I got into a fight with a water aerobics instructor.

It’s fair to say that the wheels have well and truly fallen off this pregnant, sweaty, emotional horse.

YES I KNOW THAT HORSES DON’T HAVE WHEELS, HOW DARE YOU POINT THAT OUT. But the other analogy was that the wheels have fallen off this pregnant, sweaty, emotional bus, and I burst into tears at the insult of referring to myself as a bus. (Perhaps left over emotion from yesterday, when my husband told me I look like Humpty Dumpty…) So shut up and accept me as a beautiful, majestic horse with fallen wheels.

Ahem. Where was I? Right…

The wheels have fallen off. I have severe Carpel Tunnel syndrome on the right side of my body, a massive hole in my tooth, and my comfy undies no longer fit. The only joy in my life right now (besides children and family, but even that’s a stretch) is my daily sojourn to the local swimming pool.




I like to go in the morning, so I share the pool with the Very, Very Old, and the Very, Very Young (which is Russian roulette because both, I suspect, have trouble controlling their bowels).

I like to swim ten laps with a noodle (which always has bite marks on it, who is doing that?! ) and I don’t put my head under, because I like to think I look like a glamorous women in a fifties movie swimming across to her beau. Please never tell me what I actually look like, or I will beat you with the noodle. So I do my laps, then I go over to the hydro-pool and do my stretches at the bar.

But this morning, there was an incident. Involving the geriatric water aerobics class and myself.

I already have a long standing issue with water aerobics. It’s super easy to cheat. The instructors at my pool seem to all look like Madge from Neighbours meets the matron from A Country Practice. And they stand outside the pool, yelling at all of those bobbing around inside of it. “Get in the pool, Madge!” I want to shout. “Do the bloody work!”

This morning, post-noodle-laps, I went to move into the hydro-pool. I noticed there was a water aerobics class going on so I took myself to the other end of the pool, and I slid in, barely taking up any room in the corner. I was practically invisible. But then Madge (that’s not her real name, obvi) spotted me, and loudly called into her Madonna headset over the loudspeaker, “Excuse me, are you doing this class?”

Clearly not, Madge.

I turned, slowly. “Clearly not.” I said. She barrelled on, relishing in her power trip, her amplified voice echoing around the leisure centre. “Then you’ll have to move to the other end of the pool.” I looked at her witheringly, picked up my noodle, and without breaking eye contact, slowly walked to the other end of the hydro pool. Into her headset, she tut-tutted me. I WASN’T EVEN NEAR THE CLASS.

So then, as I stood glowering in a sanctioned, ten centimetre spot of water, a lifeguard came up to me. Another power trip. “This area is reserved”, she said to me bossily. I took a deep breath; “I am pregnant. I have paid to swim. The only way I am leaving this pool, is if you physically carry me out.” And then I dared her with my eyes.


The lifeguard goes off and gets one of those triangle signs that says ‘area reserved’ and puts it directly in front of me. I mean, the pettiness! If I wasn’t so pissed off, I would have been impressed.

So did I leave the pool, and acquiesce the requests of the power trippers?

Of course I fucking didn’t. I did not leave. I stayed for 35 extra minutes, doing some angry spite swimming. And as I left, I did the pathetic pregnancy walk – hand on lower back, legs spread wide – riiiiight past Madge.

The final straw was that after I’d changed out of my bathers, and was exiting the leisure centre, the lifeguard came up to me and said “You should get the timetable for the group classes so you know when the pool is unavailable”. So I said “I will come WHENEVER I like, thank you very much!” turned on my heel and left.

Yes my level of pettiness was HIGH, yes the participants of the class had paid extra to be there, I am in NO WAY a victim here, I was badly behaved and belligerent but in the moment I felt VERY hardly done by. My safe, warm, zero gravity space was threatened and I did not take it well!

Also mood.

As you can see, I’ve reached the phase in my pregnancy where I feel like I’ve lost control of my body. As we speak, I am screaming this at Lucy from my couch, as she types the words for me. (It’s true. Help me. – Lucy) I can’t type because of my carpel tunnel, and I can barely talk because I’m so tired. Why did NO ONE tell me that carpal tunnel was a fucking side affect of pregnancy? Why don’t the Madges and lifeguards of the world understand, I do not… have… the energy.

Anyway. I’m fine. My arms in a sling. My family’s helping. And I have every intention of getting back in the pool tomorrow.

I guess sometimes pregnancy looks like this..

Serene leopard queen

And sometimes it looks like this..

Shut up YOU’RE eating ice-cream in your PJ’s at 2pm!

Thanks for listening, guys. Deep breaths.

