Costa Rica – The Wild Edition.

Costa Rica is known for its beautiful beaches, lush vegetation and a variety of tropical fruit. These aspects in themselves make Costa Rica a great destination stop.

In addition, the diversity of wildlife is not only impressive but unbelievable!

Starting with insects – Butterflies


Such bright colors and designs!

Not completely captured but worth a mention were the innumerable types of insects and bugs…an entomologist heaven!


Birds

The king fisher.  Beautiful colors and a signature beak.

Tiger heron…with its feathers resembling the stripes of, yes, a tiger!

A humming bird at rest.

Pelicans waiting next to the fishing charter boat…hoping for some scraps. 

The yellow chested bird that woke us up every morning with its musical calls.



Ssssssnake
!  

Better on a tree than anywhere close to me!


Lizards

In addition to the house lizards (cringe), there are other lizards of different shapes and sizes.

Iguanas.  


Lizard with spines (resembles a Spinosaur)


Crocodiles!


Monkeys

We saw sloths but they were so camouflaged in the trees that they were hard to capture. 


White faced capuchin monkeys.  These were so cute and their behavior closely resembled that of humans.

Baby hitching a ride on mom!

Pondering his next move!


Deer – White tailed

Deer roam free back in Wisconsin, but it is still interesting to see how the species adapts to different environmental settings.


Frogs

We were fortunate enough to see a few poison dart frogs (but could not quite get a photo).  Some were black with bright yellow spots. Others had neon green spots.  They were so small and jumped around like a little cricket.

Interesting fact – The poison they use to deter predators is sourced from a plant that they eat (it is not genated internally).

This little frog hopped into our house…yikes!  My husband was quick to grab the camera.  I would have just ran the other way…or stood on a table! 😀


Turtles

We saw turtles on our mangrove tour.

Fish

“There are plenty of fish in the sea” but my son and husband were able to capture (and release) a barracuda!


There is something special about seeing animals in their natural setting.  It is impressive, educational and just fascinating!!

A.K.

On First TRI

A few weeks ago, I participated in my first triathlon.  It was such an enriching experience!

On race day, my emotions varied from misery in the morning (due to nerves finally hitting me) to elation at the finish line (even though I messed up a few times along the way).

I had trained for it so I was fairly confident that I would finish. The only uncertainty was around the craziness of the mass swim and whether I would fall of my bike (I did not get enough road time on my new hybrid bike thanks to our Wisconsin winters).

Swim

I lucked out!  I was in the last wave! A little less chaos.  Once I started, I glided through the water from buoy to buoy.  I was relaxed and focused. Before I knew it, the shore was within sight!  I felt a huge victory right there!!

Bike

I knew I was going to be one of the slowest but I didn’t expect to be the slowest! 😀.  But I didn’t mind…as long as I didn’t fall of my bike. I am sure the lack of clipless pedals and aerobars played into some of the struggles here. I own clipless pedals now. 😀

Run

I knew I was home free once I got to the run.  I think I got a little complacent though…I forgot my race belt and had to turn back to get it (adding another 0.5 miles…call it getting my money’s worth 😀).

My family cheered me on as I crossed the finish line. Completing the event was rewarding! All the hard work had paid off.  I had overcome so many fears (including falling off my bike). I never gave up.   I had fun with it (even when I messed up).

It was the first time I felt that I could call myself an athlete.  Not an elite  athlete, but an althlete nonetheless!

😀

A.K.

Philosophical Math

Math concepts play a part in many aspects of our life today.  We use addition, subtraction, division, multiplication for day to day transactions. We use angles for constructing buildings.  We use proportions for cooking and baking. These are just a few examples showing the practical use of math.

There are some math equations that I have arrived at (based on my personal experiences):


Fulfillment is inversely proportional to Social Media usage 

I have noticed that my social media usage has reduced ever since started  training for a triathlon. This has been one of my most fulfilling “hobbies”.  Perhaps because it has made me stronger, both mentally and physically.  

I usually turned to Facebook or Instagram when I was bored or lonely.  I guess that type of void has been eliminated. I don’t even experience FOMO (Fear of missing out). That would explain why I don’t feel the need to go on Facebook or Instagram multiple times a day.  Once a week seems to cut it.

