08.31.2003 (Sunday), 11:00 PM

Surfing Rules. Surfing Sucks.

I HURT!

Day Three of Bill and Jan in Costa Rica

Yesterday during our long walk, we stopped at the Tamarindo Surf School. Here we met Veronica who worked in the shop. She was also the first of many Americans who seemed to be trying to "find" themselves by moving to Costa Rica. I am not making light of this in any way because, Veronica seemed to be searching for a home as opposed to being on some new age dream quest. She was pretty damn cool though and gave us some further tips about Tamarindo and them proceeded to talk me into a surfing lesson for the following day (today).

So...I used to body surf and boogie board in Santa Cruz all the time. IN the cold water WITHOUT a wetsuit, mind you. I tried surfing exactly twice and failed miserably each time. One of my ulterior motives for coming to Costa Rica was to finally learn how to surf. So, 3 pm rolled around and I found myself with Alex (the instructor) and Tina (a girl from London who had been surfing with her boyfriend for two weeks in Belize and Tamarindo) on the beach practising standing up on a board that was lying in the sand. Hey, that was pretty easy...

Once in the water, it was a different story. All of a sudden my feet didn't work. My shoulders gave out. I had board rash in all of the exposed places on my body except my face. I couldn't stand up to save my life. OK, I did get up on my front foot but my back knee stuck like crazy glue. I wiped out more...no make that every time I tried. I looked and felt like a total DORK. And all the while I actually had a good time. That was until I realized just how much I had been working at it. Things shifted into slow motion. I was dizzy from low blood sugar even though I had a decent sized early lunch. My arms felt like lead. I troopered on until the bitter end. But, I had fooled myself into thinking that I could learn in a day and be ripping waves for the rest of the week. What a kook.

I made it back to the shop and Alex told me that it was the shop's policy to make sure that their students got up and standing at least once and that tomorrow's lesson would be absolutely free so I took him up on it. Walking back to the hotel, I nearly collapsed and thought, free lesson or not, that I was going to take that class regardless of my physical or mental condition. THIS has become a priority.

Posted by wjc