I grew up on the Gulf of Mexico where I was about a half hour drive from the beach, about a five-minute drive from the closest river, and maybe 15 minutes to the nearest lake. Needless to say, many childhood, high school, and even college memories were made on the water.
My Dad is an avid fishermen, as are most men in my hometown. The majority of people owns boats, or a beach house, or a lake house, or at least knows someone who does. Swimming, fishing, tubing, skiing, sunbathing, and wakeboarding were some of my favorite past times.
In fact, the first time Husband came to visit me in my hometown, we went tubing on the back of my Dad’s boat. My Dad, attempting to make his first experience extra exciting, hit some pretty large waves. As expected, we flew off the tube and crashed into the water. Not as expected, Husband kneed me in the face, causing me to bite through my bottom lip.
After riding around for another 45 minutes, because I was trying to be tough, I finally caved and admitted I was starting to feel woozy. We ended up in the emergency room, and I ended up with stitches in my bottom lip, and a scar that Husbands still enjoys pointing out. True Story.
I still love tubing, I just prefer going solo now.
It’s no surprise that when we made the decision to move to NYC my one complaint was “It’s so cold there!”
I dreaded the winter here more than I dreaded going through airport security. I never even owned a real winter coat until I was in my twenties. So, I guess the silver lining here was having a real excuse to shop for a new winter wardrobe.
This winter turned out to be one of the mildest winters in Manhattan history, and before I knew it we were all complaining about our window units not being able to properly cool down the apartment. At work, co-workers began discussing trips to the beach.
The what?! I mean, I know my geography well enough to know we are pretty close to the water, but I never pictured the coast looking like a beach…a beach where people lay out, swim, and get sand in their swimsuits. That’s just not what people imagine when thinking about summer in NYC.
So, this weekend, Husband, a friend, and myself took a day trip to Long Beach…one of the many nearby beaches. The weather was 94 degrees, not a cloud in the sky, and a train ride to this beautiful beach took only 45 minutes.
Turns out every single person in the city had the same idea. I swear the only people on the sidewalk at 9am were in swimsuit cover-ups, carrying fold out chairs, and reeking of sunscreen.
At the beach, we constantly heard comments about how “We’ve never seen the beach THIS crowded before!”
It didn’t seem to bother us or anyone else though. We still got a space right near the water, and I was hit in the face by only one volleyball. We brought our own football, trashy magazines, iced coffee, fresh fruit, and cameras to keep us entertained. It was ideal…
For the most part.
NY may have nice beaches, but the water is NOT like the Gulf of Mexico. The water here is freezing. FREEZING. Husband and I debated whether the water in Sweden was colder or warmer than the water here.
It was hot enough that we, and lots of other New Yorkers, swam anyways. As we were splashing around, surfing the waves, and turning blue I got the most excruciating pain in my right foot. At first I thought, jelly fish. Damn jelly fish…or maybe a sea urchin?
I stood still for a moment, concentrating on the pain, and decided it wasn’t a sting…it was more internal…like a bone, but I hadn’t kicked or stepped on anything, yet I couldn’t put any weight on my foot.
I tried to shake it off and continue frolicking with the others, but it kept getting worse, and I finally got to a point of panic. (Shocking I know.)
I hobbled back to our towels to examine it. It was not swollen or red or anything really. Yet, I was in awful pain, and could not even wiggle my little toe without wailing.
Pain doesn’t bother me too much. I have a really high pain tolerance, what bothers me is the unknown. I tried to relax and ignore the pain, but my mind goes wild, and within minutes I imagine myself being forced into foot surgery and in debt. After a half hour I was convinced I had come down with a rare foot disease that was either incurable or would take years to heal.
What happened to my relaxing day at the beach!?!?!
After 45 minutes, the pain disappeared…
Now, I risk sounding incredibly foolish, but turns out it was just a really long cramp.
That’s right. No water or breakfast, lots of coffee, and very cold water equals a REALLY long intense foot cramp, AND me blowing everything out of proportion. Seriously, who gets a Charlie horse that lasts an hour???
I was so thrilled to no long be handicapped that (after a couple bottles of water, trail mix, and an orange) I got back in the water for a round of football.
At the end of the day, we had a blast, could barely stay awake on the train ride home, and Husband was the only one with a sunburn, and I spent most of the day relaxed with my toes in the sand.