Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Surf Comp off the port bow !

photo by :
    Weekend surf contests are always packed - with people, fun, and emotion.  So much Emotion.  Excitement, anxiety, joy, fear, happiness, and sadness.  About every fifteen minutes someone wins and some one loses.  It can get hard to watch, let alone enter.  Surfing is such a pure thing, but when you start to put numbers and time frames on it, there can be a serious loss of plot.  It's supposed to be fun.
      Instead of putting a focus on scores, timetables, and winning,  I just watched the heats before mine and thought, "gosh those waves look pretty fun and im about to go get me some."
Sadly, for my heats the tide bottomed out and the wind picked up a bit.  Pretty much all of the heats I surfed were challenging and definitely not the kind of stuff you dream about when thinking 'mmm costa rica'   Try 'ummm windy shifty closeout' and you'll be a little more on point.
    Without focusing on 'winning' or 'losing' I didn't feel the normal amount of fear that goes hand in hand with competing. That is, until I found out I won.  Then the fear washed over me like a tidal wave.   Without a moment to collect my thoughts I was being asked questions by a man wielding the biggest video camera I've ever seen.  Next thing I know I'm being paraded onto a podium with the other girls from the final, and asked to say something in front of a bunch of people.  Wow. at this point I can't even remember my own name, let alone gather a few words.  My mom used to say that I was "painfully shy" and for the first time in my life I actually felt  that pain.
    I regurgitated something or other that hopefully went like this: 
"I just want to say thanks to all of the sponsors of this event in playa hermosa and all of the people who came, it was fun.  I also want to thank my family, friends, and sponsors - calavera swimwear, nexo surfboards, the point surf shop, and kulcha shok music"   and surely there I mumbled a little more and scurried off stage. 
    On the plus side, the my first win is over with and taught me a valuable lesson - always be prepared for the best.

heres a lil video of two training sessions last week. if only the waves were this good in my heats!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Vegan on the Road

When people find out we are vegan, and find out we spend most of our time in Central America they always seem to blurt "But how?!"
Believe it or not, being vegan on the road is actually quite easy. 
              Below is a general list of our weekly shopping and meals we eat.  Sometimes we have to skimp on luxuries (like avocados)  to save a little money, and other times we get to splurge and buy passion fruits (that can cost $1 each)  but hopefully this can give you a guide as to what you can live on financially as well as how to eat vegan on the road if you so desire.   
           For the protein, we travel with a 2 quart crockpot which allows us to have black beans, garbanzo/ chickpeas, or lentils cooking while we surf in the morning and ready to eat by lunch.  You can buy beans in a can, but it is much cheaper and more nutritious to cook them yourself.  A 2 qt crockpot is about $10 in the states and maybe $20 down here and you'll easily get your monies worth in the first week of using it! They don't take that much energy either, so even if you pay electric out of your rent down here it won't be a big deal. 
    If you plan to eat out -  all restaurants will make you a GalloPinto (rice and beans)  with veggies, tortillas, and avocado  or pasta  with veggies. You can get yummy veggie pizza too (we just ask them to leave off the cheese) Many places sell smoothies, so fresh cold fruit is a breeze too.
       We often travel with multivitamins, energy bars, and protein powder  to ensure optimum nutrition.    (not included below, but about $5 extra per week)
             On being vegan athletes -  people often ask how we are getting enough protein and nutrients without meat.  I have been vegetarian since I was five, and we have both been vegan for the past seven years.  I've always lead an active life involving sports and haven't ever suffered fatigue as a result of being vegan.  In fact, I'd say that since I cut out dairy I've had much more energy. If you decide to try eating vegan I strongly recommend doing a little research and making a few healthy meal plans to get started so can be sure you're eating right.  If you need help with this please shoot me an email I would love to help you create a meal plan that works for your lifestyle  alive (at)   

               Our typical day includes at least 60-80 minutes of hiking the beach with a 20lb backpack, 3 - 6 hours of intense surfing, and sometimes a 30 minute yoga / pilates session.   The food we eat is delicious and satisfying  and you might be surprised on how good you feel eating it!
                 If you click the 'food' tag on the right you can find more vegan recipes and ideas too!  

Why are we vegan?  Click here to find out.

Friday, February 10, 2012

the Banana Thieves

                 Cantering with the speed of a getaway car,  half a dozen horses b-lined for the cluster of palms I sat under. With no regard to my presence, they began scavenging around the trees for left over coconut pieces.   Five minutes into their mission, one of them picked up the scent of something delicious and gave me a hard nudge on the shoulder, as if I were keeping it from her.  Truth is, I kind of was. 
       Last time this group busted out of their field they stole my lunch bag and ate my bananas!   Nudge, Nudge.  I keep botching peoples video clips thanks to her head butts. Finally I gave up and handed her the fruit, which she slurped down with the satisfaction of a kid eating an popsicle on a hot day.
       What amazes me is the bravery of the animals in Costa.  Back home, so many of the wild things are skittish and we rarely see them.  But here, you tend to feel invaded.   We used to live in a place that was set back on the side of a mountain.  The Jungle collectively tried to kick us out.  Spiders the size of starfish found it funny to scare the wits out of us as they shimmied up the walls, scorpions enjoyed scurrying out of every which way, pit vipers creepily slithered across the driveway, monkeys would come down their tree highway making such a racket we'd need to put on headphones, and even the friendly Coati (aka Brazilian Ardvark) would steal the bananas we set out to ripen while we were sitting five feet away. I swear at one point I even saw tendrils of vines creeping in the windows and doors.  And that's just the start of our Jungle Incident.  At first it was endearing and exciting.  But sometimes I miss the shy, quiet creatures of my hometown.
         Thankfully our new place is creature free, and we scored some fun surf last week.  We had the chance to water film a little which is always fun when the water is beautiful blue- a tough combination at a silty black sand beach break!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Moonlighting as a Surfer

shimmer, cascade
fall forth into perfection.
we lost the sun
but could never
lose our truth

illuminating the night
awakening our souls
reminding us
to reflect the Light
when there is none.

         I remember the first time I ever surfed by moonlight.  The way it dappled the water and backlit the waves so they would glimmer as they broke.  All other senses are so heightened there is no time for your mind to break away into a thought pattern, and you are left with a zen like tranquility.  
thank you moon.