Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Lifted from a Moleskin Notebook

It’s not that I don’t like bus rides. I love them. I love any form of traveling. I absolutely thrill at the feeling of movement, the idea that I’m going somewhere, anywhere, that I’m on the move again. But right now I’m focused solely on the hateful thoughts that I’m cherishing towards the general concept of this particular bus ride.
My whole body hurts. From my ankles to my jaw line everything pains. If it weren’t for the complete and encompassing pain that I’m feeling, I’d probably be thinking back fondly on one of the greatest weekends that I’ve had yet this trip. Montezuma was truly the paradise we expect of Costa Rica – touristy only in it’s prices and extensive display of the English language, but conspicuous in it’s lack of tourist shops and cheesy cheap souvenirs. It was the place that the rugged tourists go. Where you can rent an ATV and feel like you’re a pioneer tourist exploring pristine beaches, but also where the wanderers seem to get stuck (it is at the end of a peninsula, after all), who just stay instead of leaving and mesh with the locals at the one bar and dance around late-night bonfires, surf in the daytime and enjoy it indefinitely. It’s like A place stuck, where time doesn’t really seem to move, even though the days are all spectacularly bookmarked by the blazing transitions of the sun.
So I spent the weekend at the beach. Why, then, am I in complete and total pain? I mean, how could I possibly have gotten so sore? I’ll admit, that first day, I did clamber around on some rocks, tide-pooling and sitting in decidedly emo positions while watching the waves beating themselves senselessly against the rocky out-cropping under my feet. That was wonderful, really. I danced around a lot in the room while we got ready to go out at night... but no more than usual. Oh god, I still have “Come on Eileen” stuck in my head. I should look that up when I get back… Oh it hurts.
Okay, break it down. Ankles: itchy. Bugs. Easy. Explainable. Calves and glutes… Did we, oh that’s right! The hike! On the second day we took this epic hike up to the waterfall. It was probably a good thirty minutes at about a 70 degree incline in like 90 degree weather. Finishing that hike felt good, then at least. Plus we ended up at an amazing oasis. At the top of the hill, past the randomly-placed yet not incongruous, silk-covered jungle gym, there’s a small path of steps that leads through the trees and down onto the rocks of a river. After a small 10 foot drop, the green water pools into a perfect swimming hole, complete with rope-swing, nestled between sheer walls before cascading off a 40 foot drop to a second pool which in turn swells over a final precipice and free-falls magnificently 70+ feet.
It was breath-taking in more ways than one. Right and that explains the bruise that extends up the back of my left leg from just above the hemline to just below the waist line and is currently making any form of sitting simply unbearable. Because, apparently, unless you have “good form,” you’re almost guaranteed to bruise after jumping off a 40 foot waterfall. Ahaha. I thought I had it down too… well, actually, I can remember my thought process perfectly clearly. It went something like: OhmygodIactuallyjumped whatthe****wasIthinking? OhmyTERROR okayAntoniosaidtensemusclesbeforeIhit, tensemuscles whatwasIthinking? HOWcanIbeanyMOREtense? Shootshootshootshoot AHH TILTING! CRUD. *SPLASH* Dominique was so right about the bruising I’m gonna bruise… breathing focus on breathing oh my god are my earrings still all there? None ripped out? Good. Breathe. Breathe. Bathing suit in the right arrangement. Should I turn around and wave? Breathe. Too much effort. Breathe. Ow. Stupid.
I can’t really remember through the sheer multitude of sensation, but I’m pretty sure that provided I had enough time, I was swearing a lot more in my mind.
Ah. In the end it was completely vale la pena (“was worth the pain”).

Okay, that explains my legs. But moving up, the nausea? I guess I’ll just set that down to getting up too early and the lingering effects of a weekend of partying and eating poorly? I’d rather not focus on it right now. Focus on something else, something other than the prospect of hurling all over the bus. Ralphing. I like the word ralphing, but I’m always too afraid to use it… too politically incorrect? Derogatory to people named Ralph? Is it Ralphing or Ralfing? Is it less offensive to Ralph if I don’t capitalize?

