by Belinda Scott
MYRA King has found a fulfilling second career by returning to her first love, the water.
Looking for a radical change after many years in the banking industry, the former competitive sprint swimmer took to the water once again, but this time at a different pace.
Myra retrained as a swimming teacher, personal trainer and fitness instructor and established Vibe Aquafitness classes at a number of Coffs Coast swimming pools.
She plans to continue and expand her studies into fitness in 2018, keeping up with new developments.
Slim, fit and glowing with health, Myra is a great advertisement for her classes.
"Water is very therapeutic," Myra said
"It gives you a new appreciation of your environment."
"You don't even have to be able to swim to do aquafitness, because the best depth for our workouts is in water that is just up to your armpits, not over your head.
"I have one lady who was scared to even be in the water when she started.
"Now she loves it."
Myra said the exercises improved cardio fitness, strengthened legs and built muscles while supporting joints so they allowed people to improve their fitness even if they had problems with their knees, hips or back.
Myra has expanded her aquafitness exercise repertoire by borrowing from other land-based exercise methods, including yoga, Pilates, tai chi and even ballet to keep the classes fresh and interesting; adapt to people's individual requirements and provide a range of different fitness benefits from lengthening and strengthening muscles to meditation, weight loss and a social activity.
She teaches people who are extremely fit and want to maintain their fitness; golfers and bowlers who want to improve their game; people with skiing injuries and people who don't like or can't do other forms of exercise.
"All the equipment we use is provided," Myra said.
"We use dumbbells, flotation belts, noodles, we even use kickboards but we don't use them in a traditional sense, but for resistance with the arms.
This former office worker would like to see other office workers fit a half-hour aquafitness class into their lunch hours to counteract the hours they spend sitting at their computer.
Myra currently runs Vibe Aquafitness morning and lunchtime classes at Coffs Harbour's Olympic Pool and morning classes at Sawtell pool, with a 10% discount for seniors.
She will also recommence classes at the Park Beach Aquatic Centre when it reopens after renovations.