a shower or bath prior to Madeira) was when there was still an Olympic size pool in Blackrock and I was about 3 or 4 years old. Even then I felt really self conscious in a swim suit and I never got the hang of the swimming thing. Hanging onto the side and floating was about as far as I got - no change really. The Mater wanted to get her hair done so I had a few hours free before our weekly shopping. I looked up the class times in the pool. They have them at 11am and 8pm every Monday Wednesday and Friday. I would have time to leave my mum into the hair dressers and then head down to the pool for 11. I was terrified as I drove to the pool, but I knew I would feel worse if I didn't go than if I did. I got to the pool, was totally ignorant of pool etiquette, changed into my cozzie and ran into the pool as quickly as possible. And, do you know what? No one recoiled and fell down in fits of revulsion at sight of my blobby body. In fact, no one seemed to pay any attention to me at all. It was great, and once in the water I felt securely covered up. In the class were about 15 older ladies, who were all very welcoming and friendly and were much better than me at all the exercises. We did jogging, lunges, squats and lots of other leg and arm exercises that were HARD! I always thought my arm strength was ok - well, apparently not so much. We were given these Styrofoam floating tubes (like the ones in the picture. This isn't a photo of my class by the way, but thanks to Fotosearch.com for the free online stock photo) and had to force them under the water for arm exercises. I could hardly get them under the water with both my arms and leaning forward, let alone with one hand. The other ladies in the class seemed to have no problem whatsoever, but it has given me an incentive to try harder next time. I had a few moments of discomfort with the water - most notably when I went too far towards the deeper end and suddenly was on my tip toes and didn't know what to do - but all in all I was much more comfortable than before and I was doing things I couldn't even have dreamt of doing two weeks ago. I'm looking forward to my next class. This water thing is addictive. I might be getting swimming lessons next!