Am I Good Enough?

Photographer: Natali Zollinger 

Photographer: Natali Zollinger 

Within our careers as athletes Natali and I have put our other passions to the side. Not forgotten but not giving them our all. We’re not going to be athletes forever, it’s important we remember that, it forces us to look further into the future instead of as far as the upcoming season. 

Costa Rica has given us the opportunity to really immerse ourselves into our other loves; me and my writing, her and her fitness. I’ve never written more than I have since I got here. The words just keep coming. I think that’s because each day feels fresh here. 

Back home, we would carry so much shit with us from one day to the next. The stress from the day before doesn’t dissipate as the sun sets over the horizon, it sticks around and gets buried beneath the upset of wanting to and not being able to do everything. It builds and builds until we can barely get out of bed, weighed down by each incomplete task and feeling of discontent that stems from feeling stagnant. 

But here, it’s different. I don’t know what it is. This year-round Summer makes it difficult to have a real grasp on time or have any real sense of urgency. It’s very predictable, the sun rises at 5:30 and sets at the same time every. single. day. 365 days a year. We’re in the dry season now, the west coasts Summer, so it’s sunny and HOT every day. This predictability allows for routine.

Anyone who has been keeping up with this blog would say I’m not a creature of habit, that I don’t like routine. But there’s a side to me that needs it to stay focused on work. During the Winter months I become more of a home body and maintaining my morning rituals is a top priority. Coffee is the key ingredient; my secret to success. Every morning I wake up before the sun, I sit on the porch with my cup of coffee, the jungle sounds, and a pen and paper. I’ll sit there for hours. There’s only two things that can disrupt my morning routine; surfing and Paddle9 work. 

I’m not sure where my writing will take me. Writing has been the only real constant in my life, I’ve been keeping a journal since I learned how to write. It’s always been my outlet. But I feel like my writing has a long way to go. Every time I write I learn something about myself and get closer to finding my voice. But I’m not there yet. My dream is to become completely mobile and my words my source of income. 

I write often about not making excuses and here I am creating them to not take my writing to the next level. I tell myself it’s unoriginal, unsophisticated, and self-centered. How is my writing any different from all the other writers and bloggers in this digital age? Who would I write for? How much am I worth? All questions I’ve been putting off answering because I’m afraid of being right, I’m afraid that the denial will take away all the joy that writing gives me. Or maybe it’s because I’m afraid of being proven wrong and then having to do the work. 

The point is, I’m tired of the excuses. I love keeping up my blog but it’s time for me to figure out how to reach a bigger audience. It’s time to skip the bullshit and stop making excuses. I’m done waiting until I feel ready or until I take that writing class I keep talking about…I’m just going to do it. 

My Costa Rican Commune

Sunset at Playitas Beach

Sunset at Playitas Beach

I'm having one of those romantic, everything is amazing kind of days. 

I moved into mine and Natali's new apartment last night. The location is perfect, we're right in town while simultaneously living up in the jungle with the monkeys. When I unlocked the gate for our little Costa Rican commune (with my own set of keys) I no longer felt like a visitor here. 

My front yard

My front yard

It's a simple one bedroom, studio-esque apartment. My landlord is a cute young Tico man who speaks very little english. We wrestled with the language barrier, laughed about it, and eventually got our messages across...I think. I love the awkward dance of words. You have no choice but to put your guard down and surrender to feeling and sounding like an absolute idiot. 

This morning I was greeted on my door step  by a stocky dog with floppy ears. I left my door open for him, he sat there and looked at me, respecting my space and eventually laid down on the cool tiles of my front porch. I don't know his name but I like him. 

I walked to Emilio's for coffee and breakfast. It's quaint with a spectacular view over looking the jungle down to the ocean. With coffee in hand looking out over the vibrant greens, pinks, and yellows, I no longer felt a separation between me and my surroundings. I couldn't tell where I ended and the humid jungle air began. I think that's what being content feels like. 

Emilio's Cafe 

Emilio's Cafe 

I live in a place where people regularly stop what they're doing and get together at the beach just to watch the sunset. This is my favorite part of the day. Sunsets happen everywhere but it's different here. Not only can you see the sun slide past the horizon to greet the other side of the world but you can feel it. You can feel everything that happened that day leave with the light, it's cleansing and meditative. Any weight that I carried with me through that day is gone and I get the opportunity to begin again. It's a beautiful thing. 

The words have been flowing like never before. I've been writing for me and me only, focusing on my own personal growth. It's impossible not to be inspired here. I think I've finally found my muse. 

"You've got a lot to Learn."

Photo: Heather Jackson

Photo: Heather Jackson

Trying to make it in a society where dreams get printed onto posters and exist only in the classroom. 

Avoiding social situations just so I can avoid the question,

“so, what do you do?”

Because answering that question would mean giving up my life story

What do I do? 

I wake up every morning with a head buzzing full of ideas, dreams, and desires. 

I go out and I fulfill them. That’s what I do. 

I’ve got a friend who was just offered a promotion for a job that pays her in only one way, money. 

She sat on it for a bit. A life working for a paycheck; is that something I could do?

She told said boss, “I want to create, I want to work for passion not for pay.” 

Her boss, from his/her world of spreadsheets, emails, and paperclips, says “you’ve got a lot to learn.”

She felt like a child. It took her back to grade-school when you tell your parents or teacher you want to be an astronaut and they say with empty words “you can do anything you set your mind to.” 

I could always feel the doubt in those words. It felt robotic.

What you want to say is this life is going to throw so many punches you won’t be able to tell which way is up.

You want to say “Yeah, I wanted to be a dancer when I was your age. Look at me now; I sit in traffic, push paper, answer to a boss that I despise, and live for the weekends.”

“You’ve got a lot to learn.” 

Fuck that! We are all learning, nobodies got this thing down. There’s no perfect formula.

Age and experience is not an automatic ticket to a “I don’t have shit to learn” club. 

Learn from everyone, no matter their age or background.  

It's going to be messy. 

It's going to be uncomfortable. 

People are going to laugh at you, roll their eyes, and not take you seriously.

When you tell people what you do you'll sometimes get the response...

"Must be nice.."

Like what you're doing was somehow fatefully dropped into your lap and required minimal work.

Yes, it is nice. We're doing what we love, living in the moment, and working our asses off to get paid to do what we love. 

How it should be.