Helping is just cost of a swim

Hello. My name is Judith Quinlan and I live in Area F. Until recently I was the physiotherapist in Lake Cowichan.

Last spring I suffered a stroke, and that was followed by other health problems, leading to a number of surgeries, with more to follow. By September I found myself in the worst shape of my life, and decided it was time to practise what I preach.

I availed myself of the services of our Primary Health Care Team, including some circuit training and regular walks. We are so lucky to have this team available to us. Once a week I also go to the pool, where I join one of the many water exercise classes.

As a physiotherapist I am well aware of the benefits of water-based therapies. Water can both resist and assist exercise, depending on the speed of movement. One of my problems is impaired balance, and I’ve had several falls so I’m a bit cautious about dry land exercising. This isn’t a problem in the pool, and I can challenge my balance in the water, including trying to walk in the lazy river! After the exercise class I swim laps for a while, giving myself a good cardiovascular workout. The lap pool is always open as is the hot pool where I relax my muscles after the exercises, and use the water jets to massage my sore joints. Overall this is a very healthy and exhilarating experience, and is a key component in my rehabilitation.

Now here’s the rub: As an Area F resident I pay double every time I use the pool ($8 instead of $4). Since I can’t work anymore, I can only afford this once a week. I’d really love to go to the pool twice a week. So I am appealing to my friends and neighbours in Area F to help my rehabilitation by donating just $4. I

know this is a caring community full of generous people – I’ve seen this in action many times.

But instead of asking you to give me $4 directly, I’m asking you to vote “yes” to supporting the Aquatic Centre in the Nov. 15 referendum!

I know that many of you feel stubborn about voting “yes” for a lot of historical and principled reasons. I’m asking you to put aside these objections for the sake of the benefits that this centre offers.

Maybe you don’t know me from Adam – fair enough. But I’ll bet you know someone who would benefit as much as I do from using the Aquatic Centre. Someone who lives with arthritis, or MS, or has had a hip replacement. Someone with a chronic back problem or, like me, has had a stroke. A senior perhaps with balance problems, or someone who’s trying to lose weight or improve their heart health. Maybe you have kids who would love to play in the wave pool, or would benefit from swimming lessons that last longer than a season.

I invite you to check out the Aquatic Centre’s website and see all the activities that go on there, including an exercise room that’s open all day and offers a wide range of classes for every level of fitness, a baby-minding service, a sauna and steam room, and much more – all for an affordable $4 per visit (less if you get a card).

So I am pleading with you to help me, and hundreds of other Area F residents. For an annual donation equal to the cost of a single swim you could do so much good for your neighbours, your children, and perhaps for yourself.

Thank you for listening to me.

Judith Quinlan Honeymoon Bay