But then abs. Why are my abs and shoulders so sore? I can barely lift them above my head. Was I carrying anyone? No… It was Emily’s 21st birthday, but I don’t remember carrying her anywhere. Apparently, flipping back a page or two, I did a lot of air-punching and arm-flailing and running. (Entry starts with the phrase “At 12:32am it’s been Emily’s 21st birthday for 28 minutes, and, accordingly and not surprisingly…” the entry goes on to mention things like birthday suits and bioluminescence. And stars. The stars were magnificent)
I didn’t even dance much salsa, so multiple twirls are no excuse… And I tend to be responsible, so I can’t even make a weak joke about lifting the bottle a few too many times for my poor flimsy arm muscles. No… but then, what DID I do? Yesterday I slept on the beach all day, recovering from the waterfall adventure and woke up feeling I’d just spent a day waterskiing. I mean, I did play around on the rope swing, but that was really just two epic failures that consisted of me dropping off the rope before even clearing the water. Maybe it was that yanking my arms? If that’s true, than man I’m out of shape. It’s been SO LONG since I’ve gone climbing or done any sort of regular excersc… OH! Oh. Ohhhhh! Climbing. So that’s where I’ve felt this feeling before. Climbing. Oh man. And not only did I scramble across rocks on day 1, but then remembered how much I like it and continued to clamber up and around every rock I could find after that. Even after dropping like a stone down 40 feet on day 2, I used all my technique to climb back up (after I stopped shaking and returned to my regular breathing pattern) the sheer 40 foot cliff, scoffing at the slightly easier path more-traveled which involved stair-like footholds. MAN that was a savage climb. Totally made up for my earlier epic failures.
Oh epic failures. Yea, before the epic rope-swing failure (I will ALWAYS be grateful that I fought myself and refrained from bragging about the lifetime I’ve spent on rope swings) I failed on a 10-foot cliff jump. I mean, that jump was closer to the water than a high-dive. Easy, right? Good thing no one was really watching that one either. I was so eager to get in to the water, but still shaking from the 30 minute up-hill hike that my dive left much to be desired. As in, it was more of a face-plant. A chest-flop if you will. My chest was so red after that, I’m surprised it didn’t bruise. OH NO WAIT! IT DID! LAST PIECE OF THE PUZZLE LAST PIECE OF THE PUZZLE! That’s why my sternum and jaw are so bruised! It’s not a heart attack, or a result of carrying my camera slung over my shoulder all day or even a broken rib from the water-fall jump. And no wonder no one else who did the 40 foot jump has a bruised jaw… and here I thought it must have been because I stuck my head out too far and smacked my jaw against the glassy surface of the lower swimming hole after my feet and lower body had already pierced said glassy surface and thrown it into general tumult… No. It was from the first botched dive that was almost my excuse for not jumping off the waterfall (if I can’t make a 10 foot jump with out failing spectacularly, how do you expect me to make a 40 foot one without killing myself?).

It all makes sense now! Oh and now it’s a good kind of hurt. No sunburn, no stupidly earned (read: drunkenly-earned) injuries. Everything well earned. And a savage bruise to boot…

Can’t wait to go back.


Heidi Fuller said...

The classiest act of a tumble-bum like you is laughing at it. Anyone who can laugh at herself is never a failure. This blog posting recalls a day at the playground when you were three years old. You attempted to climb the ladder to go down the slide, but after taking on the first rung, you became cautious. Dad tried to encourage you with a little boost, but you tensed up and dropped into his arms. We tried to lift you a little higher, but your little feet pumped away like you were running on air. For years after that, you played it safe, and I'm happy to see you making up for lost adventure. Stay safe, Magnolia Blossom!

Heidi Fuller said...

you are a month behind. catch up! We all are waiting! Oh, and good luck on midterms. don't let anything distract you from that. : )