I love the ocean, I love water and swimming and the whole outdoor experience. But I have to admit I had to let the ocean in particular grow on me. I grew up away from the coast but a water child all the same. I just have this fresh water stumbling block. I was raised spitting distance from pristine Northern Michigan beaches and spent many, many happy hours of my childhood rolling in the sand or floating on the waves by turns.
I only had one short interaction with the ocean before adulthood, a wonderful overnight camping trip on Assateague Island fueled by our avid consumption of the Misty books (horse lovers unite!). It was a strange meeting: the weird, fishy, salt air, the strangely creeping tidal shore, and all the mysterious shells crunching under our feet. I wasn't sure immediately, what I personally thought about the big body of water in front of us, but I knew I was meant to like it. We stood on the cathedral shore as a family and prayed and sang and I watched my parents close their eyes and feel the surf and watch our faces expectantly for pleased reactions. I liked it.