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Pool aims for an older crowd

Water aerobics students tread water.

Farmington's municipal pool has long been a source of summer fun for Farmington kids, but this season the city wants to open up the opportunities to a new age bracket.

The Farmington Parks and Recreation Department is making an increased effort to draw adults to the pool this year as something other than chaperones. They have added adult swim times from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday and a new water aerobics class just wrapped up the first of three summer sessions last Thursday.

Kids have always had their open swims and their special parties. Pool manager Krystle Graber said adults have shown an interest in having a time free from rowdy children. Turnout hasn't been large since the pool opened for the season June 16, but there have a handful have shown up to swim laps.

The water aerobics class, too, seems to be drawing interest gradually. Farmington High School graduate Allison Hunter, a longtime pool employee, volunteered to teach the class. When only one person signed up to attend the first day June 21, she recruited her mother. Then her mother recruited some friends. By the time the session wrapped up July 1 there were five people in the pool using inflatable balls and noodle-shaped flotation devices for some low-impact exercise. Water aerobics puts little stress on joints and bones, but everybody in the pool Thursday seemed satisfied with the workout she was getting.

Marcene Kruger was the lone person to sign up for the class in advance. She loves water aerobics, and she'd been looking for an option that was more affordable than what was available at local athletic clubs. She jumped at the chance to take the local class, which costs $4 per class or $24 for a 10-day session.

Kruger said she got her money's worth.

"I was sore the whole week, but now I'm better," she said.

This is Hunter's first time leading a water aerobics class. She brought energy to last week's session wrap-up, calling out instructions over the upbeat music playing over pool loudspeakers. She had her students doing push-ups on the pool wall and swimming laps using only their legs. She let people know what muscles they were toning.

Everyone seemed to be having fun. They laughed as they joked about sore muscles and the jiggles they were eliminating.

"Everyone seems to like it," Hunter said. "It's a good workout. It's good for every age.

"It gets you moving in the morning and the water is not a cold as everybody is afraid it is."

Now Hunter and her students just want to spread the world to get more people in the pool.

At least one student believes it's only a matter of time.

"Pretty soon we'll have the pool full," Kruger said. "We'll even have to open the deep end."

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

(651) 460-6606