Over the past few years, I've thought and written a lot about the ways the ocean, sun and surfing mark my body. From the tanlines that map my skin, to the aches and pains of paddling and even down to the sadness I feel at getting back to the city and washing away the ocean from my skin, hair and eyes. I've always loved the salty way my skin and body changes when I'm surfing a lot, and I've come to accept that my eyes turn red and wet, and that my hair is dry and brittle and that my skin gets odd marks. At home these things are normal, but in this city they are strange and difficult for some people to understand.
Now, living a life so far from the ocean, my body has changed again - in ways that make me sad. Sure my eyes are clear and healthy and my skin is an even tone, but my muscles have softened and I'm not nearly as strong as I was a year ago. My hair has lost its salty blonde and the mere sight of a bikini fills my heart with fear. Nay, terror! But I've been trying to look for the positives...
...and I found one. But before I tell you what it is, I feel I need to point out that although this blog is a lot about women and surfing, I tend not to be particularly 'girly'. That's not to say I'm not a keen lover or purveyor of girly-ness, it's just that it's not my universal or abiding preference. However, one (potentially) girly thing I have noticed is that as a consequence of not surfing much lately my fingernails are really strong and pretty. When I surf a lot they get ragged and split, but at the moment they're lovely and shiny. As an added bonus, I can paint them 'Bubble Bath' or 'Blue Satin' or 'Vamp' or 'Candy Cane' and it stays on and isn't chipped or peeling within a day.
(Note: colour is 'Bubble Bath')
So there you have it. My ocean-free consolation prize: strong, pretty fingernails.
(And yet, oh! How I wish they were ragged and chipped!)