Health and Fitness

WNBA standout and fitness expert Sue Wicks recounts her journey to healing

Last spring I found myself newly and painfully single, and knew there was only one thing to do: a solo vacation centered on my two passions, the ocean and yoga. I hoped together, they would heal me.
 
I found several yoga and surf retreats in Costa Rica, but I’ve always resisted vacation itineraries. So, with the help of William Shatner, I booked a flight and my first night at a hotel…the rest
I left up to the universe!

After a flight, shuttle, and bumpy jeep ride, I arrived in Santa Teresa, a quiet surfer town on the Nicoya Peninsula – only to be informed the hotel hadn’t held my reservation. I took a deep breath and walked down the beach to the aptly named Casa Zen, which had one bed available in a room I’d have to share with Françoise, a French surfer.

I began each day jogging along the beach, watching slivers of ochre overtake purple hues in the morning skyscape. Then, a Vinyasa yoga class with a petite Italian woman named Pina. I focused on breathing and pushed my way through each pose, wanting to be as perfect as the former ballerina on the neighboring mat. In her adorable accent, Pina reminded us to be gentle with ourselves. She laid her hands on my shoulders, coaxing them to release their tension.
I allowed her vibrant energies to guide me into the relaxation my body and heart craved.

I spent my afternoons learning to surf with Françoise before heading to sunset Hatha yoga. Seeing the sun melt into the sea like warm honey, I understood that life in Santa Teresa is ruled by the sunrises, sunsets and tides. After five days, I felt completely in rhythm with the ocean. My final stop was Montezuma’s Ylang-ylang resort, in the jungle bordering a wildlife reserve. I enjoyed an incredible body scrub with fresh papaya, followed by an oil
massage with heavenly ylang ylang flowers.

This charming town offered majestic waterfalls, street vendors, handmade jewelry, a hopping bar scene, and Anusura yoga with Dagmar, a statuesque German beauty. As I fell out of a pose, Dagmar pointed out that life, like yoga, is not simply about getting back into a pose after falling, but being filled with grace as we
do it. On that wooden pavilion, serenaded by the sounds of birds, monkeys and the ocean, I smiled in my heart and welcomed
grace inside.