Another Fear Conquered in Costa Rica

The last few days of my holiday in Costa Rica were amazing…despite being hit on the head by my surfboard during my final surf lesson…I took a short break and continued on in the water…I was not going to let my fear take control and defeat me.

surfing

Surf the waves in Santa Teresa

I focused at looking ahead and not down on my surfboard…which would always lead to a guaranteed tumble. I spoke to myself…in my head…and said that I could do it…and that I just needed to be patient and to take it one step at a time.

I was surfing on the small waves…and I even got some photos to show for it…complete with a smiling face.  I was so happy to have completed all three of my lessons…and my instructor was so incredibly proud of me.

I was so proud of me.

I also went zip lining in Mal Pais. I am afraid of heights and wanted to challenge myself and face this fear. There was no one else at the Canopy Mal Pais Tour when I got there and so it was me…on my own again…with the 3 guides…and these guys were incredibly kind and funny…putting me at ease…

There were eight zip lines and the first one was short and of course I didn’t take in any of the jungle scenery or the ocean during the first one. I was pretty focused on ensuring that I had the right technique.  But when I did manage to look around…the view was spectacular…lush green jungle and the soft blue of the ocean…I was drinking all of it in…

zip-line-view

View while zip lining in Mal Pais

Now…was I scared? YES!

But I didn’t give myself any time to think about my impending fall to death…and I was strapped on and I was pushed…perhaps it was the positive energy and friendliness of the guides…who told me that I could do it…or perhaps I had more strength in me than I realized…

The next few zip lines involved doing tricks…which meant that I would have to let go of my tight grip and put all my faith into the guide…and also onto myself…with the prayer that gravity would not propel me to my death.

I thought they were crazy for allowing people to do this…

I was essentially hanging off the zip line…with my instructor holding my legs up on a V position…I was upside down…hurling at top speed with just my face…and I could feel my heart jump into my throat…I was petrified…I initially wanted to panic and cry…but I actually talked myself down from that…mid flight…and I screamed the entire way…but I made it…I made it in one piece!

What a thrill…I just couldn’t believe that I did it…I was still alive!

I was so ready for the next one…nothing could stop me now!

I did another trick where I flew like Superwoman through the trees…with the guide holding me…always feeling the sheer terror during the first half…but enjoying it and continuing to screaming during the second…but with a smile on my face…

upside-down-zip-lineThe last trick…I was hanging upside down like a cannon ball…going backwards…with my arms spread out like wings…without being able to see…this was by far the most scariest one…because I couldn’t see where I was going! I had to let go and believe that I would be caught at the other end and stopped just in time before smashing into the tree…

Oh my god…the terror…the thrill…

The triumph…the victory…

I did it…how amazing…how gratifying…

Another fear conquered…

I am invincible.

My Surfing 180

I had my second surfing lesson yesterday and it was a completely different experience than my first. 

I woke up wondering if there was any way that I could get out of the lesson because I feared that it would be as unproductive as it was yesterday. I was also exhausted from not sleeping well and my body was incredibly sore.

How was I going to do this?

What if I panicked like yesterday?

My instructor came to get me and we both shared how tired we were…but nonetheless…we both had to do it. I told him that I needed to take it easy because my body can only handle so much since it is quite sensitive. I guess I wanted to explain my inadequacies…just in case I floundered again. 

I practiced the technique on the sand several times…trying to memorize the steps so that I could make it flow…because I was not supposed to ‘think too much about it’ when I am on the surfboard. 

And then off we went…into the water. 

Trust me – he said. I am always with you. 

We went into the waves…head on…jumping up as they came at us in full force…pinching my nose to make sure I didn’t over indulge in my salt intake. 

We turned around…I hopped onto the board…ready…

Hands in position…push into cobra…downward dog…left foot forward and then right…and I was surfing!!!

I did it…I couldn’t believe how much my energy and my disposition had changed from yesterday…I was confident…and I felt exhilarated! 

High fives from my instructor! 

He was so proud of me and said that I had done a complete turnaround from yesterday…which even he was surprised by. He re-affirmed to me that I had taken some major steps towards freeing my mind of chaos…and I was able to surf because I had let go…


Back towards the waves we went again…and my eyes pierced through those waves with such intensity because I knew I had defeated them…and despite a few falls…I was standing…I was surfing…I was riding those waves. 

I was fearless. 

I went from having major anxiety to feeling free and liberated with a sense that I had just overcome a major obstacle in my life…I didn’t have to be afraid anymore. 

I was laughing.

I was smiling.

I was happy.

I felt alive. 

Perhaps I was finally starting to absorb the Pura Vida lifestyle of Costa Rica.