Unhappiness is proportional to Expectations 

When I started exploring spirituality  a few years ago, this was one of the first lessons that came to light for me.  Maybe another way of phrasing it would be “You can’t be happy if you are a control freak!!”.  Anytime I felt disappointment, I would stop to reflect on the root cause and inevitably it would point to my expectations in a situation.  

This lesson also reformed my parenting style.  I went from a  “My way or the highway” dictator to being more of a trusted guide, advisor and friend.  Don’t get me wrong…Rules are still enforced when needed (we are dealing with teenagers here 😀).

The Misery Quotient equals pain raised to the power of X

Where X = number of times that a painful incident is remembered, retold or relived.

In other words, the quotient increases exponentially!  Hence we need to let go of things in the past in order to step towards being happy and in the moment. 

😀

A.K.

An Inspiring Life Anthem

I was listening closely to the song ” Greatest” by Sia and I suddenly realized that it had such an inspiring message.  I could apply it to both my family life and my athletic life.
Here are the lyrics that specifically caught my attention:

Uh-oh, running out of breath, but I

Oh, I, I got stamina

Uh-oh, running now, I close my eyes

Well, oh, I got stamina

And uh-oh, I see another mountain to climb

But I, I, I got stamina

Don’t give up, I won’t give up

Don’t give up, no no no

Don’t give up, I won’t give up

Don’t give up, no no no

We all have days or moments where we feel overwhelmed or where we think that we have nothing left to give.  We have to remind ourselves that we are stronger than what we might believe.  

Our mind has a tendency to put doubt in our own abilities and strength.  Perhaps it is about being in our comfort-zone.  It is so much easier to say “I can’t” than to actually make the effort to overcome.  That is the worst thing that one can say to themselves.  It literally puts you in a rut!

When I started training for a triathlon, I had so much self-doubt.  Starting these adventures after 40? What was I thinking?!  Luckily I opted to work with a personal trainer.  He caught on to my self-doubt quite fast.  Whenever I felt as thought so could not do anymore, his mantra was “This limit is just in your mind .  You need to get past that mental barrier”.  He was right!  He has proved to me that I am capable of way more than I could have even imagined in my adult-onset athletic life! 

That belief in myself has definitely carried over into my regular (non athletic) life as well. It is about staying strong and believing in yourself even against the odds.  There will be failures, yes.  But those are just like mountains…tell yourself , “I’ve got Stamina” and keep going.  If you feeing like as though you’re running out of breath say, “I’ve got stamina…don’t give up don’t give up…no, no, no”. 😀. That gets  you out of “victim” mode instantly!

You will also realize that that ” Stamina” is both physical and, more importantly, mental.  The more you train yourself to believe, the better you will get at progressing yourself through the journey of life…obstacles and all.  Self doubt will naturally subside and you will gain the strength and the focus to pursue your ultimate goal (whether that be a triathlon or merely being a happy soul)!

So don’t give up, don’t give up don’t give up no, no, no.

A.K.

As she lay beside me

As she lay beside me

I looked at her sucking her fingers

With eyes wide open

She was a new born baby!

As she lay beside me

After being nothing short of feisty 

 I saw her sleep calmly

She was a toddler with no shortage of opinions!

As she lay beside me

Needing some good ol’ mommy love

I saw my new best friend

She had grown to be a little lady!

*I look forward to many more milestones. We can bond over so much girly stuff.  😀 Love you baby girl!

A.K.

Obsession vs. Determination 

Speaking from my (limited) experience, training for an athletic event requires a lot of patience, mental strength and determination.

Patience is needed because results are not always instantaneous.

Mental strength is required to get you past the temporary hurdles

Determination is key because this is what keeps you working towards the final goal through the ups and downs.

Although patience and mental strength are important, determination is critical to sustain the interest and hard work needed to train honestly and to the best of your ability.

So when does determination cross over into the darker side i.e “Obsession”?

While determination has more of a positive undertone, obsession is quite the opposite.

Obsession makes the mind restless.  It is almost equivalent to greed where you want something so badly that it consumes you. You stay in a constant state of discontent…desiring a particular end result.  It prevents you from appreciating genuine progress because your mind is clouded with an unrealistic perception of perfection…which in most cases is nothing but a red herring!

So be patient, strong, determined and train on. Let not the small failures discourage you as those are the building blocks to ultimate success!

😀

A.K.