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Sep. 11, 2007
Costa Rica
Costa Rica Dylan's back in the office but I feel slightly obligated to post this one for The Team since I was the original recipient. Here's the latest from TCB athlete Brent Allen and his "surf trip" down in Costa Rica. 

I have just returned from a 9-day surf trip in Costa Rica and lets just say it was interesting. On short notice, I made a decision to take a surf trip to central America with a friend that is a teacher and was going to be back in class. After race announcing at the Alcatraz Challenge Sunday morning in San Francisco, we flew out of SFO on a red eye to Miami and then onto San Jose, Costa Rica. This will be a condensed version for humor sake.
Day 1 Surf Session: We surf at Jaco Beach and after surfing 2 hours, my friend is spent and goes into watch from the beach (82-degree water). As the surf conditions start to get blown out I get dumped in the wrong place at the wrong time. During the hold-your-breath contest, I get tumbled for a bit. I come up to get out of harms way and look back at my right calf to see blood. I take the next wave into the beach, stand up and can confirm that yes, there is blood draining down the back of my calf. Short version: my fin had run across my calf and laid it open like a surgeons scalpel (4-inch cut).

Rule #1 always have a well stocked first aid kit when surfing in 3rd-world countries. We go to the local clinic in Jaco. 7 stitches later and a beautiful doctor telling me no ocean or pool for 7 days. The clinic rocked. They had me in stitches and out in 1 hour and it only cost me $90.00. SWEET! This is the place to get hurt.
Fast Forward.
Day 4 Surf Session: But the Doctor said don't get into the O-C-E-A-N for seven days. That is why God created duct tape. My friend has been a swim/water polo coach for 20+ years and lets just say he has some experience with how to tape up stitches. I am very aware of sharks/blood—shark week on the discovery channel was just on. 

2 surf sessions at Ventana and Dominicalitas.
Day 5 Surf Session: Back to Dominicalitas great 2.5 hour surf session in the morning and back for a snack/nap. We go back for session #2  at Domincalitis. Note: I had been training for the California State lifeguard program in Huntington Beach from May through June. During training, I had developed plantar facitis, so I'm used to having pain in my left foot. I step on a rock while wading out and the pain shoots up my leg. I go ahead and paddle out to the line up and sit up. I turn to catch a wave and as I plant my left foot, pain (def-con 10) tells me I have a broken foot. Still in denial, I paddle back out and try stretching my foot, turn and catch another wave. The PAIN. Broken foot alarm goes off.  So I tell my friend that my foot is hurt and I am going in. Let's just say it took a long time for me to cover 100f t to the SUV with my 9'4" surftech.

Back to Rule #1: First Aid Kit pain medication. We also had a 4.6 earthquake hit that night.
Day 6 early morning trip into the mountains to the town of San Isidro and the Emergency Clinic with x-ray machine: Short version: Cast, pain meds, crutches, x-rays, doctor visit; all for only $150.00! Yes I have found the best place ever to get hurt. Yes it was not plantar facitis it was a fractured bone the entire time that finally broke.
What I learned from this travel experience etc.  

  • Medical care rocks in Costa Rica! Cheap, fast and they really do a great job.
  • When things go south on a trip or in life, how fast can you adjust, accept and move on with a positive attitude?
  • I gave my extra surf wax to some tico surfers in Dominical and they were very grateful (i.e. it is very expensive in Costa Rica).
  • You get through airports and customs a lot faster with a broken foot and stitches.
  • I went through my large zip lock bag of CLIF Bars, MOJO, nectar and provided them to local folks.
  • Driving in Costa Rica is whack—you can be driving along some of the dirt-mud-rutted roads and look up as a semi is driving at you on the wrong side of the road. (Quepos to Dominical). No joke it was like the Baja 1,000.
  • The people in Costa Rica are very kind and helpful. I always make it a top priority while  traveling in other countries to make a positive impact. You might be the only one who forms a positive or negative impression on what Americans are really like.
  • Participate in Life!
Posted by:
Amy, Miss Web Gal
Team Clif Bar

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We like getting our heart rates up, taking a big breath of fresh air, savoring delicious food. But we also love telling stories and here's where we type 'em up. (BTW, it works both ways; leave a comment—please and thank you.)

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