I might actually have a heart attack the next time I have to drag my Wonder Wheeler full of beach gear off the beach at the end of the day.
I am not kidding.
I am not an athlete by any measure, but I am also not completely out of shape. I consider myself fairly healthy. Still, the amount of effort I have to exert to pack up and haul all of our stuff off of the beach can be overwhelming.
I remember being in college, riding my bike barefoot to the beach with a towel and maybe some Bain De Soleil Orange Gelee “sunscreen” in a small bag over my shoulder. That was it. That was all I needed for a day at the beach.
Fast forward 20 years. (20 years!!??! How did that happen!)
Now, a day at the beach involves the following minimum “necessities”:
- A cooler full of snacks, sandwiches, bottled water, napkins and a small garbage bag.
- A tote bag with at least four towels, an extra rash guard or two, three or four pair of goggles, wax for skimboards and a tennis ball (football, soccer ball or similar).
- A smaller bag with my wallet, at least four variations of sunscreen (50+ lotion, wet-skin spray-on, face stick and face lotion), my beach badge, my phone, a book and maybe a magazine.
- Two beach chairs.
- One beach umbrella.
- Three large shovels and one pail.
- Three boogie boards and at least one skimboard, sometimes two. Sometimes a Beater board.
That’s it. That’s it?!
I try to scale down this list when I can. It used to be longer. I used to bring a large bag of sand toys. That was been eliminated last year but replaced by skimboards.
I have friends who make their kids carry their stuff with the rule: “If they can’t carry it, they don’t have it.”
Even if I enforced this type of rule, which I don’t, I would still be left with a heavy load to bear. I rely on my Wonder Wheeler. Yes, I look like a bag lady, my cart piled to the top as I strain my leg muscles and cardiovascular fitness to pull it to and fro.
Luckily, many beaches including the one I usually frequent have installed the blue Mobi-Mats to make the trek a little easier.
The other day, I had to stop halfway on my way off of the beach and catch my breath. I cursed my out-of-shapeness and looked enviously at the college-age kids with their lone towels.
I took a deep breath, reality-checked myself and kept pulling. If this is the worst thing that happens to me today … my beach cart is too heavy … then I am one lucky girl. I will keep lugging all of the junk until my kids don't need or want me to anymore.
Too much beach junk? I think it's a pretty good problem to have.