Swimming at the Kingaroy pool
Swimming at the Kingaroy pool Troy Kippen

They say exercise is good for you

I MADE fresh start #752 and decided I needed to get into a solid exercise regime and increase my stamina.

Now, as I have a knee that won't bend and an injured shoulder so I approached this cautiously.

I wondered would I find the support and encouragement I needed. I quickly found out where not to go.

First up I tried yoga. This could be good I thought.

Cool wooden floors, an air of serenity.

But I can't bend my knee properly and this frustrated the teacher as it meant I couldn't follow the bendy routine.

To solve this annoying problem for him (me), he pinned me up on the wall with a set of straps and blocks and left me there, pinned like a bug, while the class went and followed the fixed instructions.

I could only watch on, in a strange 50 Shades of Grey way.

That was the end of my yoga career.

Maybe I need focussed attention, I thought, so I tried a personal trainer.

Again, my troublesome knee made thing tricky. I simply couldn't keep up with his demands.

He became infuriated and leaned his face into mine and screamed as loudly as he could how useless I was and how I was wasting his time.

This was not one of the boot camp arrangements where people sign up for verbal abuse.

I thought I would be encouraged. Wrong on every count.

Something gentler I thought.

A walking group might work, I thought.

Again, that knee situation came into play. The group set off at a brisk pace while I limped behind.

They left me far behind and as they disappeared around a corner, I sat down.

No more walking group for me.

I began to understand that exercise is for the fit, not the injured.

So, I went where I should have gone in the first place. The pool.

Here in the water people just get on with their routines, fast or slow.

No one screamed at me or humiliated me or abandoned me.

I was left to go peacefully up and down the designated slow lane, where I belonged.

The pool. That's the go. I go regularly to the anonymity of that watery space.

I see the same people quietly going their swimming business.

The pool is a tolerant and inclusive place.

One coolish morning I arrived and there were the three old codgers I regularly see.

They gave a wave.

"Don't worry”, one called out as I approached the water, "we've warmed it up for you!”

Got to love the pool.

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