Em X

PS don’t bother complaining about how good water aerobics is and what the benefits are. I’m not in the mood. You’re definitely right, but I’m in a fight with a leisure centre right now, so I don’t have any energy left. Let’s all just snuggle our pool noodles and have a nap.

65 responses to “I got into a fight with a water aerobics instructor.”

  1. I do water aerobics and the pool area is reserved for the class only. There are other pools for anyone who wants to do anything else. And my instructors are young and gorgeous in barely there gym clothes! And most of us take the exercise very seriously and try and keep up with them so if there is a person not doing the class they can be in the way. These classes also cost money which would be additional to just using the pools. So I see where you are coming from Em but this is the other side of the story. By the way, pools aside, I like what you are doing with your life and such happy times still to come with a new son. All the best

    • No Silvana, there isn’t! This is the only pool where I can hold onto a bar at the edge and keep my balance. At my swim centre there is only two pools. There was MORE than enough room for me to be there!

  2. Ummmm they were both totally wrong and petty!! And that’s not even factoring in the pregnancy part! People should make way for this amazing talent to grow a human! God dammit. Get it girl.. let it all out! I’m sure I was twice as bad as you when pregnant.. and not even a funny person (insert shrug emoji here)

      • If a pregnant woman can’t be petty then what is this world coming to. If this had of happened to me during my pregnancies I probably would have shoved the pool noodle up Madge’s bum and then sat there crying about the whole incident

  3. What a pack of arseholes at your pool. At my pool the aerobics biddies run their classes either in the 50m or the 25m pools where they get a two lane wide area and that’s it. Hydro is for therapy and the hilarity of baby swim classes.

    Best water aerobics instructor I’ve seen looked like she was a Russian Cold War teacher, who marched up and down the pool and screamed at her students who all silently worked like maniacs. No slacking in her class, she had an iron fist. Sported a Bridgette Nielson hair do. I loved watching her work.

  4. Em, please get someone to get you the biggest blow up pool toy you can get your hands on quickly.
    Blow that sucker up, get on in that pool tomorrow, take up all the room you need.
    Best of luck with the rest of your pregnancy.

  5. Well after probably 20 weeks of my midwife telling me my baby will be big and expect to go around 37 weeks… I am now 40+1 and I know exactly what kinda crazy you are feeling. Fuck her, fuck them and fuck me. I’m really enjoying the loud sighs that come behind me as I waddle my fat arse around westfield in the hopes of something (breaking waters, contractions…. ANYTHING) happening. I would have screamed at every single person in that place. Pee in the pool tomorrow. I know you want to.

  6. Good on you for doing your best with what you can manage at the moment Em. Clearly Madge and the lifeguard haven’t been in your position before! Keep doing you because you’re freaking amazing!

  7. I bloody HATE THE POWER TRIPPERS!! I mean, really people. You teach swimming/watch teens piss about/shout at Phyllis to lift her knees at the local pool. You are not the pool police!

    We took our two boys (then 3 years and the other 9 months old) to a local swimming pool. After paying the exorbitant entry price, getting the kids changed, me changed without flashing the breastfeeding boobs to the world…. we find out that EVERY SINGLE SECTION OF EVERY SINGLE SWIMMING POOL WAS RESERVED FOR SWIMMING LESSONS.

    UMMM… what? The chick at the desk just decides to NOT mention that while we handed over too much bloody cash? Do you want to tell a 3 year old that has just got his swimmers on that he can’t swim now? That was going to go down like a cup of cold sick. So… I found a teeny tiny section that WASNT reserved and let the kid go for it. Then a MADGE tried to get us to move so that the kids from A RESERVED SECTION could use the NOT reserved section to swim laps…. as you can imagine, this Mama did not acquiescence to her request #restingbitchface #witheringglare

  8. Sooo I also do water aerobics and the level of pettiness and power tripping I see on the regular is obscene! You would think the life guards and aerobics instructors were legit Queen Bey herself… Keep doing you and let the power trippers have their sorry little moments!

  9. Oh Em, I feel so badly for you with the carpel tunnel. I had it with all 3 of my boys. It’s so debilitating. Like pregnancy is not hard enough without it. Acupuncture worked a treat with mine. Especially the last pregnancy. Good luck with it. X

  10. If a pregnant woman can’t be petty then what is this world coming to. If this had of happened to me during my pregnancies I probably would have shoved the pool noodle up Madge’s bum and then sat there crying about the whole incident 😂

  11. Love it! Im a firm believer in while you’re pregnant everyone else is wrong, doesnt matter how petty, absurd or generally incorrect it is.
    Next time you go in give that life gaurd a timetable of when you will be coming in so you can claim the reserved sign is for you! Haha

  12. Carpel Tunnel SUCKS. It is bloody hard enough to sleep when pregnant without 30cm frickin rulers pushed down into both wrist supports, and still in excruciating pain. I hear you, I feel for you and hope it goes away after the pregnancy… Sorry for the bad ending but I just had surgery earlier this year to fix one wrist and my twins are now eight years old. By the way, I wish I had your courage to stay in the god damn pool, all power to you!

