Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Becoming a Mermaid
With AquaMermaid Chicago

** Thank you AquaMermaid for hosting me for a mermaid class. All thoughts are always my own.

Photo taken with a GoPro, so quality of image differs from my other posts.
Note: Airbnb did a feature on the class I attended. Read it here.

I've always been a mermaid at heart. Haven't we all dreamed of being a mermaid? AquaMermaid helped me make that dream a reality at its mermaid class over the weekend at the UIC Sports and Fitness Center. What a Sunday Funday!

I was a little nervous before the class on Sunday, but I'm not sure why. A fellow student quickly put me at ease with her kindness. I didn't know anyone else in class, but by the end we were all chatting and having fun together.

We began by getting outfitted with our fins and tails. You first put your feet in the fins and then zip up (in my case, Velcro) your tail up. Then you pull the tail up the rest of the way. That was the trickiest part, but I found that if you lie down it's a lot easier. If you're wondering about the fit of the mermaid tails, AquaMermaid has a size chart on its website.

First, what to bring to the mermaid class:
  • Towel
  • Waterproof camera (I bought my GoPro in its new Super Suit.) 
  • Googles
  • Swimsuit
  • Moisturizer and lip balm for after class (I wish I had brought these because I found that my skin felt so dry after class.)
  • Lock, if you plan to use a locker
  • Friends!
Once you get in the water, you learn the basic mermaid moves, which we practiced in groups of three. One of them was the mermaid hello, which meant bringing your knees to your chest and waving your tail. The class I attended was for teens and adults, but classes for children 7 and older are also available. Our class had people in their teens to their 30s and 40s. (By the way, AquaMermaid classes are also available in Ottawa, Phoenix/Scottsdale, Montreal, Toronto, Quebec, Kitchener-Waterloo and Norfolk County.) 

Among the tricks we learned: swimming sideways, swimming in groups holding each other's shoulders, handstands, etc. It was a bit difficult to swim with the tail on at first, but by the end I was getting the hang of it.

After we learned and practiced the basics, we could move on to the deeper end of the pool to learn more tricks. We also at one point did ab work: Placing our elbows at the pool's edge, keep our bodies and legs straight and lifting our tails up to the water's surface, then back down slowly and with straight legs (as in a leg lift). I found it difficult to get the tail up to the surface. We also participated in a relay race, but by then I was beat. (This is when you will need your goggles. You also need them if you prefer to swim underwater.) The class is definitely a workout!

Photo by Airbnb

The class ends with enough time (about 10 minutes) to take photos, so don't worry. The instructor knows just what poses to do, too, in case you're stuck. It's also a fairly Instagrammable event, if you're into that sort of thing. 

Also, if you find that you fall in love with the class, you can become a member and buy a mermaid tail of your own! 

A mermaid class would make a great outing for a group of friends, especially for a birthday. I could see doing this with a few friends and then going to brunch afterward, because you most certainly work up an appetite. A gift card to AquaMermaid would also make a unique gift for an adventurous person in your life. I'd love one! My biggest tip for mermaid class is to have fun and enjoy the laughs!

Questions I received when I shared a post about my mermaid class:

  • Is it hard? In the beginning it can be a bit difficult, but it gets easier. I felt it the next day. 
  • Am I too old for this? NOPE! We had teens up to middle-age students in my class.
  • Are men allowed? Guys can certainly attend. Mermen are welcome, too! 
  • Can I actually become a mermaid? If you'd like to become a professional mermaid, you can take training via AquaMermaid! How cool is that?!
Also: Parking for the Chicago class was easy to find on Taylor Street, just a short walk from the center. (And it's free on Sundays, when these classes were held!)

Have you ever considered taking a mermaid class? Doesn't it sound like fun?

Video: my mermaid class experience: