This month’s appreciation does not go to an individual, but a group of instructors. These instructors usually have to teach in unpleasant environments – hot, humid and noisy. They sometimes have to deal with below industry standard equipment – sound system not working, microphone not always supplied, and equipment not readily available. They usually have to teach around other sessions by other trainers in the same space at the same time. But these trainers learn how to cope with all of this and do a great job that the fitness industry gives a lot of lip service to, but does not actually appear to be particularly proactive to deliver. These instructors deliver workouts to:
1) Overweight and obese individuals
3) Injured, pre and post operation rehab
4) Pre and postnatal
5) Special needs clients
I am going to say it – the unglamorous population groups. And…wait for it – all in the same session.
Yes, Aqua Instructors are able to deliver workouts to a huge range of clients with all various levels of abilities, whilst also providing a workout that the fit, initiated participants appreciate.
It dawned on me in the Gymstick H2O workshop when there was a general discussion about trying to attract more people to water exercise to show what a great workout it is, that we were trying to appeal to the fit people – AGAIN. Perhaps rather than focusing on trying to attract people that already have so many other fitness options, that the focus could be on what is already working and happening. Maybe, we just focus more on attracting more obese, elderly, injured and ill people. This is why I got into the fitness industry and decided to make it a career. It wasn’t to appeal to those who could do everything that I asked, but those who could not, but would benefit so much. Where health was more important than a six pack and how many chins up could be performed in 30 seconds.
I could go on and on about the benefits of water, but this section is about the people who decide to become aqua instructors. You are a special breed. You work hard, are flexible to deal with a range of issues, think quickly on your feet and most importantly are passionate. Someone once said to me ‘aqua instructors seem to be older than most other people in the fitness industry’. This has an element of truth and why? – because their passion to improve health and wellbeing is beyond what they get paid and the conditions that they have to work with. It is beyond the glamorous ‘I am on stage’ or ‘look at what my clients can do in the gym’. It is the gentle assistance to help someone get in the pool, the eager question about how the surgery went, the individual modifications provided in a group exercise format and the long conversations with carers for special needs clients. That passion is not short lived and lasts for years, and I am humbled by my peers service to the community. So the next time you watch or see an aqua instructor in action, admire the quality of the person who is able to make a real difference in everyday people’s lives.