Let’s Move Quad Cities celebrates the spirit and determination Quad City area residents take to promote movement and fitness. We welcome guest bloggers, Shirley Tebbutt, Davenport, and the Bettendorf Family YMCA Water Aerobics class taught by instructor Pat Cawiezell.
For more than 25 years, the “W.E.T. Babes” have been sharing the joy of fitness with each other. Says Pat, “Water aerobics is great for seniors — not only for fitness but for friendship. Women naturally connect with each other and this class is a great example of how to stay strong well into your senior years.”
Fitness and Friendship are Why We Move
By Shirley Tebbut, Davenport
How did you get the name ‘Wet Babes”?
W.E.T. stands for “Water Exercise Training” and the class began at the Pleasant Valley High School pool and remained there for almost two decades. Recently, the group moved to the Bettendorf Family Y. The name “W.E.T. Babes” came from one of the husbands who named our group. It just stuck. Check out our t-shirts!
How long have you been meeting?
The W.E.T. Babes have been swimming together for 25 years.
We’ve all grown together. We are all experienced at becoming empty-nesters, growing pains, retirement, old age and grandparenting and have been there for each other.
We have women who range in age from their 80’s to early 50’s. We would get talking in the pool and pretty soon we knew everyone’s life stories. We have fun together. We are like sisters. We’re always there for one another. I love my friends. It gets me going and out of the house. I wouldn’t miss it.
Did you ever expect to go this long?
Are you kidding? Since the class starts at 6:45 a.m, it makes a great start for the day with fitness and friendship; later socializing with coffee, birthday celebrations and “girls’ night out.” We all take care of one another and we’ve been through a lot together.
How does the exercise make you feel?
You wake up early and are ready to go! The exercise is low impact. In the pool, we are known as the “talking heads!” (In deep-water aerobics, your head stays above the water.) It’s great for flexibility, strength and the social benefits. We share what’s going on in our daily lives and support one another. There has been a lot of laughter, and we love making friends.
What is your advice if seniors are looking for ways to get energized?
Just go to the Y and work at your own level. Even if it’s more than you can do, you’ll work up to more strenuous activity. You really notice a difference. The goal is to make your body feel good. The key is to find something that will keep you strong and it’s a great way to make new friends along the way!
For more information on Quad Cities YMCA classes, visit the Quad Cities YMCA home page to find your local Y and check out their group fitness programs!
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