Sunday, August 8th – Since we arrived in Costa Rica, every day has been packed with training, games, traveling, and touring. The days seemed to last forever with all that we had planned. So it is such a surprise that today marks the second half of our trip. The days have become irrelevant in our exploration of this beautiful country.
We started the days with an early 7am wake up call for breakfast. However, we had to eat light because we had training on the beach at 9am. When we arrived at the beach, we did a ten minute warm up job down the sand, it was refreshing hearing the waves crash and looking out into the beautiful ocean. Next we split up into groups and ran for twenty minutes. One group ended up running up some hills that led to beautiful scenery looking out over the ocean. Other groups ran on the road and saw a lot of crabs during their run. By the end, we all met up at the entrance of the beach and went down to work on some sprints. The sprint workout was intense after our run but much needed to prepare for the upcoming season.
After the beach training, we went to the pool to do an hour water work out ran by Ange. Everyone had a lot of fun doing the leg lifts and punching under water, and said that they really felt the “burn”. We even did some sit ups on the edge of the pool, but Beck ended up going all the way under and we had to wait for her to finish before we could move on. Everyone stood around laughing and didn’t want to tell her she was doing it wrong lol. Steph Beattie was having to tred water basically the entire workout because she so little, she had to focus on not drowwning the entire time which was somewhat comical. Finally, we ended up sprinting in place under water and some of the girls were invisioning papa johns pizza as a motivation factor to complete the workout.
We finished around 11am, and had free time before our 1pm lunch. Most of the girls ran out to enjoy the beautiful beach weather, while the rest of us changed into our swim suites and jumped in the pool. Once everyone was together, we even took some cute team photos in the wading pool. Overall, we just took advantage of the beautiful Costa Rican weather before lunch.
After lunch, we still had more free time before our shopping trip, and of course spent it on the beach and in the pool. However, it ended up raining really quick, so we went in side to prepare for our shopping trip. By 2:30 all of the team was ready to head out to Tamarindo, a smaller town with a long road filled with stores. It took about 30 minutes to get to the town.
Once we arrived, everyone split up to check out the stores. Many of them were smaller and filled with hand made items, such as pots and painted feathers and other unique Costa Rican art. They also had surf shops (which included some very cute locals) and many wood work items. As we started walking around shopping, it suddenly started to ran and caused us all to run inside. It was pouring rain for about twenty minutes, and when Stetser attempted to rush across the street through the storm, she unfortunately didn’t make it and slipped right as she hit the tiled path. Although she ended up not getting hurt, she did happen to fall right in front of coach, so her pride was slightly bruised. However, we all got a good laugh out of it, so it was a highlight of the shopping day.
When we ended our shopping trip, all of the team wanted to go and get ice cream, so we walked down the strip to the ice cream shop. We compared all of our shopping prizes, and many of the team got cute wood plaques that said “Pura Vida”, as well as t-shirts and other gifts for family and friends. As we walked, the ice cream store ended up being closed, so we got a chance to shop some more until our bus arrived. Christian was able to purchase a cute seat hammock that she saw Stetser buy earlier before they left. Many of the girls bought unique headbands including Mal’s bright lime green one that will soon be used throughout the season. On the bus ride back to the hotel many of us took pictures with our favorite individual purchase, all laughing and carrying on in the back of the bus.
When we arrived back at the hotel, we ended up having about an hour before dinner, but it still was raining out. Most of the girls relaxed in their room and made plans for the night, so after dinner the team got ready and headed down to a room to meet up and hang out. We hung out in one of the rooms dancing around and singing to beck’s ipod player for about an hour until everyone arrived, than we decided to go out to the recreation pool to play some water volleyball. Everyone ended up jumping in, including Ana, so it was a large game of 7 v 7.
Right away volleyball became intense, with a quick team meeting and a lot of fun trash talk. It was competitive, though we never ended up keeping score, because in the end it was just for the fun of the game. Because Ana was there, often we would start our sentences with “Como se dice…” and then the word in english we wanted to know, such as how to say “time out” in Spanish. After awhile though, one of the girls pointed out that we could easily speak in English, and we all just started laughing. We also ended up using a shallow ledge for a taller advantage, and when Mills attempted to hit it, both times she ended up missing the ball and falling into the pool. Beck rocked out with the “Hip and Hook ’93” hat all not which was quite funny to watch. Z didn’t feel like getting in the water that night so she became the photographer the entire game which worked out great because we got some really good photos of the night.
The teams worked hard to distract each other through splashing across the net, and heckling the other team. But in the end, we had a lot of fun until we lost the ball in the woods. When Alyssa ended up getting up to go get it, she slipped and sliced her toe open, so we ended up calling the game and heading back to our rooms. Though it ended on a down note, we all agreed that the night of volleyball was a lot of fun and a great experience with all of the team. It was an awesome change of pace from practicing, and a relaxing finish to a fantastic day.
– Beck and Christian