I was in a mood.
“Oh thank you!” I murmured gratefully.
The women were starting to restore my faith in the Y as a place to feel safe and work out.
And as I walked out on deck waving at the super nice lifeguard (also a woman), I started to breathe again. A swim would help. The pool was nearly empty except for Shower Sharing Woman and Ian. (Who, granted is a man, but he's a NICE man!)
Everything would be okay.
And it was.
I dove in. Kicked mightily. Swam and swam and swam. 45 minutes later, I’m kicking and notice that Shower Sharing Woman was resting at the wall, watching me. I smiled over at her. She gave me the thumbs up.
Laughing, I finished up, resting for a moment at the wall, stretching, chatting to a colleague from work---another blog—and then heading into the sauna.
Shower Sharing woman was there. In the dark, a striped towel ensemble covering her instead of her sack-like swimming costume. (And yes, it was a swimming costume!) She grinned over at me. Gave me another thumbs up. Pantomimed a strong arm like Popeye the sailor-man after he ate his spinach.
How am I? is what I heard. “I’m fine. How are you doing?”
She looked at me deeply, shaking her head. “How old are you?”
Oh, yes, Chinese culture—the first question is always, “How old are you?"even though in American culture you’d never ask a middle aged woman this. Age is so taboo. We live in a culture of youth equals beauty. But today, I don't care.
Her eyes widened. She shook her head back and forth, amazement spilling out of every pore. “I thought!” she began. “I thought you 30!”
“Yes, yes. 30! You strong!”
“Wow! Thanks, you made my day!” I exclaimed.
She cracked up.
“How old are you?” I asked her.
She counted on her fingers. “I... 62…63….” she decided, grinning.
“I thought you were 30 too!” I proclaimed.
Hilarity bursts forth from her. She leans against the sauna wall, the gales of laughter spilling out of her.
“We are both 30 when we are in the pool!” I assert, delighted with this new found revelation. How cool is that? The pool is the fountain of youth. We are forever 30 if we could just stay in the water!
Oh, who cares!
I’m just going to stay in the pool, stay 30, keep laughing, and never stop swimming.
That’s me! And Thumbs Up Asian Woman. Who has the spirit of youth and joy to spare....