Posts Tagged ‘Surfing’

New Years Resolutions

2010 was a year of changes. The biggest changes came from me changing my work as well as us changing the country and continent where we live, but along the big changes there were also a lot of other small things that changed. I purged a lot from my life (mainly in the form of foods); I reduced my drinking, I ate less sweets and sugars, I stopped drinking coffee, I reduced my intake of white flour and fast foods, I stopped drinking diet sodas…

I also added a lot to my life (partly in the form of foods and partly in the form of adding new habits to my life); I started walking 30mins almost every morning thanks to Sofia, I started eating linseed/beepollen/fresh fruits/protein powder, I started sleeping at least 8hrs each night, I started drinking lots more tea, I started working my lats more (pullups!), I started working on my emotional responses to everything that happens as well as dealing with frustration in a more productive way… The list goes on and on and on.

Change can be difficult and possibly much less fun than just sticking to what you know and enjoy, but it can also be very rewarding as you see how well you do and how well you feel following the implementation of the changes. Most change comes from yourself and from within, you have to want to change, which I guess I did since I managed to include so much into my past year. But most of all Id like to thank my lovely J for all the support he has given me in going through with it all. x Anyways, here is my list of new years resolutions for 2011:

1. Eat Clean

Eating well and with the aim of eating as healthily as possibly will be my top goal this year. This resolution gets the first position since it is almost like the main idea from which a lot of my other resolutions have arisen from and in the end this resolution will help me achieve many of my other resolutions.

During the last two quarters of 2010 I have been massively inspired by Oxygen Magazine as well as Tosca Reno‘s ideas about eating clean, so this year I finally feel ready to grab the bull by its horns and to finally start to eat according to her advice. I will start slowly, doing my first week of clean eating from the 10th January till the 17th January to see how it goes. If it goes well Ill keep going for another week but adjusting for any learnings and improvements I have found during my first week of clean eating.

If all this goes well I will do two more weeks of clean eating in February and a full month of it during March 2011 in order to celebrate the month when I turn 30!

2. Cooking more

In order to support my clean eating I want to cook more. I want to reduce my intake of preservatives, sugars and food additives, chemicals and colorants in general and clean up my diet. I have already started slowly with this, Ive made my own strawberry jam last year but want to make papaya jam and try making a chutney as well this year. I havent yet tried making my own cordial but that is also on the list of things to do this year.

3. Handicrafts Galore

I started knitting again last year, and I really want to keep this up. I am currently knitting a bedspread (yes that’s right, I started with a “small” project – a 1.2m x 1.8m bedspread…) but Id like to make myself a knitted scarf as well by the end of this year. Something to keep here at work for moments when the air conditioning goes mad..

Id also like to buy an electronic sewing machine… I am not yet 100% sure what I would do with it, but I think all that would dawn on me as soon as I got one… So gotta keep my eyes on Craigslist to see if I could find a cheap one on there. I also want to go to more garage sales and flee markets this year. Didnt manage many last year, and I bet Costa Rica is full of treasures…

4. Keeping Fit

This goal is divided up in to three separate sections: Light, Medium, Hard. Just to keep me challenged throught the year.. 🙂 Having been inspired by Jacqueline Kothbauer’s goal of 150 work out sessions a year, I have also tried to set up quantifiable goals so I can actually properly make myself accountable for my actions… Let me run through them one at a time:

Light: A 30 minute morning walk five days a week (preferably mon – fri) will be my aim for all this year. That means 260 tmies 30 minutes. Maybe a bit ambitious but my little lovely doggy Sofia will definitely support this resolution! Any extra weekend walks will be a bonus (both for me and for Sofia!)

Medium: I will try to go to the gym five times a week as well for a minium of 30 mins. I havent decided yet how this 30 mins will be divided up between aerobic exercise and weights training, but I definitely need to add more weights to my sessions this year. I would ideally like to be able to do 10 pull ups by the end of the year (I can currently do about 1 and 2 semi ones or three semi ones or.. well you get the point, not that many) and to do 3 x 12 sets of proper sit ups (properly using and targeting my “dead zone” as my pilates teacher calls it).

Hard: Put all this together and use my improving fitness level to surf better. (And hopefully also dance a bit.. The hard part with that will be finding a place where I can practice my belowed Salsa en Linia over here.) I would also like to lower my fat percentage.. I just need to find out what my current one is and then burn fat to reach my ideal level (which I assume will be around 15%)

5. Improving my Patience

This one is a difficult one. Then again, I have already improved it massively during this year and I think I am definitely better at it now than I was even just a year ago. But I want to be even less influenced by external factors and not allow them to stress me, frustrate me or make me feel like I have “ants in my pants”..

