I would like to learn to eliminate the word “never” from my vocabulary. I made a joking statement a few years back that I thought the beach was overrated–too many people, sand is uncomfortable, sunburn is a literal pain, etc. But here I am eating humble pie and posting #oceangrams like it’s going out of style, and rediscovering my love for the shoreline.
As a teen my dad would get up at 6 in the morning on a Saturday and would jolt me out of bed to hang out with him at the pier for breakfast and a stroll. And mind you, it was hardly a stroll–it was a crawl or gentle amble if any. It’s not the most exciting morning for a teenager, but my dad would promise breakfast sandwiches and donuts so I showed up most of the time. You can’t go wrong with free food. Though my dad and I don’t go together as often anymore, I find myself treading the same paths as I did years ago, but at different locales.
Over the past two weeks I’ve been up and down the coast in Southern California. I got a parking pass that lets me access a bunch of state beaches, so you’ll probably see more similar posts like this throughout the year. I can’t say never anymore. I really like the beach–I like walking and sitting in front of it watching the ocean in its glory. Being in it is a whole other story–I’ve bodyboarded before. It’s great, but a little terrifying if you’re not used to it. I can swim, but I’m not the strongest. I’ve caught waves before, but I’d definitely recommend having good ocean safety skills and becoming a better swimmer. The waves pummel you and can carry you far from where you started. I’ll eventually make it back in the water, but for now I’m more than content to run alongside it.
Ah yes. I’ve taken up running as an activity. I don’t really know how I feel about it just yet. I started from zero ability last year in November and about five months later I’m running 1.5 miles (2.4 km) and I’m thinking of attempting a 5k (3.1 mi) race sometime later this year. I don’t really know what I’m doing. It’s a way to release stress, to be fit, and is relatively cheap (though the amount of workout gear I’m beginning to amass will negate this statement.) I’m not going to pretend it’s nirvana–it hurts before, during, and after I run. Not sharp, acute pain, but enough to make me question why I even bother putting myself through sweat and moderate discomfort. All I know is I hate the world less after I run, it gets the job done of fulfilling the day’s physical movement quota, and I feel less sluggish and dumb at work. There are enough benefits to keep going, and the fringe perks of course are fitting into my clothes better and breathing better and the best–I can afford to splurge on delicious things like french fries and soda and the occasional iced coffee.
I’m hoping my investment in the parking pass pays off and that I keep my activity levels high. It is far too easy to stay sedentary at work and home, and my back and health suffer for it. It’s very calming to see and hear the surf coming in, despite knowing its power and potential perils.
A new week begins and I’ll be at it again, batteries recharged for the time being.