There’s something eery about the ocean. We, the humans, live on land, but over 70% of our planet is covered in water. I often think of what lies out there, in the deep blue sea. Is it as magnificently scary as I imagine it to be, or is it perhaps much less of a danger? A friend and I recently spoke of dangerous animals, and for some reason, sea-based predators seemed like more of a threat to me. Perhaps it’s because the ocean is their territory, and we’re merely its visitors.
While it sounds like I’m terrified of open waters, it’s actually the complete opposite. The ocean fascinates me. As a lifelong swimmer – formerly competitive, and lifeguard-level – I took an interest in it from a very young age. To this day, my mother likes to tell strangers about how at the age of 10, I swam out to one of the thousand islands from the beach. Though that swim was quite distant, I never thought of it as bizarre to swim that far. There’s just something about being in water that comes quite naturally to me.
Since those childhood days, I’ve been able to swim in the Atlantic (in various North American, African, and European territories), the Pacific, the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, as well as several world lakes. Canada – where I grew up – is known for its many lakes and for being the country with the longest coastline in the world. Yet, I wasn’t lucky enough to grow up by an oceanside beach.
Whenever I do get the chance to go to a real (as I like to call it) beach by the ocean, it’s unlike anything else I get to do. A part of me feels a nerdy-like sense of joy, wondering what the waters in that specific area look like. I begin to think about life beyond the shores, and challenge myself to go out as far as I can.
Maybe one day I’ll be lucky enough to live near it.