19.11.2011 - 03.12.2011 30 °C
And so we return to the surfing. After the day off, energy levels were approaching somewhere near full and everyone was ready to get back in the water. By this point, everyone was paddling out back, catching green waves and generally looking more and more like we actually knew what we were doing. At the time of writing this, I've seen some of the three-hundred-and-something photos that have been taken (not by me as I was in the water) and I can honestly say that some of these are mind blowing, especially considering that for the majority of the guests, we had only been surfing for three days total and I really can't wait to be able to show these photos to you.
That mornings surfing went really well. Almost without exception, we nailed catching the waves and riding down the faces, although the instructors were still giving some of us a helping hand on some launches, giving us the speed boost that was required to make certain waves. Personally, I caught three waves which put me a really good mood and shook the last vestiges of bad mojo that had plagued me from a few days ago and I was looking forward to progressing to the next level; the angled take-off. And then it all went wrong again.
Sadly, after such a good morning, bad luck struck once more. Surfing involves a lot of extending your spine when popping up, or even moving from a lying position on the board to sitting on the board and as such it tends to extend the intercostal muscles a lot more than normal. All week, I'd been feeling the strain from this in my chest but had worked through it as it was never enough to stop me from enjoying myself. Sadly, that mornings surfing seemed to have been the last straw and by the afternoon's session I could barely bend or flex my torso without suffering a violent stabbing pain through the left side of my rib cage. I valiantly tried to ignore it as I had up to this point, but the pain was insistent that I take notice and as a result I caught only one wave that I rode all the way back to the beach, where I promptly lay in silent suffering until everyone else's lesson was over. Unfortunately for me, everyone else elected to extend their surfing by another half an hour, but Ru was kind enough to come back in and bring me back to resort where I could shower off and relax in the Rancho.
What this has meant is that for the past two days, I've been unable to do any surfing as I rest up and let my body repair itself to the point where I can begin again. Hopefully, this will be enough time as I would really like to make the most of the next week! It also means that I don't really have anything to report about for days seven and eight, so no posts will appear for these. Sorry if you were looking forward to my further adventures. The only conciliation I've been able to take is that according to Ru, this type of injury happens quite a lot, to the tune of at least once a month.
Unfortunately, the bad vibes seemed to catch up with others in the group too. The same day as I strained my rib cage, one guest (Sophia) took a board to the face, one guest (Shelley) was pummelled by a wave and injured her shoulder and on day seven another guy (Steve) started suffering from tennis elbow while a final guest (Antonio) also strained his intercostal muscles. Sadly, in a sport that has such energy to it, injuries are something that all who partake in it face. I would say that the adrenalin rush when it all comes together is worth every moment of discomfort though.
And so I've finally caught up with these posts. Hopefully, from now on, I'll be writing them on the day's that they happen, or at least closer to the day.
A LITTLE ASIDE FOR THOSE INTERESTED
For all you non-surfers, if you are interested and want to see what the stretching I was talking about feels like, lie flat on the floor, place your thumbs next to your bottom ribs, then push up and swing one of your feet round to between your thumbs. Your foot should end up as close to being at right angles from the way you were lying as possible. Alternatively, just push up with your hands, leaving your feet back, but keep your head looking forward, extending and arching your back. Now imagine going into this position twenty to thirty times in an hour. The photo below shows both this, both popped up (the girls on the left and centre and the instructor could place their hands straight down next to their front foot) and while still lying (the girl on the right).
Photo taken from Surf Simply Facebook page - this isn't my trip, just a good example of what I'm talking about