A Four Seasons, Whisky Drinking, Dirt Bagging Kind of Girl

Photographer: Heather Jackson

Photographer: Heather Jackson

I've always said home is what you make it. It's not always a specific location, it can be multiple, it can be wherever you are in a single moment. I've spent a week in a new place and by the end of it it felt like home. Living in Costa Rica, a place that is so far from home in distance and  environment, helps me understand my sense of the word. Home will always be the mountains. 

Living in the jungle these past couple months I've realized I'm rooted much deeper to the mountain life than I ever thought. 

The jungle is busy, it's buzzing with life 24/7 and that energy fueled me creatively for quite some time. I'd enjoy the comfortable morning temperatures on my porch drinking my coffee dressed with foamy coconut milk and write for hours. My writing really took off here; the words were flowing so fast I could hardly keep up. But as time rolled on and the novelty of the jungle wore off my writing did too and I started thinking about the mountains so much I couldn't be in the moment. 

And so....I'm headed home. 

Although I've been missing home; money has been really tight here and it's been a challenge to sustain myself financially. The unpredictability that comes with the tourist industry makes it difficult to get ahead. Costa Rica is shockingly expensive.

Working with Paddle9 was amazing and I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to work with them and have a job that requires me to jump off waterfalls and paddle in the ocean. Me leaving is certainly not a reflection on Paddle9...they're onto something really good and I'm happy to have experienced even a sliver of it. 

But as the days seem to get hotter and the pace of life seems to get slower I find myself very ready to head back to the mountains. I miss the weight of blankets on my body as I sleep and the sweet sound of snow crunching beneath my feet. I miss the food; buying all the things I love at the grocery store without breaking the bank. I miss having solid shits.  And I miss my mountain folk. 

When something isn't serving me anymore I'm pretty good at doing something about it. I've never allowed myself to be a sob story. I won't sit around and dwell in my misery. If my discomfort is simply just that and no longer constructive then I will do whatever I can to improve my current state. 

Costa Rica is a beautiful place but it's very clear it's not serving me anymore. So $250 later I've changed my ticket for the 10th of Feb and will soon be freezing my ass off. I'm not a beach girl. I'm a four seasons, whisky drinking, wood chopping, dirt bagging, river surfing kind of girl and it's time to get back in touch with that.




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.