Motivation, People

Wanna be like Josh


Long Beach, NY 2008 (PHOTO: Mike Townsend)

As soon as I was old enough to pick out my own clothes, I only wore his hand-me-downs. When mom took us to get haircuts, I made him go first so that I could say, “I want mine just like his.” He ran from me throughout our house as I raced after him with arms out wide, chasing him down for hugs and kisses. Unable to catch him, ever, I distinctly remember thinking, as a 3 or 4 year-old, “Why is he running? All I want to do is love him so much.” Although I’m not sure he forgave me for being born until we were both nearing our twenties, my brother Josh was everything to me and everything I wanted to be, for nearly all of my childhood.


The Rockaways, 2010 (PHOTO: Benny Horne)

Josh was introduced to the ocean in the same way I was: on the shoulders of our giant dad. Those early trips to the Washington coast, Fiji, and Hawaii had their lasting effects on him too, but our personal relationships with the water have followed distinctly different paths. We both joined the swim team as kids, but Josh could only muster so much enthusiasm for swimming fast in a pool. (To this day swimming remains the ONLY sport I can beat him in.) He was always happiest body-surfing and boogie-boarding, crayfish hunting and spear-fishing, cliff jumping and building make-shift “Slip-n-slides” out of tumbling mats, a garden hose, and a flight of stairs next to our house. After a professional snowboarding career in his late teens and early twenties, Josh began to focus his athletic attention on surfing. Most recently, two years ago, he and two friends, Colin Tunstall and Morgan Collett opened their Manhattan-based surf shop and began their own clothing line: Saturdays Surf NYC. Everything about Saturdays has been an overwhelming success. So, in many ways, Josh’s life is far more connected to the ocean than mine is.

July issue of GQ. By Jim Moore:
“Saturdays NYC is the coolest store in America right now.”

Josh makes everything more fun, and he always has. He has also been a risk-taking, adventure-seeking, adrenaline junkie since he was small. An early Beta-max home video shows him, age 5, setting up a ski jump on our back deck after our Seattle neighborhood received an exciting half-inch dusting of snow. This tendency towards innovation in the name of fun is something Josh was clearly born with, but is also something he has exploited and honed in order to provide himself and others with truly unique and wonderful experiences. He naturally homes in on the most wonderful of simple pleasures, and then dreams up creative ways to combine them and share them with the people around him. An amazing cook to boot, Josh usually pairs adventures with some collecting and preparing of seafood: mussels, fish, crabs, crayfish.

Is it any wonder that a little sister would hold this particular brother in great esteem? Josh’s athleticism was a difficult one for a sibling to live up to. In fact, his ultra-adeptness in every sport is likely why I saw myself as “unathletic” for so many years. Compared to Josh, I seemed uncoordinated and slow. Really, I was probably pretty average on those fronts (and relatively strong). The experience of being Josh’s little sister in adulthood is an entirely different story. Indeed, Josh may be my biggest supporter. According to him, I have probably already swum the English Channel… butterfly… In December! Like my dad was, Josh is proud of and excited by the accomplishments of his friends and family, and he brags about us all in delightfully hyperbolic ways. I feel endlessly lucky to be near my brother (we both live in NYC) and on the receiving end of his excitement for adventure, generosity, and love. I keep my fingers crossed that that will never change.

josh and caitlin on trail

On the trail to the beach at La Push, Washington. ~1982 (PHOTO: Annie Rosen)

Josh and Elliot

Josh and friend Elliot Sun. Swim team, ~1988

boogie board

Vancouver Island ~1990


In his snowboarding days ~1995 (PHOTO: Sean Litteljohn)


Josh inspired me to get a bike and ride it everywhere in NYC. Here we head out to Coney Island on the day I bought my track bike, 2008


After our first triathlon. Josh's approach to triathlons is to show up without having trained a day. This is a sprint tri, but he got himself through a Half Iron the same way.

La Push

La Push, Washington ~2009 (PHOTO: Caitlin Rosen)


Bottom turn, 2008 (PHOTO: Mike Townsend)


Morgan Collett, Josh Rosen, and Colin Tunstall of Saturdays Surf NYC (PHOTO: Nolan Hall)

Josh and Morgan

Josh and Morgan, 2010 (PHOTO: Colin Tunstall)


Cliff jumping in Plattekill, NY (Photo: Dylan Hales)


Saturdays' one year anniversay, 2010 (PHOTO: Deb Botkin)


Crabbing with chicken on a string. The Hamptons, 2010 (photo: Sarah Bronilla)


Brown Trout caught in a top secret location, 2010 (PHOTO: Terrence Ruggiero)


Secret Lake, 2010 (PHOTO: Salim Parez)


Spear fishing. Secret Lake, 2009

crabbing on Orcas

Photo by friend Gianni Porta who writes: “On Orcas Island for Kate & Tad's wedding, hanging out swimming. A huge sea lion was playing all around us in this little cove. In perfect Josh fashion, he had been diving down and getting these crabs that we snacked on as hors d'œuvres. It was a wonderful day.”

Josh and Sarah La Push

Josh and his wife Sarah at La Push, 2008 (PHOTO: Caitlin Rosen)


About Caitlin Rosen


4 thoughts on “Wanna be like Josh

  1. Stay excellent!

    Posted by Kristin Brænne | June 14, 2011, 7:15 am
  2. Thanx Caitlin..Josh used to hang in Whistler with me and I love he now owns a surf shop in NYC and has a little sister that looks up to him so much…Cheers, Wes

    Posted by Wes Makepeace | June 17, 2011, 12:10 pm
  3. A touching tribute from sister to brother. Beautiful work Caitlin.

    Posted by Sophia Wallace | June 17, 2011, 6:01 pm
  4. Thanks for using my photo! A nice dedication to a legendary dude.- Sean LJ.

    Posted by sean lj | March 3, 2012, 1:49 am

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About Me

Caitlin Rosen I learned to swim as a wee one from my dad, who didn't really swim himself, but was tall enough and encouraging enough to send me back and forth to the side of a pool. There were also the terrifyingly wonderful trips on his shoulders out into crashing ocean surf, which instilled in me a fear and respect for the rising and falling, tempestuous beast, on whom he repeatedly admonished us kids to never, ever turn our backs. Read more...

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