Tabata in the Pool, Re-Shaping my fitness story

If it is 8:30 on a Monday or Thursday morning I’m probably in the pool at a Tabata class. Two years ago I’d have said Are you kidding? Not me!

My surprising turnabout compels me to encourage you – whether it’s literally putting your toes in the water, or some other fitness or life challenge, just try before saying no.


Tabata gear: water weights, flotation belt, noodle – and water bottle for hydration!

Kejimkujik National Park, Nova Scotia. 

Nova Scotia, the province that is now my home  – offers enough ‘happy paddling places’ to last a lifetime: LaHave River where I live; the Atlantic Ocean; lakes and waterways all ’round the province to explore and experience. Did I say, I love kayaking?!

Sadly though, the season is short (I don’t fancy cold-weather wetsuits). I’m on the water from late May to October – that’s it. So my fitness challenge is maintaining paddling fitness over the winter months,  readiness for launching in the spring.

Obvious solutions would be the gym or strength-training (weights!) at home. Except that I do not like, nor carry through with, either of these. I’ve tried them and I know.

Swimming laps is also not my thing but I needed to find something, so in December, 2016 I checked out the program at the local private pool . And as a shot in the dark, I went to a free test-run aqua fitness class cuz I just might like it. 

I ended up purchasing a 10-session punchcard for January 2017. And I still like it:

  • The 8:30AM start works for me.
  • Lana, our well-trained instructor, encourages fun “work-it!” motivation.
  • As anticipated, participants are around my age and some older: a cool, friendly and fun group in the pool – and energized after our workout we manage to navigate around each other in the small dressing room! 
  • In spite of a chronic rotator cuff issue I can adapt my movements and intensity. 
  • Everyone is free to work as hard – or not – as you want or are able.

Shortly after I started, when Lana introduced Tabata in the deep end, no-impact using a flotation belt (referral link) – I discovered the sweet spot of my physical activity.

                                 Making friends with water weights. (referral link)

This definition of Tabata describes timing and duration of the intervals. Ours varies from one class to the next, which keeps it interesting; this video (not of our class – our instructor is much better looking!) is one example of Tabata in the pool.

There aren’t any short cuts. With all habit-building efforts, rewards are linked with consistently showing up, and there have been benefits for me and my ‘classmates’: 

  • strength to slice a paddle through the water and hoist a kayak
  • building core balance – noticeable for me on the trail, less tripping!
  • toned muscles that feel better in jeans
  • physical healing support for chronic joint concerns
  • happy news reports for weight loss 
  • connection with others in real life: building friendships and networks
  • confidence, leadership: we carry on, with or without the instructor (or electricity!)  



I hate to miss Tabata, it gives me even more than I’d hoped for.  To think I could have missed it all because ‘the water isn’t my thing’ and I wasn’t keen on driving a short distance to workout in a cold pool (that feels warmer really fast as you start moving)!! 

Have an open mind! Discover and experience what matters to you and what you do not want to miss. I’d love to hear how you have re-shaped your fitness story.  

Love and gratitude.  


P.S. Whatever stage of life you’re in – my desire is that you will be rejuvenated with healthy food, physical movement, living with purpose and joy. If you want to connect with me for a free short chat to help make this happen for you I’m available here or at

P.P.S. This is my Affiliate and Privacy Policy.

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