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From Florida Vacation to a Life-Changing Habit

May 6, 2022

Cindy Moser never would have guessed that she would have something in common with water dumbbells, but her vacation turned into a life-changing habit

Cindy retired as a nurse in the late summer, of 2014. A few months into that well-deserved retirement, Cindy decided that she wanted to retire from the Indiana winter as well. Her sister Susan, who is also her roommate, was working remotely at the time. So, they were both free as… well, snowbirds. The pair decided to spend four weeks of the winter in Florida at the start of 2015.

Dusting off the Nursing Skills

After getting to Florida, Cindy wanted to take advantage of that sunny month closer to the equator, so she would go to the pool during the day while Susan worked. Three years prior to the trip, Cindy had already replaced one of her knees. She knew it was only a matter of time before she would have to undergo replacement surgery on the second knee, too. What she didn’t know was that taking a dip would bring a helpful solution to her mobility issues to light.

“Well, it didn't take me long to figure out I was more comfortable moving in the water and the pain in my knee, hip and low back was significantly decreased,” she remembers.

Developing a Life-Changing Habit

Dusting off her nursing skills and applying them to her own health and well-being, she listened to her body and made the decision to be active while also gently treating her joints. Throughout her journey, she would learn a thing or two about water exercise.

For example, as far as building muscle, foam weights have a net effect near zero in the air. Yet, their use is very productive when they are forced to displace water in a pool. Cindy found that her knees and hips were buoyed up by the suspended gravity. The net effect of exercise outside the water was near zero for Cindy’s health: building up muscle meant tearing down joints. But moving in the water was the most effective way for her muscles to work against the necessary resistance. This discovery was only the beginning.

Back Home Again in Indiana

“Goodbye” to the sunshine state would not mean an end to her newfound exercise.

When Cindy and Susan came back to Indiana, she wasted no time in figuring out how she could continue the water therapy to continue her life-changing habit. But where to go for a safe, friendly environment in all seasons? Cindy knew just the place. She did an online search for YMCA centers and the Witham Family YMCA pool was the closest to her home at the time. So, she and her sister joined. They began water aerobics classes immediately.

“I cannot say enough good things about the classes. The atmosphere was very welcoming and the instructors were knowledgeable, encouraging, and patient.”

From the water aerobics classes, Cindy and Susan were given the foundation to develop their own exercise program. At the start of their membership, they consistently attended 1-2 classes a week and exercised on their own one day a week. Cindy states:

“An added benefit of attending the water classes is that we developed friendships with several members and instructors; truly wonderful people.”

Starting Up A Life-Changing Habit Again

It was the Witham Family YMCA’s water aerobics program and its people that put Cindy and Susan on the road to regular exercise and they are very grateful. The benefit of water aerobics was made clear to Cindy and Susan during “the COVID break,” as Cindy terms the period of time when they could not attend their classes. The pair waited anxiously for the Y to reopen.  It was as if a piece of their lives – however new – was now missing. Their drive to keep going always keep the life-changing habit in the back of their mind.

“We have not returned to water classes since COVID,” Cindy shares. “The times and our schedules just do not work well together.” But the sisters share a goal of making it to the pool three times per week. Cindy admits that they do fall short of this goal some weeks, but never for long. And that’s what counts here at the Y: always starting again.

Just like a water dumbbell springs back up when you submerge it under the water, Cindy just keeps coming back! We love to see her in the water continuing her life-changing habit.

The Witham Family YMCA works hard to not turn anyone away because of an inability to pay. Don’t have Silver Sneakers? Qualified individuals (of all ages!) can get memberships and special program costs at a subsidized rate. To help make these opportunities available to everyone, visit https://indymca.org/ways-to-give/.

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