How to Experience the Pacific Ocean in 10 Simple Steps

Please note: crouching and cowering does not actually help, because the waves will continue to come in (as can be seen in the picture). Who knew!?!


Step One: Walk up to the ocean, fully dressed with your swimsuit underneath because you want to test the temperature of the water before deciding to go all the way in.


Step Two: Allow a wave to come in, cover your feet and ankles and decide that the water isn’t that cold.


Step Three: Forget that the waves coming in have to go back out into the ocean, and fall over, still completely dressed, into the water


Step Four: Have people help you get out of your clothes because the clothes are soaked. Also, regret wearing skinny jeans.


Step Five: Go back into the ocean because now that you’re in a swimsuit, you are TOTALLY prepared.


Step Six: Get knocked over by waves coming in.


Step Seven: Get tripped by those waves going back out.


Step Eight: Get dragged around on your backside along the sand in every direction by the waves.


Step Nine: Swallow ocean water, get a big piece of seaweed in the face, get salt water in your eyes, nose, ears, get sand everywhere, and get a series of cuts, scrapes and bruises.


Step Ten: Repeat Steps Six through Nine until you are cowering as the waves come in and eventually crawl back to the beach (see image).


The results? Complete exhaustion. Salt and sand everywhere. Bruises everywhere. Wet clothes.


Also a result: the absolute most fun possible. Every single bruise and scrape totally worth it. Absolutely aching to go back in. Starting to look at flights within a day of returning home just to get back and try again.


This past weekend I was in California to attend a wedding, which was absolutely beautiful. The setting was gorgeous, all the decorations were fantastic, the dessert table was stunning (and delicious). Most importantly, the bride and groom absolutely just radiated love. It was amazing to see such an important moment and I was so honoured to be invited.


The decision was made to go to the beach the following day and I was super pumped for it. There was (of course) banter regarding if the Pacific Ocean in California would be colder than the glacial lakes in Alberta. I brought a couple layers of clothes so I would be able to change if I was cold or whatever, although that didn’t work out (see Step Three). To confirm, the Pacific Ocean is not colder than glacial lakes (at least not in July). I’m considering testing other months, just so I have full and thorough data to come to an educated decision.


Even with all the running I do, I don’t think there’s ever been a time I’ve been so happy to be SO physically exhausted. The best part, it wasn’t for a purpose. It wasn’t an “accomplishment” to get dragged around the ocean floor. I clearly had no idea what to do, which is why every wave knocked me down. It was so much fun though to go out and have fun. Fun for no reason. Fun for no purpose reminds us about the existence of fun. I have fun running but it’s also a combination of training, meditation, stubbornness, and healthy living. Running is something I value, but it has its own set of purposes.


This weekend I witnessed love, both between two people and the love within families and in friendships / relationships. And in my humble opinion, what I saw was love, respect, value, hope and faith. That is just so perfect.


This weekend I also got thrashed by the Pacific Ocean. This weekend I walked through a fancy beach town in a bikini bottom and tank top, because my pants were still soaked (I ended up buying a very expensive and very fabulous new pair of pants, which I love). I fell asleep in a hammock. I walked into the most expensive Tiffany’s that I’ve ever been into (where I did not buy anything). I was reminded of the existence of fun and love and respect and value.


We all have good days and bad days. We all have times when we forget fun, or love. We forget that we can deserve respect and that we have value. I was so fortunate to have an entire weekend where I witnessed it and was reminded. Thank you.

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