  13. Oh Em! I’m feeling you! I’m currently what feels like 56 weeks pregnant with twins (really only 33 weeks, but whatevs). If someone dared to tell me to leave the safety and comfort of that pool, you bet your arse they would have copped some very choice language as well. Who cares if the members of the class paid extra, you’re pregnant and uncomfortable and as far as I’m concerned that wins in every situation, pregnancy related of not. Keep on kicking arse, woman. Growing tiny humans inside of our own bodies is not an easy thing to do.

  14. Hey gorgeous (growing another human) superhero.
    You swim wherever you want firstly.
    Second – I also suffered horrendously with pregnancy induced carpal tunnel that started at 4 months. I went to Drs, physio, chiro, acupuncture….nothing helped and was told it could last till 9 months after the fucking birth !!!! Luckily my flatmate at the time suggested i go to see a Bowen Therapist called Quentin Strauli at Heal It Health Studio in Leichhardt. i was very sceptical as I had never heard of it. well 15 minutes into my basic treatment my carpal tunnel pain was completely gone, never to return. i highly recommend a treatment woth Quentin and it wont hurt bubs in any way.

  15. Perhaps they shouldn’t take your money if they can’t provide you with the service you are paying for (ie. swimmimg in the PUBLIC pool)?!

  16. Hey gorgeous (growing another human) superhero.
    You swim wherever you want firstly.
    Second – I also suffered horrendously with pregnancy induced carpal tunnel that started at 4 months. I went to Drs, physio, chiro, acupuncture….nothing helped and was told it could last till 9 months after the fucking birth !!!! Luckily my flatmate at the time suggested i go to see a Bowen Therapist called Quentin Strauli at Heal It Health Studio in Leichhardt. i was very sceptical as I had never heard of it. well 15 minutes into my basic treatment my carpal tunnel pain was completely gone, never to return. i highly recommend a treatment with Quentin and it wont hurt bubs in any way. You are nearly to the finish line babes !

  17. Fucking LOL I am screaming. You are the best 😂😂😂😂😂
    I would tell them to headbutt a knife also. Definitely not over the top or petty.

  18. Oh Em I had the worst carpel tunnel in BOTH my hands during my first pregnancy. Worse at night with many nights spent crying on the side of my bed. I hear you and feel for you, it’s the pits!!! Good news is it will disappear within hours of birth 🙌🏼 You got this!

  19. Hey you gorgeous (growing another human) superhero.
    You swim wherever you want firstly.
    Second – I also suffered horrendously with pregnancy induced carpal tunnel that started at 4 months. I went to Drs, physio, chiro, acupuncture….nothing helped and was told it could last till 9 months after the fucking birth !!!! Luckily my flatmate at the time suggested i go to see a Bowen Therapist called Quentin Strauli at Heal It Health Studio in Leichhardt. i was very sceptical as I had never heard of it. well 15 minutes into my basic treatment my carpal tunnel pain was completely gone, never to return. i highly recommend a treatment with Quentin and it wont hurt bubs in any way. You are nearly to the finish line babes !

  20. I had carpel tunnel in both hands during my pregnancy and it didn’t go away. I had surgery for both hands when my daughter was 2. The worst part is nothing fixes it or makes it go away!

  21. God I miss pregnancy rage!! I wasn’t below yelling at the purple rinse brigade to move outta my way on the local Westfield travellator when I was pregnant. Do I look back now and cringe? Ofcourse.. would I do it differently if I had my time again..? Probably not! 🙂
    You were not petty at all Em, had it been me I probably would have used more f words than necessary and then cried just to really show them! :p if only I could blame my foul mood on pregnancy instead of this is just who I am now 🙂
    Keep smiling Em you’re almost at the finish line and the reward at the end is oh so worth it! Sending so much love (and a whole lot more I understanding) your way xx

  22. You go Em, you use that pool however you choose and whenever you choose. Screw those water aerobic snobs. 👅 you are growing a perfect human and need to relax and swim and do what you do. Your not bothering anyone and certainly not taking up any space they need. Shut up everyone else.