6. Heirloom Gardening

I want to do much more gardening this year. And I really have to remember to water my plants twice a day instead of my miserable “every now and then” strategy that has been predominant over the last few months.

Really got to change that if I want to actually get any tomatoes from my poor dry plants on the terrace. (I might post a picture later on of what they look like now.. Just to turn the usual idea of before – after pictures on its head)

Anyhow, this year I want to get my hands on some Heirloom Seeds (as well as a proper gardener hat like this guy has in the image from Rare Seeds) and plant real vegetables, mainly tomatoes and zucchinis. Yum, yum, yum!

(This resolution is actually just a way to practice before doing it on a bigger scale once I have a little farm…)

7. Improve and excel at work

This year I want to be able to show great numbers from my work. The first year I feel has just flown by and I dont really feel I have had the time to properly perform, mainly since everything has just been kicked off, its been slow to begin with, we havent had the right partners to work with etc. But this year I want to be able to show great KPIs from my work and to really begin to build up my professional reputation over here.

And I think I should stop here, otherwise a year wont be enough for all of my ambitous goals and plans, and most importantly I do want to leave something up to chance and let life surprise me.

Advertisements

Last day of 2010

The last day of 2010 is about to begin, approximately 30 minutes to go over here in Costa Rica but I guess there will be lots of celebrations shared with us from over in Europe already starting at about 4pm our time. Time difference is a strange thing, thinking that in Finland its already almost 8am and a lot of my family and friends over there are at work already while I am about to tuck myself in for the last full night of 2010.

My Christmas Fairy Lights on the TerraceWe have been back up in the central valley for a few days, spending some time at the office (which I did find quite difficult following the working from home flexibility of Monday and Tuesday) and enjoying our lovely house. My youngest sister arrived today with her boyfriend and tomorrow we are heading back to the beach for some more surfing, a new years dinner at the Los Almendros restaurant as well as some hotness and sunshine. A weird but wonderful way to end the year!

Mum brought over a couple of bottles of champagne so we get to have that tomorrow since we missed the traditional Christmas Champagne on the 24th. But I think its much better this way, to get to enjoy it with my sister as well.

I think 2010 has been an absolutely wonderful year, I would not want to change a thing.. I guess I almost wish I could have squeezed a few more days into the year, days that I wouldnt have had to work during so that I could have spent them just enjoying J’s company, life in general and this wonderful country. But then again, I am very much looking forwards to what the future and 2011 brings… Happy New Year everyone!

P.s. New years resolutions for this year:

– Work on my frustrations to reduce them and control them more (in general – not let my emotions take over)

– Get fitter 😉

– Appreciate what I have in life

– Spend lots of time with J and Sofia and as much time as possible with the people I hold dear

Ps 2: What I was striving for in 2005-2006

 

A Tropical Christmas

The only thing missing from my Tropical Christmas was the calypso music. (Gotta remember to get the “Calypso Christmas” CD for next year..) We rented our usual beach house down in Esterillos Oeste to spend our first Tropical Christmas by the beach and it has been absolutely wonderful although slightly strange. And I regret not bringing my fairy lights, as we have some terrific palm trees over here that would be very suitable as tropical Christmas trees. (Mental note: Bring them down on Friday when we head back to the beach)

I got a beautiful surfboard from my wonderful boyfriend and a delicious set of organic cotton sheets from my mum, a fantastic Putumayo Family Christmas music CD from my dad and some small bits and pieces from my loved ones back home. Unfortunately I was a terrible girlfriend and forgot (!) my wonderful boyfriend’s Christmas present at home…I hope the present in itself will make up for it (it is something that has to do with the other love of his life – His 1977 Toyota Landcruiser so it should make him pretty pleased). Once he gets it that is…

I got to have a surf on Christmas day which was pretty amazing. There would not have been ANY chance of that if we would have been back home in the UK. I think I am spoiled for life now after having surfed these warm waters in just a bikini. Unfortunately me and my new board didnt really get along that well on Christmas Day morning. I think the main problem was a communication error that meant it didnt understand what I wanted and I didnt understand what the hell it was doing. Our differences of opinion were solved by me as I got out of the water, marched home and changed it to my old board. Unfortunately my second tour to the beach happened too late and the water had already retreated too far out, making the waves so small that even on a larger board it was just not happening at all.

My second encounter with my new board ended in a slight disaster (although this was following some pretty good waves before!). I thought I could ride the board prone into shore but that was just a stupid idea I soon figured out. Being as light as it is my new board threw me off and bounced up in the air before landing on my head and calf muscle, giving me a big bleeding bump on the head and a throbbing calf muscle that was soon almost twice the size of my usual pathetically small calf muscles.

