(Not really) Wordless Wednesday: Another love letter to Monmouth County

I thought I was done with post-Sandy shout-outs to my home county, at least as far as this blog was concerned. But the more I thought about the images that summed up the past week for me, the more I realized I needed to post some photos showing you why I’m so deeply loyal to this place—not just photos of the destruction. I also realized that while I’d like to go back to posting about running, swimming, skiing and other outdoor adventures sometime soon, the images below illustrate the undeniable fact that growing up in Monmouth County has made me the runner, swimmer, skier and person I am today.

So, bear with me and my survivor’s guilt, and let me add a love-photo-album to my love letter to my home county.

I feel certain that spending long afternoons on the boat with my parents, navigating the Shrewsbury and Navesink rivers or jetting across Sandy Hook Bay to New York City, helps explain why I’m as comfortable in the water as out of it. I also feel certain that my outfit in the first photo helps explain my current fashion sense, or lack thereof (do I need to remind you I grew up in the 1980s?):

Summer days meant waking up early to head to Chapel Beach Club for swim practice, then spending the day in my swim-team suit as I played endless games of underwater tag and sharks and minnows in the pool; body-surfed and boogie-boarded in the ocean; dug holes to China in the sand; and developed whole sand-castle cities, before eventually collapsing from exhaustion sometime after dark. An endurance athlete in the making, no? (Now that I think about it, digging a deep hole in the sand could totally be a CrossFit move.)

When I got older, I discovered that Sandy Hook, the long spit of beach across the river from Highlands, was perfect for long runs, bike rides with friends and rollerblading trips (do I need to remind you I was a teenager in the 1990s?):

Did you grow up in Monmouth County, or elsewhere on the Jersey Shore? If so, what’s your favorite childhood memory, and how did it contribute to who you are today?

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