It has become my habit to view the Ocean City boardwalk on AtTheShore.com soon after I get up. Usually, this is before 8, often before 7. (If you try it, be sure to pick a southern-facing camera in the morning or you will be looking into the sun and only see silhouettes of the people. The camera across from the Music Pier is good.)
I view the boardwalk mostly in the summer, as you would expect, but I also view it in the winter. There are still people out, just not as many. I have seen them walk around snow drifts, a strange sight.
They are out as soon as it is light. Almost everyone is exercising in one way or another: running, cycling, or just walking briskly. The young ones move effortlessly as if they had springs on their feet; the older ones doggedly plod along, placing one foot in front of the other. I give special credit to groups of teenaged girls who are notoriously late risers. They are never out alone, always in groups of at least 3. They lean into each other as they walk and chatter excitedly to each other.
Men are often exercising alone on the boardwalk. We are more antisocial and prefer to get out while the rest of the family is still asleep. Dogs are not allowed on the boardwalk, so that early-morning dog-walking chore must be left to someone else, even if we wanted to do it. All good. We need our quiet time.
Some are up very early. I see a few out on the boardwalk as early as 5 a.m., which means they must have been out of bed at 4 a.m. and exercise is their excuse (Why, yes, officer, I am always out this early. I love exercising first thing on the morning while it is still cool and quiet. See? I am wearing running shorts.) By 8:30, there are many jogging mothers in black tights pushing their children in elaborate strollers.
Advice to women exercisers: If you are over 50, don’t wear a fanny pack. I know it is difficult to give up a life-long habit of carrying a purse, but you are exercising, not shopping. You already ate breakfast, so you won’t be buying food. It is just a habit and you will be dating yourself. No woman under 50 wears a fanny pack anymore, not even Jersey women.
Some middle-aged women I see will carry a small change purse in their hand as a compromise, but that is silly. Just ditch the habit cold-turkey. You can go for an hour without buying something. You won’t need your driver’s license. You won’t need your Costco card. Immerse yourself in the walk!
You imagine walking in the door of the rental as you return, the rest of the extended family are still at the breakfast table eating dry dog food the previous renters left, and you whip out a box of still-warm sticky buns. They fall all over themselves in gratitude.
Not going to happen. Save yourself the trouble.