Each day the adults were encouraged to do aqua gym (most commonly known as aquarobics) at 12 noon, by which time, a notorious fidget starts getting a little bit bored of just lying in the sun, so i was thrilled to be asked and jumped up. Now I like to think of myself as pretty confident about who I am, happy to try it all out, and it was hot sitting next to the pool, i wanted to get in it. But something stopped me plunging into the pool on day one - there were no other men doing it - so it was back to my book, and pleading with my partner to go and jet or water ski (again).
On day two, I watched again, and was relieved to find there were two men doing it - ok they weren't doing it properly, they were just bouncing around with their children on their back but they were doing it, and so I was able to join it. And it was great - real 80s remixed dance tunes - and it was hard work - as long as you did it properly - which I was determined to do.
Day three there were four men in the pool. I have a tendency to want to win - whoever said its taking part that matters....but I did think i had outgrown some of these tendencies, but the competition between us was incredible. The high leg kicks, the strong sweeps through the water which were, at least in my case, starting to hurt, but something unspoken, something learnt, forced each other on.
Meanwhile a group of primary aged boys had gathered to laugh at us. Given my interest in young men and sexual health, I was interested at what i learnt about myself, and reminded that nature or nurture, primary school boys know pretty early that call it what you like aqua gym/aquarobics ain't something men should be doing, and that is why an understanding of gender has to lie at the heart of all we do in sex education and service provision.