Staying cool and active this summer is what is on the agenda at the Royse Memorial Swimming Pool, “The Plunge,” here in Oakdale. Water aerobics has been one of the top activities offered this summer at the pool.
Due to such a high demand for the water aerobics class to continue past normal summer scheduling, pool officials have decided to extend the class through August.
Water aerobics instructor and one of the head lifeguards, Jaden Chau, has been teaching the popular morning class for two years. Until this summer, though, Chau hadn’t seen her aerobics class since the summer of 2019 due to the pandemic and the pool being closed during 2020.
“It was nice to catch up with the ladies,” said Chau. “I haven’t seen them in a year so it was nice to fill them in with my life and hear about what they have been up to the past year too.”
Chau is experiencing a full circle moment as she left for college in southern California after graduating from Oakdale High School in 2020. Chau missed her water aerobics class and came home from college this summer to teach it once more.
She is assisted by OHS senior Matthew Van Dyke, who is also a lifeguard at the pool. Chau’s Thursday afternoon class currently has 10 to 12 women, however, the class is open to both males and females of all ages. A recent Thursday afternoon water aerobics class was filled with high fives and smiling faces all around.
Kathleen Small has lived in Oakdale for almost seven years and has always been heavily involved in exercise. Small chose to enroll in the water aerobics class to take pressure off her joints and meet new people.
“The class is refreshing,” said Small. “You can’t get an exercise like this anywhere else, Jaden and Matthew give us a great workout; some of us even have to take a nap after!”
Chau strives to constantly challenge her class in the water while also finding a way to encourage a community feel after this past year.
“The ladies’ energy is so positive post-COVID, they are just excited to be there,” said Chau. “It feels more community support based rather than a workout class.”
Water aerobics classes are offered Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to noon as well as an evening class from 4:05p.m. to 5:05 p.m.
In the month of August, there is usually only open swim during the weekends; however, due to the high demand for water aerobics to continue, the class will now be offered through the month of August during the evenings.
Because of limited spacing in the class as a result of COVID-19 guidelines, there are no drop-ins allowed. Sign-ups are online at oakdalegov.com. The pool is at 555 N. Third Ave. in Oakdale and can be reached at (209) 845-3571.