it’s funny, because we moved to florida in 2003, and in all that time, i’ve never gone swimming for real in the gulf. the ocean is literally a five minute drive from my house, and while i’ve gone and sat on the beach, waded in the water, or jumped in the waves (and even then, pretty infrequently), it wasn’t until this morning that I went for an actual swim.
i’ve truly been wasting time. i got up early this morning telling myself to go to the beach (even though i’m by myself) because i’m going back to new orleans tomorrow. so i finally mustered up the will to put on a bathing suit, pack a chair and umbrella, a book, and my goggles and go. it was just so beautiful. at 8:30 in the morning, the tourists aren’t there yet, nor the children, nor the women begging for melanoma. the beach was empty and the water was serene and perfectly clear (no floating algae, nothing). it was early enough that it wasn’t too hot (still in the 80s) and that the birds were still flying low over the water.
so i sat and read for a bit and then finally got in the water to cool off a bit. for once the temperature wasn’t like bath water but a nice, cool refreshing. i didn’t swim at first but went back to read for a bit more. as more people got to the beach i finally made up my mind to get back in the water, and for once, i had my goggles with me (so no contact lense losses!)
swimming in the ocean was the best thing i could’ve done all day, all week really. it was so relaxing and the water, although incredibly salty, was so smooth it was like swimming in silk. i could see all the little marine life mounds (crab holes?) under the water, and i could just swim so freely. it was so great to just float and be carried weightlessly by the water and watch the birds fly by.
after awhile i finally made myself get out and it was so disorienting to go from being so weightless to having to carry my own weight again as i got to the shore. kind of like how you feel walking again after getting off a treadmill—something’s not quite right. but regardless, so relaxing.
while i was in brazil, practically everyone i talked to would tell me i had to go to the beach because the salt water was rejuvenating, great for your skin, and would make you healthy again no matter what problem you were having. i have no idea if there’s any scientific merit behind it, or if all that salt is actually good for your skin or not, but i figure if they sell all those bath salts and tell you to soak in epsom salt, it couldn’t be bad. besides…i feel great!