From Here: John Greaves

15 04 2010

John Greaves is an aquatics instructor at the Victoria Y.

How long have you lived in Victoria?
Since 1995. I was in Courtenay before then, and before that in Grand Forks.

How long have you been teaching aquafit?
I was a lifeguard in Grand Forks, and I used to watch the ladies teach the aquafit, and sometimes sub for them. That was kind of my first introduction. I took the course to be certified to teach at the Crystal Pool in the late ’90s.

How many hours of the week do you spend inside a swimming pool?
Right now, 18 hours. I teach aquafit at the Y, the Crystal Pool, and the Grand Pacific Hotel. I do the masters’ swim club here at the Y, and coach kids at Crystal with the Tyee Swim Club, to get my kid fix. I also do a water movement class for people with arthritis at Crystal, and I do water massage, which is called Watsu. I also do shiatsu massage, but that’s kind of my dry land thing.

You must always smell like chlorine.
It actually doesn’t bug me anymore. A lot of pools are ozone now. The newest pools are all salt water.

Are there different kinds of aquafit?
There are two types of deep water fit; there’s a running class, when you’re tethered by your belt, and then the other one is more like aerobics underwater, with more of a sequence. The shallow water is the same, but there’s a bit more impact because you’re running on the ground. It’s low impact compared to running out of the water, but people still have to guide themselves, depending on their hips and knees, especially in the seniors’ classes.

Younger people usually like the deep water, as well as runners and triathelete types, because it’s a bit more intense.

People have this sense of aquafit being something old ladies do, but some of your classes have up to 40 people in them, many of them under 30. Is that perception changing?

It’s getting more popular at all the rec centres as people realize it’s a good workout. A lot of people do it as a secondary workout. If they’re regularly doing harder gym sessions, they can do more working out without getting injured by coming in the water.

Aquafit has changed over the years. It started just as aerobics in the water. Then people added swimming skills to it and different equipment like the AquaJogger belts. It sort of started more with the seniors doing it. I think that’s why people think, “Oh aquafit, that’s a seniors’ class.” But those seniors are in good shape! They’re working hard.

It is usually more women, especially in the 60 plus age groups. The men sit in the hot tub. But there have been more and more men. Some days I have as many men as women. Here at the Y there are a lot of girls who bring their boyfriends. You see the husbands—their wives drag them out, then they like it.

How old were you when you learned to swim?
I don’t remember, I was probably two. I’ve swam all my life. I have four kids and they’re all swimmers. The baby’s only one, so she’s just starting. But she likes the pool.

Photos by Katrina Tran, Interview by Mayana C. Slobodian



2 responses

16 04 2010

It’s Courtenay.

18 04 2010

Hey, thanks! Good catch.

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