Driving over that bridge on my way home every day I realize how amazing it is to live within a mile of the massive body of water known as the Atlantic Ocean. Watching the florescent pink and orange sun rise over the ocean and set over the bay is both breathtaking and peaceful. The sounds of the waves hitting the shore, children playing, and seagulls flying overhead can relax even me. Perhaps the best part of all is that the beach is a triathlete’s paradise.
When I got home from work one day last week it was absolutely beautiful out. I was childless, and, despite the million things I had on my “to do” list—fold the piles of laundry, mow my lawn before my neighbor got annoyed and mowed it for me (again), clean up my house that, after the 4th of July shenanigans with my siblings, was beginning to resemble a frat house, go to the liquor store, and go to the grocery store so my son did not bring moldy cheese and stale crackers to school for lunch--all I wanted to do was go surfing. I had not surfed all season. Ironman training and work demands had left little time for other hobbies. After seeing the “very poor” surf forecast on Surfline, I decided to stop at the beach anyway just to make sure Surfline was not wrong. It was not. There was nothing to surf, totally flat. I just about shed a tear (ok maybe that is a little dramatic). But then I got a fantastic idea.
I did not feel much like running, and cycling seemed like far too much effort at 5:30pm...but I could swim. Now this may seem like a pretty standard thought for most triathletes, but most of the planning I do in life is last minute--including my work outs. Up to this point, the thought of swimming had been discarded as one of the pools I go to did not have lap swim hours and the other was closed for cleaning (and has been closed for the past 2 weeks). Now suddenly, swimming seemed like a brilliant idea. I got home and quickly changed into my bathing suit. I called my mom to see if she could meet me a few miles down the beach and pick me up with a change of clothes when I finished. She agreed, and I even got her to buy my dinner afterward.
The beach was absolutely gorgeous. The sun was still shining, the water was crystal clear and it looked like a pristine lake. I decided to swim as far north as I could go, which in this case was the inlet. The water temperature was somewhere in the mid-70s, so definitely no wetsuit for me, plus it was just extra stuff to bring. After about a 2 week hiatus from swimming, it took me a few minutes to get adjusted to the water. Once adjusted, it was fantastic. I could see the bottom of the ocean, and sighting was no issue at all as I know the coast line in that area like the back of my hand. The sun was beating down on my back, and the sound of the sand and shells moving with the current at the bottom of the ocean left me completely at peace. It was a perfect swim.
When I finally finished, I was about 1.5 miles from where I started and more than completely satisfied. I walked up on the beach, and looked back at the ocean and down the coast line. I felt so lucky to be able to so easily access the open water, and so fortunate to call this beautiful place my home. Living at the beach truly is a triathlete’s dream.