  23. So I most definitely took in the entirety of your ever well-crafted blog post… but then I got completely distracted by the last photo. I MUST know what ice-cream you’re indulging in! It looks devine! PJ’s and a tub of ice-cream is more than just a hobby for me

  24. The parts of being pregnant that noone wants to admit to 😂. I was awful pregnant so completely understand the pettiness. Oh and the carpel tunnel I had surg on both mine post kids. Hold strong girl currently you are growing an amazing little human all will be good in the end.

  25. Aw Em, I just wanna give you a big cuddle! Definitely hit the shit end of pregnancy (although with mine there wasn’t a real non shit part). Count down the days, that was the only thing that got me though. I was due December last year, thank god it wasn’t at hot at it is st the moment.
    Also I hated the As I called them the nazis at the hydro pool, they’re why you don’t give little people power… or headsets!
    Hopefully you’ll feel a bit better soon. Or you get a shit tone of junk food to support your pity party 💛

  26. Lol. Tell them to stick their chamois up their butts!
    Pfftt. It’s water aerobics, not Olympic sport. The people who say “you can’t go here and must go elsewhere even though you have paid an exorbitant price to enter our overpriced pool” are the same derps that say you can no longer dive in the deep end, jump off the blocks or go on the 10 meter towers. Losers. They should be relegated to spa centres.
    Keep upsetting them. The chlorine is affecting their brains and giving them way too much power.
    Go the Rebels at the pool!!!

  27. They can suck it up. You are growing a whole little person and had a bad day. Working in that kind of environment they should try to be a bit more understanding.

  28. Em, You’re amazing.
    Yeah okay some people do pay extra for those stupid classes but my god if every pool in the centre is not available to swim in then close it off to the public so that people dont go into the pools when these classes are on. You had/have every right to be in that pool.! I am not pregnant and not a mother but I know it can be tough, the way people treat those that are pregnant or people those that thinks it’s okay to invade your space without asking or even telling you how to be a parent.
    Em, Keep doing you, stay strong and know there are so many out there RIGHT BEHIND YOU xo I will follow you and support whatever you say, do or want in life till the end.

    Ps. Who said horses dont have wheels? THEY ARE WRONG ! I use to ride a horse with wheels as a kid 🤣🤣 (rocking horse, that you could push around the house hehe)

  29. My daughter had two quite big hip surgeries at 8 and again at 9. As part of her physio we were given exercises to do in a hydro pool. Every single time I took her (in a wheelchair with a visible 7 inch scar down her leg) we were told “kids aren’t allowed in the hydrotherapy pool, you’ll have to get out”. Most times the pool was actually empty! And other times, the tutting from the oldies already in the hydro pool as I carried my darling dripping daughter away was deafening.

  30. Nah to hell with that, Madge is a bitch and so is that lifeguard. I’m not even pregnant and I would’ve done the same thing. Even if you were in the wrong pool, there’s a certain way you speak to people. Don’t come around here ruining my magical safe haven with my pool noodle and shit. I believe you used the appropriate requirement of petty for that situation. Next week sign up to Madge’s aerobics class and fake going into labour in the pool😂😂😂

  31. If she had approached you quietly and politely instead of loudly telling you off across the pool I’m sure things might have gone very differently and an easy compromise reached. The pettiness was started by the instructor. Simple kindness is such an easy thing to offer and yet in such short supply.

  32. I used to be a life guard, and we also had water aerobics classes. You were allowed in the same pool as the classes as long as you didn’t get in the way or secretly steal the water weights and attempt to copy Madge!

  33. Em, you are a strong, independent, pregnant queen who don’t need no lifeguard or waterobics instructors. You’ve paid to enter the pool and enter any pool you shall! Stick it to em! You’re amazing and I love you And I will be your personal body guard at the pools. Speedos and all 😘

  34. Oh Em- sending you all the love and hugs right now! Being in pain is exhausting ❤️. You’re funny and awesome ❤️😀

  35. Babe! I totally understand your stress! When I was 3rd trimester pregnant I yelled at a poor 16 year old shop attendant because the shop was closing and he was responsible for telling me that although the doors were still open they were “actually closed”. I calmly told him I NEEDED (no, I did not WANT) Arnotts Family Assorted biscuits and I’d be 2 minutes. He didn’t let me in so I told him he was the cruelest human being I’d met that day and finished with “can’t you see I’m fucking pregnant?”, then I burst in to tears and ran all the way back to my car where I spent the next 15 minutes howling and feeling completely crazy. I’ve never been SO ANGRY! I needed those biscuits with every fibre of my being!
    I can laugh now but it was not funny at the time! ….

