This is part four in a series where I share pieces of my Costa Rica travel journal. Follow the links below to read the previous installments:
From my travel journal:
We took surf lessons yesterday afternoon from two native Costa Ricans. They took us out to the beach and gave us a tutorial on land before taking us out to the water. It was raining throughout the duration of the lesson. They had us lay down in the sand on an invisible surfboard. The dark gray sand instantly clung to us like the little magnetic fuzzy pieces in a Wooly Willy toy from the Cracker Barrel gift shop.
Everyone from our group was spread out on the sand, looking like soldiers in a lineup…or a bunch of beached whales.
We were told to discover our dominant foot by jumping to a standing position. Whichever sixe we were facing was most likely our dominant side. We jumped up a couple more times to be sure of which side felt the most natural.
Here’s how they told us to get up:
– Lay flat on the center of the “board” (or sand…)
– Bring your hands in close to your chest.
– Make a “4” with the leg that will end up in the back once you’re standing.
– Raise your chest up, bring your bent leg up under you, and push up.
– Stay low on the board.
-The arm facing front is out-stretched, but the arm in the back is for balance and stays bent with your hand near your chest.
The boards themselves were surprisingly light – maybe 10ish pounds . They were just bulky and you had to stretch your arm around them to hold them. Rough wax was rubbed on top of the boards ,and your skin would stick to the board and pull if you weren’t careful.
A storm was beginning to roll over the mountains, so there was a lot of wind and the waves were rough. A drizzle covered us as we made our way out to the water, boards under our arms. We were told to fasten the straps to our ankles with the cord facing out, that way we wouldn’t get tangled up in it. Once in the water, we walked/waded alongside the boards with one hand on the tail and the other on the middle of the board. That way, when a wave came, we could push down on the bottom of the board and it would go over the waves.
We were told to take a wave once you could see the white cap. We stayed about waist-deep in the water, and when we saw a wave, we turned our board toward the shore, hopped on, and began paddling slowly. Then, as the wave got closer, we started paddling more quickly. Or at least, that was the plan. In reality, it all happened so fast I barely made it on the board in time. Once we felt the wave beneath us, we stood up…or tried. Balancing has never really been my thing.
Despite the rough water, surfing was a lot of fun, and I’d love the opportunity to surf again!
We went to a waterfall today. I was reminded of this verse, which I memorized while preparing for Costa Rica and the waterfalls I was told I’d see:
“Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls. All your waves and breakers have swept over me.” – Psalm 43:7
I think about being flooded with the Father’s love; sinking in that ocean of grace; drinking in His mercies, which are new every morning.