So no more surfing for a few days for me 😩 Which I am feeling quite devastated about. I feel its a complete waste just sitting here without having the chance to enjoy the beach and the water that is just around the corner from me now… I will give my leg a few more hours to heal, but god damn then Im going in again.

My mum is also here celebrating her first tropical Christmas in ages and its been really nice to show her where we live, show where we usually go when we go to the beach, to introduce her to Sofia and to just have her around (She makes amazing food so I am slightly taking advantage of that as well…)

I dont think it really feels like Christmas, but then again, who cares when you can have iguanas, monkeys, hummingbirds, BBQing by the pool, surfing and great company anyways? Ok, time for a little nap and then let’s see if this leg and head can manage some more waves..

My Christmas Wish List

Happy 1st December everyone – Let the countdown to Christmas begin!

In celebration of Christmas I decided to put together a lovely little Christmas Wish List (CWL), just like I used to do with my sisters when we were small in the hope that Santa (a.k.a mum and dad at that time) would acknowledge our pleas and bless us with something from the CWL.

So Dear Santa(s) here is my Christmas Wish List 2010:

1. Walden Mini Magic Longboard

Oh this board from Walden Surfboards is absolutely wonderful… With a yellow colour that makes it look so happy! So happy that I think I would be incredibly happy on it. Until a wave thrashes me and I get another dosis of the washingmachine experience..  But I bet I would be happy again once I am back up on this board… I wonder if they do yellow leashes.. I want a yellow leash to go with this..

2. Stamp Rug from Rocket St. George

Even if I don’t live in the UK anymore, something about England and English design quirkiness touches my heart.. Like this 1p Stamp rug! I want, I want, I want! It would look amazing on my floor, Im sure of it! Even if I would like to have a white floor on which to lay it, instead of our black tile floor. Hmm.. But no, let’s not go that far as to put white floor tiles on this list. Ill leave that till next year’s Christmas list!

3. Sweatshirt from Stereopanda

The guys at Stereo Panda make amazing stuff, fantastically fun 80s inspired BMX/Street wear. Unfortunately way too seldom they create their wonderful items for women. But these sweatshirts are just adorable and look like you just want to slip into one and stay on the sofa in your woolly socks and leggings all day long…

4. Blossa Glögg!

Of course there has to be glögg at Christmas and of course it has to be Blossa Glögg! Although, since I am pretty far from Alko and the ferries between Finland and Sweden (for cheap tax free boose) I will be attempting making some myself this year.. Fingers crossed it turns out almost as nice as this year’s Blossa Glögg with Saffron..

 

5. Scottish Fine Soaps – The Tin Soap Collection

And when I say the collection, I really mean the WHOLE collection… How can you every chose just one out of these??

6. Magazine Rack from Rocket St. George

So I can store my Oxygen Magazine and Women’s Health magazines somewhere stylish AND practical.. (See mum, you can be stylish AND practical! ;))

7. Hurley Shorts for Women

I find it so difficult to find surf wear, not to mention street wear for women in general, and all these difficulties seem multiplied here in Costa Rica 😩 Thank god for online shopping and people coming to visit, but boo for luggage allowances on planes! Hurley has done some lovely things that I have been quite drawn to lately, such as these shorts here and a few bikinis I have stumbled upon in the shops over at Multiplaza..

8. This Christmas’ new Moomin Mug

Is so pretty! It would go marvellously well with the rest of my collection and I really hope someone will bring me one when they travel over here from Finland this Christmas/Winter…

9. Knitting Stuff!

I do like my knitting and even if I cannot foresee myself terminating my latest project in the next few weeks (a 1.5 meter long, about 1 meter wide throw in off white) I would love to get started on the next project already now! But since I am currently using my only pair of knitting needles and the only wool I have, I would love to have more fun knitting stuff.. Anything really.. (and a sowing machine as well actually now that we are on the topic of making stuff…and….)


10. KitchenAid’s

And lastly, some kitchen porn.. How hot is this KitchenAid Artisan Mixer in Cobalt Blue! I cannot say how often I would use it, but how can any woman (excuse the gender stereotyping here..) live without one of these? (And if you dont like my colour choice, pick your own at the KitchenAid Online Shop!)

 

 

How to Duck Dive

Yesterday I was getting bruised and battered in the messy waves while trying to learn how to duck dive. I guess it went alright, but as I was saying to Joel through gritted teeth, I have real trouble “feeling” the flow of this move and hence accepting that I might possibly be doing it correctly like he says I am. My duck dive doesnt feel like a smooth flowing move I assume it should be, just like the duck has in the video above, it feels more like a huffing and puffing and hoping for the best exercise before the wave catches my bum and I slide off the board.

