It's no secret that I love the water. I'm a well-known beach-bum on my island. I spend so much time in the water frolicking and floating that most people wouldn't think for a moment that I couldn't swim. Day or night, alone or with friends, all I ever want to do is go to the beach. The benefits that I get from the ocean are deeper than one may think though.
I grew up on the beach, on the Gulf Coast to be exact. Born in the north during winter and raised in the south I love water, flowing or frozen. During my teenage years I lived in a swimsuit. I'd wake up and put it on first, then cut off shorts and an optional shirt and I was ready to go. After college and many cold winters in Chicago I'd jump in a pool on occasion but it wasn't the same. The cold winters would make my bones hurt more and more each year. When I diagnosed with premature osteoarthritis in 2012 it was a reminder that I needed to take my health and quality of life more seriously. I quickly started trying to find anything to make my body feel better. And the sea just happened to be one of them.
Floating around in saltwater is amazing for my bones. It's releases a great deal of pain in my joints and allows me time to not only exercise but meditate. Meditation and reiki have also produced amazing results in healing for me with arthritis and other problems. The water is a wonderful place for meditation. Even while sailing, I love meditating on the open water.
All of this time spent on, in and near water though and I can't swim a lick. I've been trying since I was two years old and I'm not sure what the problem is. I can get most of the strokes down but it's the treading water part that makes me flop around like and idiot. Everyone and their uncle says they can teach me but just looks at me exhausted by the end of the lesson. I dream of buying a pretty white little sailboat and being a sailor-woman just sailing into retirement. But I can't swim to save my life, literally.
Even though I can't swim I don't let that stop me from enjoying the beach, getting a gorgeous tan and allowing the water to heal me. Swimming in the ocean provides amazing health benefits like improved circulation and immune systems. Once your pores are open the minerals absorb through your skin and give you a boost of magnesium and assists in removing the toxins from your body. Mental and physical wellness are easily obtained on the water so if you don't live by the sea I suggest taking a vacation immediately to recharge.
Photo credit: Chelcie S Porter