• Jill Reed, Ph.D.

Back to Paddle Boarding After Surgery

Updated: Oct 23, 2020

Rolling with the waves of a tropical quarantine

This morning I paddled at the Sailing Center for the first time since before my spinal fusion surgery in February. It was glorious. The sun was peeking through the clouds and shining across the undulating water, the breeze was just offshore, and the sea creatures were happy and jumping.

Costa Rica Sailing Center Potrero

I feel strong and other than a slight pulling on my left side when paddling on the right, my body handled the event quite well.


Mother nature seems pleased. I love seeing that. Plenty of people walking dogs and children are taking advantage of the brief window we have for beach time.


On Monday the Costa Rican government eased restrictions including opening the beaches from 5-8am Monday-Friday only, and for three days it has been blissful.


The decrease in the number of boats around the bay is somewhat unsettling. The ones that remain are tightly sealed and some even have green construction wrap around the rails, bow to stern.

Example of the green construction wrap found also on some boats in the bay

We have seen a small increase in cases since the ease of restrictions began last week.


My wife has been the designated shopper for our family, so my venturing didn’t start until she had surgery to repair a collarbone break last Saturday. Now it’s my job.


Out and about yesterday because our car needed yet another new battery (last one was replaced in October), and we needed to replenish our cash, I noticed most people are not being proactive in the safety department.


There are very few people wearing masks in public places like the supermarket, the hardware store, and even the clinic. Restaurants that are open look like they’re taking the measures seriously by arranging their tables strategically but groups of people are still clustered together having morning coffee and chatting.


The pharmacy feels like the safest place because of newly installed plexiglass screens and I was able to purchase N95 masks for my family.


It’s not that I don’t want to get out there and support the people. Indeed we have friends that own businesses and need the income. As I’ve written before, I am cautious and want to treat this new normal with respect.


Similar to my healthy fear of the ocean and mother nature, I have great respect for the virus and want to give it a wide berth. At its most basic level, it’s a shape shifter and the intelligence we have changes daily. I can be simultaneously careful and optimistic.


Getting into the ocean as often as possible is part of my new optimism protocol. As such, a weekly paddle (or two) will be back on my workout agenda. Running and paddling – I never would have thought in January I’d be back to building my routine.

Author trail running at Reserva

If you are interested in adding that paddle back into your routine you will be stoked to know that the Costa Rica Sailing Center is offering paddle boards and kayaks in time slots between 6-7:30am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday only. You MUST email Justin and ask for a time slot.


If you are a resident of Reserva, you may also use the paddle boards and kayaks in the mornings 5-8am ONLY Monday- Friday. I think this is first-come, first-served, no reservation required. After your activity, have breakfast or a smoothie at the Beach Club. They have bagel sandwiches now. Yum.


Wherever you are I hope you are taking advantage of the outdoors and managing your mental health in ways that are best for you. Paddling and running are definitely my jam. AND…starting this Friday we will be back on the tennis courts!

These amazing clouds over Potrero Bay Beach with morning sun peeking through

Stay safe.

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