This weekend I was lucky enough to have been invited to try the latest lifestyle trend to hit Toronto; Mermaid Swim Classes! Yes you read that correctly, mermaid classes. I had heard some buzz about this earlier in the year, but I wasn’t sure what to expect. Always one to try something new, I woke up bright and early Saturday morning and prepared to channel my inner mermaid at AquaMermaid School to see just how good, or bad, I would be at it.
Upon arriving at the swimming pool I got into a swim suit and headed out to the deck. The instructor Katie handed me a fin and I was off to the races. Getting that thing on was hard. Imagine two pairs of scuba fins that are fused together in the middle so your feet are locked in but very close together. All of this is covered in a stretchy fabric that you lift over your body. There was a lot of struggle and I totally looked like a wriggling fish out of water. You can see how it looks below, as I show off my excellent hand stand skills.
After we all got our fins on, we hopped (you literally have to hop since walking isn’t possible) into the pool and tried some basic swimming motions. I found it to be fairly easy. I think this is in part because, as a Crossfit athlete, one of our foundational movements (the kip, or arch to hollow) is very similar to the body movement required to be a mermaid. Moving with a fin requires a tight core, tight glutes, and some basic coordination so you can glide through the water like Ariel herself. Any fitness level can do this, including absolute beginners, but you must be comfortable in the water and a strong swimmer.
I loved practicing deep dives because I felt like a real mermaid as I flipped my fin out and back into the water. The handstands were also fun because I could show off my neat accessory. Once I got used to the feeling of moving with the fin, I found myself going all over the pool gracefully slipping in and out of the water. Note that there is no proof that I was actually graceful, but I felt as if I was the next Little Mermaid minus the long hair, shell bra, and great singing voice.
Overall, I really enjoyed the class. I think that it would be a great activity for a child’s birthday party, office team building, or even part of a bachelorette party. It’s a good mix of exercise and fun, while learning something new that I doubt anyone has ever tried before. Needless to say, I’d definitely do it again.
If you want to try it yourself and you live in Toronto, Ottawa or Montreal, go to www.aquamermaid.com for all the info.