If you get down to Bondi Beach at 5.00am many of the spots that are free to park at until 8am are already taken by that highly motivated set that have trainers who treat them like farm animals and humiliate them with exercises, which I myself recently had to do in order to get through a rotational set workout, whereby you walk around with weights in your hands or flap rope up and down in some wave motion. These are the types that are slim and motivated, enjoy chin ups and eating 'clean' food. They can be somewhat contrived and annoying.
There is another class of humans, I like to call us the aesthetes. We get there even earlier than the macronarcos and instead of paying some chap 25 dollars to humiliate us we take a leisurely stroll along the sand and contemplate our lives and take stock of our emotions whilst occasionally sparing a thought for the farm animals we see in the distance who are busy trying to sprint the soft sands back to the wall and then back to the beach again.
For me and my fellow aesthetes, we are as much about the shawls we wrap ourselves in and the feel of the ocean on our feet as we are about the exercise and watching the sun slowly rise gives us great joy and solitude which perhaps ordinarily we find harder to achieve during the busier parts of our day. And the good news is that this solitude is quietly enjoyed, we never seek each other out or even wave to each other. It is a respect that this is our quiet time for pause and reflection and that we're happy to walk it on our own, at our own pace.
Occasionally when my body and my heart feel up to it I sprint sections of the beach and the exercise really wakes me up and gets my lungs going.
Of course, this is not the only exercise I do during the week, but it has been some of my most enjoyable time exercising. Soft music like Chopin's Larghetto, the ambient sounds of crashing waves and play of light as the sun comes up from beyond Ben Buckler.
And like all the best things in life, it's free. You don't have to pay for a ticket until 8am. You don't have to pay to access the beach. You don't have to pay anyone to have a shower or take a swim.
Isn't that refreshing? If you see me at 430am on Bondi - don't wave. Just quietly go about your business and I am sure you will feel the same sense of solitude I get.