WOMEN

Mermaid Fitness Class Lets You Live Out Your Childhood Fantasy

Sep 30, 2013

"The Little Mermaid" is finally being released from Disney's "vault" on Oct. 1st, and every time we turn on the T.V., we're inundated with commercials reminding us how much we miss and adore the old gang: Ariel, Sebastian, Flounder and Scuttle. “The Little Mermaid” came out in theaters in 1989, which means little girls who watched it obsessively as children are now in their late twenties or early thirties, jaded by life, and looking to recapture a sliver of that redhead’s optimism, if not her waistline.

Cue the latest fitness trend coming to a pool near you. The JW Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, offers “a unique aquatics workout program inspired by the mermaid.” “Fin to Fitness” is taught by a petite, smiley blonde who goes by Kariel (real name: Kari Roberts) and the program is turning out to be a hit for bachelorette parties, bridal parties and nostalgic, wistful young women in general. Participants don a monofin and learn to master the dolphin kick, a swimming technique that strengthens the core and helps to explain Ariel's improbable proportions.

Kariel then treats her students to the chance to wear one of her very own, hand-made tails. Kariel moved to Hawaii from Oregon in order to fulfill "her life-long dream of being a living mermaid" and now makes custom, handcrafted tails from recycled wetsuits. "All I was missing was Flounder," said Taryn Felly (who even has red hair) after trying on the tail.

So for the girl who has everything -- gadgets and gizmos aplenty and whoozits and whatzis galore -- try swimming like a mermaid for an hour; you might even meet your prince charming.

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