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THE MERRELL BLOG: WHAT'S NOW. WHAT'S NEXT. LET'S GET OUTSIDE.

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Origins

Get in the Water

We are reaching that twilight time of the summer months when opportunities for swim trunks and seaside trips are dwindling. Especially for anyone living in, say, 40 of the 50 states, when icy water may keep anyone from jumping into the lake.

Beach is Boring

At this late point in the game, I fear we may have forgotten how fun the beach can be. It has gotten a bad rap for its sundrenched laziness. And we are all busy looking ahead to the back-to-schools and fall temps, already missing some of the prime beachfront real estate for your umbrella in the last weeks of August.

Though not as immediately hair-raising/thrilling/dangerous as the much-beloved Shark Week of summer television, I think think we can all find something at our nearest bodies of water. Beaches mean an unabashed opportunity for playfulness: getting buried from the neck down, elaborate sand castle plans, running along the water. Swimming until wrinkled! When else can you get people excited by saying,"Hey guys, let's all go dig a HOLE!!?" Probably the best open swim you can find this side of the YMCA– a Last Chance Summer Beach Romance for you + water.

Some helpful reminders to jog your beach memory:

  • Straw hats and a nose of zinc oxide never go out of style. OK, they never go out of "fun".
  • Underwater frisbee is a game that requires a decent amount of practice and lung capacity.
  • Hermit crabs do not make lifelong pets. On the other hand, homemade seashell pictureframes are always a hit.
  • You may not be planning on a sand-eating contest, but your picnic and the beach gods may know otherwise.
  • Funny sunburn patterns will not be so funny tomorrow. (Insert serious sunscreen note here)
  • We have way too many beaches here to be permanent landlubbers.

Remember that ever-present magic where the shore meets the water--the slow lap of the lake, the rushing in and out of ocean waves--and it looks different in every light. The early morning surfers of the coasts, the raucous late-afternoon boardwalk beach-goers, and the late night shell-seekers are all drawn for different moments of the experience. And some of the best parts of state or national parks are the areas beyond the water's edge. Climbing the dunes and exploring the paths, seeing where the inlets lead, and taking your fishing pole to the docks are all adventures beyond your beach towel. It's your choice, to nap or not.

So let's get some urgency, some fire under our be-swimtrunked behinds. Go to the beach! Whether that's a day trip to the coast, or the lake around the corner. Let's all pile into the cars, trains, bikes and get there. Cram everything imaginable into a picnic basket, because swimming is a hungry sport. Strap on that bathing costume and toe-in to the water.

The beach is boring? The beach is a wonder.

Flocking like the salmon of Capistrano,

KK

8/22/2011
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