I am impressed though that I managed to get the board down under the water a few times, and I bet once we go back to practicing in real wave and not just in a quiet section of the lava pools in Esterillos Oeste, Ill hopefully get the hang of it. I am quite curious to see how much this might help my surfing and help me win the battle against the waves..

Yesterday’s session did take my breath away though, literally! I was karate chopped in the right side of my waist by the board as a wave threw it straight at me and lost my breath for a moment from the pain and shock of the beating. My god, I am used to bruises on my legs and dont really mind them anymore, but my appendix, small intestines and liver hasnt had that much experience of physical pain so this did leave me breathless.

To be fair, yesterday’s session just ended up being a bit crazy with messy waves all over the place, so I was quite pleased when I managed to paddle out with my super floaty board AND managed to ride one wave quite nicely during the short session. Like a colleague of mine says: “Even One Wave is a Session” so this day will go down in the diary as yet another succesful outing!

And hopefully next time I will be as gracious as the duck in the video when I plow through the waves to get out there..

Esterillos Oeste

This weekend is a real treat. We are spending it down at Esterillos Oeste with some friends just lazying around, surfing, BBQing and well, just enjoying life in general! Its been a while since we were here last and I have almost forgotten how fantastic this place is for relaxing and really recharging your batteries. Not to mention the surf, I loved coming down here before, because the waves are quite big, but still fairly soft, making it perfect for me on my epoxy.

I got down here already on Friday since my company was doing a team building outing in Jaco for the day. It was a fantastically fun day at the beach surfing followed by cocktails, arm wrestling and dancing at The Backyard Bar in Playa Hermosa. I had so much fun and I feel like I know a few of my colleagues much better now as well.

Anyhow, J picked me up from The Hookup at Los Suenos around 8.30pm and we headed down to the beach. This time we have rented a gorgeous house all the way at the end of one of the dead end streets off Calle Canada, and turns out its absolutely fantastic! Three floors, pool, gorgeous large terraces on each floor and all of them looking out over the jungle.

Having got here pretty late we didnt really properly see the house until the next day, but my gosh did we hear the other inhabitants during the night! We have massive lizards living in the ceiling and they were making a glorious noise all through out the night while the cicadas were playing their tunes all around us in the jungle. The noise did wake me up a few times, but its actually nice waking up to the sounds of nature, especially since it will lull you back to sleep as well pretty much immediately.. Its a nice give an take.

This morning Sofia was up and demanding to get outside already at about 4am. She hasnt stopped since then.. She has explored the jungle, run around meeting other dogs, swam in the pool, been to the beach, run around some more and had a face off with a local capuchin monkey. We were having so much fun watching her and the monkey battle it out, one on the ground, one from the top of a palm tree.

I had a few wonderful waves down at the beach as well. Its been a while since we have been surfing here so at first I was a bit worried about the size of the waves, but I soon “got back to normal” i.e realising that they might seem big, but actually they are pretty soft. Had quite a few just for fun and a few that were excellent even by my own high standards of self criticism. And I finally managed to really get one pop up done PROPERLY! I.e. without dragging my damn knee behind me. Oh my gosh the feeling of that beats anything! Well, almost anything.

Tonight we have had a BBQ and now its just relaxing in the warm night to the sounds of cicadas while watching a beautiful lightning display in the distance. The rain hasnt reached us yet. I cant wait till tomorrow when I will get to do some more waves!! And ah, the sleep I will have tonight after a couple of hours in the waves and a day in the humid heat of the coastal area.. I do love our life in Costa Rica.

The Pep Talk

A Personal Pep Talk

Right. Its time for a good personal pep talk! God damn, I can do it! And I can do it DAMN WELL! Hear me ROAR!

Well, something like that… 🙂

So today is an absolutely wonderfully sunny Sunday and we are a few hours away from hitting the beach with our boards. It’s Barranca time again, and apparently the swell is excellent for me as a beginner. At least that is what my personal surf coach says 🙂 And that’s what this pep talk is all about, giving me the ooomph to hit those waves and not be scared about the steepness of them, or the force or them, or of my board hitting me, or of other surfers getting in my way, or of me getting caught in the leash, or of… Well, you get the point. Its a scary world out there for us beginner surfers.

But today I feel GRRRRREAT! And I am ready to hit those waves 100%! I am NOT going to pull out at the last minute and I am not going to bail on any great waves and I am not going to let a few waves taken over the head get me down. I am going to be as buoyant as my bloody board always is (making it oh so hard to get out there!) and not let any of this pull me down.

I am keeping my fingers crossed now that this pep talk will work and that I will have one of my BEST days EVER out there in the swell today! And if it doesn’t work, I will go with the “Eat Ice Cream” option from the card above.. HĂ€agenDazs super premium ice cream (as they modestly describe it on their website..) always works… 🙂