I had a ‘need to pinch myself’ moment this week.
I’d finished a training session on one of the local beaches, Bilgola, and sat recovering on the sand. Gazing out at the ocean, taking in the views, I spied a pod of humpback whales playing in the water not 500 metres from where I sat.
At first I could only see the tell-tale plumes of spray blowing skywards from the top of the humpbacks. Then, as the pod swam closer, the distinctive tail flukes appeared as these majestic creatures flipped entirely out of the water, twisted in midair, and landed loudly on their sides. It was breathtaking to witness.
Watching those gentle giants roll around in their ocean playground, less than a kilometre from my spot on the sand, I was reminded that very few people in the world get to appreciate anything close to this natural beauty on any given day. It was a revelatory moment that reinforced my reasons for living here.
Whether it be admiring the humpback whales, watching lightening storms roll in from the east or sharing great food and drink at a beach BBQ, the variety and quality of life by the ocean is something I would struggle to ever give up. On paper, my daily routine is quite ordinary. I walk my dog, go to work, train with friends in the early evening, watch a little TV. Yet when you peel back the surface layers, my life has fundamentally changed underneath.
I no longer try to avoid the daily walks with my dog, previously reduced to dragging him around the block, hurrying home before it got dark, with cold hands buried deep in coat pockets.