How I Beach

It’s not hot where I live. And it is cooler by the ocean. So, I hardly ever get in the water when I go to the beach.

Until now.

At least once a week, I like to take myself to do a big outdoor exercise. An adventure. Kayaking, hiking to a waterfall or a lookout, running or yoga on the beach, cycling . . . . and I’m looking for more ideas if you have them.

Motion in the Ocean

So, a few weeks ago I took myself to the beach. And the waves were gorgeous. Some guys were out surfing. So I did my splits workout. And I got hot. And the ocean was so tempting. So I took off my outer layers of clothing and ran into water.

It was cold, but it felt refreshing. I haven’t jumped into the ocean like that for years. I was in LA the last time, and it was hot, hot, hot out, and the water felt amazing.

I dunked my head under water for the full experience.

And I’m addicted now. I need to jump into the ocean twice a week. Have you ever seen in a movie someone dunking their head in water to sober up? It’s like that, but instead of being drunk (Sarah doesn’t imbibe, y’all) it’s being depressed. It’s being attacked by negative thoughts.

The physical jarring is a mental cleanse.

And watching waves is the best, most effective meditation I’ve ever tried. But I prefer to experience the waves–so I enjoy watching them the most if I’ve already taken a dip.

I’ve come up with a system to make my beach dip trips the most enjoyable.

I pack

  • snacks
  • sparkling water
  • old blanket
  • old towel
  • homemade poncho (cheapo blanket with a hole for my head)
  • camp chair
  • sweatpants
  • sweatshirt
  • beanie
  • phone
  • bluetooth headphones
  • pen
  • journal(s)

I wear

  • sunscreen
  • bikini bottoms
  • sports bra
  • shorts
  • zippa tee
  • ponytail
  • flip flops

Itinerary

My drive is about fifteen minutes. I don’t turn on the AC, but I might crack the windows a tad. I let myself get overheated. I listen to a podcast or a an audiobook.

I bring all my gear with me and walk until I’m close to the water, but not close to anyone else. I wear my flip flops until I get off the parking lot, then, I hold them and have bare feet in the sand.

I set up my chair and put my sweats, towel, and poncho on it. Everything else hangs out in the beach bag.

I may or may not listen to a podcast while I work out for a bit. Also, I may or may not work out.

Then, it’s time. I strip down to my bikini bottoms and sports bra. Ideally, this would be a two-piece triathlon swimsuit. But, you know what’s cheaper? Bikini bottoms and a sports bra. The sports bra is important because it’s plenty of coverage and I will be running into the ocean.

When I dip, you dip, we dip

Running is important because if I go slow, I will stop and wimp out.

Once I get about thigh- or waist-deep, I can’t run anymore. But I surge onward into the waves. At least one, I find a wave breaking at exactly where I am and I dive in the same direction to ride it with my body.

And when I find a calm spot, I take a deep breath and drop down to dunk my head under the water.

At that point, I’m usually ready to warm back up.

Secret Stripper

If I layer my warm clothes over my wet underthings, I will be cold and miserable for the rest of my beach stay. The bathrooms are a bit of a walk. So, I put on my makeshift poncho to remain modest, and I take off my sea-soaked things and change into the shorts and Zippa T I was wearing earlier. At that point, the poncho is wet and has served it’s purpose. So I take it off and fold it up.

Then, warm, dry sweatpants and sweatshirt and beanie. The towel is available to sit on or dry my hair or wipe my feet or warm my neck. I get under my blanket and sit on my chair.

Then, it’s chill time. Listen to a podcast. Watch the waves. Write in my journal. I bring my mental health journal and my writing journal with me. I leave my work notebook at home.

I write. I rest. I snack. It’s lovely.

Then, right when I get bored, I pack up and go home. I feel so refreshed, and I don’t mind the alone time in the car. Whatever I got to write about or listen to is a good thing for my mind to focus on to stay positive.

Then, a cool shower (I recently changed how I wash my hair, and it needs cool water) that ends with one minute of standing under hot water.

Question

What other outdoor adventures should I try?

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One Response to “How I Beach”

  1. Beach Laid Plans | Sarah J Raines Says:

    […] had just written “How I Beach” when I realized . . . I need the ocean […]

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