“Are you ready?”

His words wake me from a deep sleep.

“Ready for what?”

“We start the day with a morning swim.”

I would have sworn it would never happen but it only took a couple of days for my buddy to get me in “budgy smugglers” (about the funniest name for Speedos I’ve ever heard. A budgy is a small bird they got down here).

I was so sleepy, I barely even remember pulling them on and all of a sudden I am sitting in the front seat of the truck on the wrong side as the truck drives on the wrong side of the street for the short drive to Clovelly Bay.

The rocks are visible through the crystal-clear water. It’s best to let the surf come in and dive right in when there’s maximum distance between the surface and the bottom although– thanks to the Marine Corps and your tax dollars– I’m pretty good at entering the water only using about a foot at the top. This I can do in full combat gear with a sixty-pound pack and carrying a rubber M-16. (One can assume I could do it with the real thing if the situation ever presented itself.)

The water is startlingly cold and makes the body do everything it would do in a gasp except the quick inhalation of air. (That part wouldn’t be advisable facedown in the Pacific.) But my blood gasps, my muscles gasp, my nervous system gasps and I am fully alive. Who needs coffee? And what would it look like to start everyday in this way?

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