Constance Van Flandern emphasizes form, the importance of hydration and pushes each student to push herself. By all means she fits the mold of any fitness instructor; however, Van Flandern was once a “raining” Slug Queen and has a passion for deep water fitness as deep as the deep end of the pool.
When Van Flandern moved to Eugene, she attended the Eugene Celebration parade and saw the slug queens and thought, “This is a town with a sense of humor.” Van Flandern, also known as Slugtoinette, became a Slug Queen in 2008 and has carried the humor of the Eugene tradition into her teaching.
“I love it more than I ever expected,” Van Flandern said. “The reason I really love teaching aqua fitness is anybody at any age can practice fitness. You can have a kid, a pregnant lady and the football player, and everyone can be working out at different abilities, and it’s amazing.”
During her class, Van Flandern stands at the head of the pool and models each movement for her students. With a background in performing, Van Flandern uses her class not only to ensure her students are getting the best workout they can but that they are also enjoying themselves.
“There’s nothing greater than a laugh,” Van Flandern said.
Van Flandern said she hopes that deep water fitness would not be viewed as just an activity for people with limited mobility. With 20 times more resistance than air, water allows for a workout that could not otherwise be achieved without very expensive equipment. Adding resistance training to an exercise routine allows for a much more effective workout.
“You wouldn’t go to the gym and just run on the treadmill,” Van Flandern said. “So many people who are fit think, ‘That’s just for people with limited ability,’ but trainers recommend it to athletes because it’s one of the only fitness regimens that you can fit into a cross fitness routine at any level.”
Van Flandern is a mom of two, graphic designer and owner of petropolitanmuseum.com. She teaches drop-in deep water fitness Mondays-Thursdays from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Amazon Pool.
“Being at Amazon is special—it’s very accessible, there’s plenty of parking and you can get your kids in a class and come work out. It’s kind of just dreamy and makes it feel like a vacation.”