Ready to know more about San Diego?


The City’s Hottest Hang Out is in Rolando Park

Securing a spot at the Kroc Center's heated therapy pool is reserved for our most seasoned locals
Senior adults participating in their aquaplex exercise class for arthritis
Photo Credit: Mateo Hoke

One of the hottest tickets in San Diego takes place in the city’s hottest club. Sorry, not club. Tub. The city’s hottest tub: the 96-degree-Fahrenheit therapy pool at the Salvation Army Kroc Center in Rolando Park. Classes here fill up quick.

“We’re the only game in town,” Kroc Center Marketing Director Glynis Eckert says. “Class is always full. Always.”

At the 1 p.m. Tuesday aquatics class focused on arthritis, instructor Suzi Stone is encouraging the seniors who snagged one of 11 gold-ticket reservations to stretch their muscles, lubricate their joints, and get their heart rates up. Stone has been at the aquatics center since it opened in 2002, but she bounces with excitement like it’s her first day.

She guides the seniors into a new exercise, one that requires them to keep their hips tucked. “Cynthia, are you throwing your booty out?” she jokingly yells. The class laughs as Cynthia Patrick—in a blue suit and sunglasses—hollers back, “No, it’s just wide!”

Photo Credit: Mateo Hoke

Patrick, 72, boasts the spirit and complexion of someone who simply doesn’t age, though she’s been coming to classes here for more than 18 years. At certain times, she’s in class 12 hours per week—“the more the better,” she says. Recently, it’s been a bit less. Spine surgery in September followed a couple falls in her garden. She credits the aquatics program for helping her get back up to speed—and back to her flowers—quickly.

“It’s been a huge benefit for me and my well-being,” she says. “It’s helped me get in shape and even lose 40 pounds.” She’s pain-free for the first time in more than a decade.

“The more you commit to wanting to improve your health, the better your outlook on life,” she says from inside the pool. “I love the water. Water is soothing, water is therapeutic, water is life. And I hope to prolong my life.”

By Mateo Hoke

Mateo Hoke is San Diego Magazine’s executive editor. His books include Six by Ten: Stories from Solitary, and Palestine Speaks: Narratives of Life Under Occupation.

Share this post

Contact Us

1230 Columbia Street, Suite 800,

San Diego, CA