  36. The way I see it, you’re clearly out of the way, not taking away their space or interrupting, so I’m confused what the actual issue was with you being there?

    Also love that you can aknowledge your own pettiness here and are clear to point out you’re no victim….

    …… I also hope you too the ‘reserved’ sign home with you tucked nicely under your arm…

  37. You are such a real soul & inspiration! Role model, dreamboat mumma bear and down to earth glamorous teddy bear villain! You’re amazing xxx😘

  38. I hated those days where you feel like the world is against you especially with carpal tunnel. That shit sucks!!! I don’t know how many times I’d wake up in the middle of the night with numb hands. The best thing I did though was get acupuncture. It was virtually gone within 24 hrs. I hope you start to feel better soon. In the meantime milk the shit out of it haha

  39. Adults who tell off other adults in public like Madge are gigantic losers. I would have been just as petty if not more and I am not even pregnant. I had a similar run in with a real estate agent last year and it took all of my willpower to not punch her and call her a bitch.

  40. After managing a leisure centre a few years ago (while pregnant) reading your blog me realize how much I DO NOT miss it. Fuck those crazy ass instructors & dipshit lifeguards.
    Tomorrow tell the Lifeguard there’s a shit in the hydro, kick back in your noodle and watch all hell break loose.

  41. Hey Em I had carpel tunnel withmy third pregnancy in both arms and I was 10 years younger than you, so please don’t feel alone. At the time there were braces you could get for your arms at the Chemist to wear overnight. Hang in their lovely this baby is worth it all 💙💕💙💕

  42. Tell em to go multiply with themselves Em! Take it one day at a time and remember to breath. Some days you really just want to yell at people like this and tell them to eat a big fat cucumber

  43. Guurl, fuck that instructor and that life guard can eat a bag of dicks. Women existing pregnant win every time!! They should have just let you be, seriously, they suck… I am sending them both an extra large bag of dicks so they can put their suckage to good use! Rest up and be kind to yourself 💕❤️💕

  44. Soooooo I guess nobody has explained that the carpet tunnel might not actually resolve once baby is earthside……
    Yes. You made need surgery. Great news hey!

  45. Em
    The lifeguard but up the sign after you were in the pool and the class had already started. Slack. Good on you for staying another 35 mins

  46. how DARE they? Rude pool nazis! Btw I have those pyjamas and they are the most comfortable pjs in the world and I would be wearing them aaallllll day long if I didn’t have to adult. They are even more comfortable when eating ice cream.

  47. 32 weeks preggo over here with my first and I have been debating about using the pool to enjoy the weightlessness of this stage of my pregnancy- plus to make myself feel less guilty about putting on 13kg and now having gestational diabetes.
    Good on you for standing your ground! It’s not like as though you were in the pool doing the class without paying the extra for it- the lifeguard was just on a power trip!

    You have hit the nail on the head though about the emotional horse though- I literally ripped hubby’s eyeballs out yesterday when he started fiddling with the baby seat in the car- DON’T YOU TOUCH THAT!! He then left me stranded in the garage with the groceries, where I had to walk up the stairs carrying everything- bastard! Needless to say I had a few choice words to say to him once I caught my breath and iced my pubic bone (bloody loose ligaments!!).

    He’s lucky avocados are still the price of a kidney- otherwise he would’ve wore it in the back of his head as he walked up those stairs, away from my banshee cries!

    ZEN! ZEN! ZEN! I am a majestic horse!

  48. Em you kill me!! I’m pregnant too and i’m Right with you….petty, stroppy and loving the freedom secretly!! 😂😂

  49. I say steal all of their water weights and spread them around the pool so they have to go on a scavenger hunt for them. Break the roof of the pettiness levels!

  50. I too suffered from the vicious Bitch that is Carpal Tunnel when pregnant with all 3 of my sprogs and I feel your pain. When even picking up your toothbrush in the morning or turning a tap on takes mental strength and a physical toll, you are 100% allowed to be belligerent! They were being petty and deserved at least a splash.

  51. Hilarious!!!! I personally would have swung the noodle over my shoulder with a convenient length left over to slap Madge in the head with it. THEN shift that reserved sign out off the way with my foot ever so slowly while holding dagger eye contact with the wee old life guard!
    You get back in that Pool Em and make sure they see you coming! Strut your pregnant stuff around that place!!!
    PS I had both carpal tunnels done a few years back when being collected from the day surgery my hubby had a giggle seeing me in a double sling. I got him back by having a little reaction to the medicine and having a slight explosion in the loo! Guess who had to wash me down ???🤪😂

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