People of Preston is a campaign created to share the stories behind the faces that have shaped Western Kentucky University’s Raymond B. Preston Health and Activities Center over the years. The regular patrons and students are who make up the face of our facility. This campaign allows for our program to build trust and relationships with already loyal members to hopefully connect personally with even more of our Bowling Green community.
People of Preston: The Aqua Fit Ladies
The Preston Center to most is a place of leisure. It is the go to spot to get a break from a hectic day during lunch. It is an open basketball court to put the trash talk to the test. It is the starting point to so many exercise plans. It is a fitness center. It is a place of development.
For others the smell of chlorine, the warmth of the natatorium’s pool deck and the thought of that first cringing step in the water is what comes to mind when they think of the Preston Center.
The Preston Center is more than a gym to me because…
AquaFit is a form of water aerobics that has been offered at the Preston Center for 25 years. Throughout that time, multiple teachers have taught the course but four participants have remained loyal amidst the ebb and flow of instructors. Elizabeth “Liz” Woosley, Linda Spinney, Barbara Beck and Kathryn “Kitty” Hall have been coming to the same group fitness class since as late as 1994.
Linda Spinney said the Aqua Fit group has become so close that she has lunch with the instructor and knits regularly with Liz, another regular class participant.
Amy Wininger, 47, the current instructor for the class, also has a connection with not only the Preston Center but Western Kentucky University too.
Wininger was a graduate student at WKU in 1994 and an assistant for the Preston Center's dance studio when the department was looking for water aerobics instructors.
“I had no experience in the water, as far as I wasn’t a lifeguard, [but] I thought, ‘Oh, I’ll give it a try.’” Wininger said. “And so, I kind of learned on the job. I didn’t get a certification, but I ended up loving the people and loving the water.”
She explained because the exercises are in water they become concentric movements, allowing for more flexibility and more range of motion without getting sore.
“It’s kind of an oxymoron,” she said. “When you don’t do it, you get sore. When you don’t do it, you’re more likely to have those little muscle issues.”
Wininger has now taught for 25 years, through four pregnancies and in five different cities all over the United States.
Wininger said teaching water aerobics wasn’t something she sought. It was just a job she stumbled upon and found she really enjoyed. She said she hopes the class is advertised more so that others can enjoy the benefits of the water.
“I feel like a lot of people don’t even know that we have this class,” she said. “There’s definitely a need. In every city, there is a need for water movement.”
Wininger said teaching water aerobics has made moving and acclimating to new cities that much easier with all of the people she has met through the classes and through the Preston Center.