Why I Chose the Ocean
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As a paddler I’m often asked why I do what I do. There is a long version to that but the short story is, I needed the ocean.
Did you know scientists have now proven that there are health benefits to being around the ocean?
There is the obvious ones that we all see in the movies; like living close to the ocean makes you more active, and ultimately live a healthier lifestyle.
Then there is the ‘OM’ factor, the feeling of overwhelming relaxation when your feet hit the sand and your ears hear the ocean, the same factor that promotes creative thinking, compassionate thinking and reduces anxious thoughts. I questioned this one for while, why does it do these things? For me, I think it’s because it puts into perspective how small I am and how vast the opportunities are. It makes me realize how short life is and how we should really stop worrying about all the little things, take a step back and look at the big picture.
There’s the aspect of the ocean that actually helps raging asthmatics like myself – it’s just like doing a daily Netty pot but without actually having to pour a kettle of salt water up your nose. But did you know theres a true reason why people are happier at the ocean? No, it’s not because it means they’re on vacation. Ocean air contains negatively charged ions that help absorb oxygen and balance our serotonin levels. In plain language that means we will have more energy and diminished depression. Swimming in salt water is known to enhance the immune system, boost circulation, induce sleep and helps to relax muscles – thank the magnesium!
Being someone with some challenging health issues, physical and mental, after years of seeing doctors, specialists and searching for answers, the ocean is what’s given me what I needed. It’s given me peace, a professional paddling career and endless amounts of opportunities.
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