The only way out is up


Have a seat. Stretch out. Your favorite couch, perhaps. A rocking chair. A cushiony bed. Take a moment: you’ve arrived.

But isn’t it amazing how often humans choose to rise? Not just to stand, but further still? Their legs powering them up a mountain, maybe? Their chests lifting towards the sky, containing hearts that pump out crazy dreams? Their arms soaring high again and again before snapping back to power another stride, or diving deep into another wave?

Their chairs, their couches, their empty beds wait patiently. Their families, children, coworkers watch in awe, some perhaps with a smiling shake of the head, some with jealousy. The racers themselves—hikers, trail runners, open water swimmers, long-distance bikers, triathletes—just continue to rise. They know that sometimes, amidst smog and stress, headlines as heavy as lead, the only way out is up. They look at a country full of trees, a country full of green, a country making oxygen, and say: let it power us. Up the hill, atop the mountain, to the crest of the next wave.

They work and mother, and occasionally sit, but their souls are crouching for the next ascent. They’re waiting for their next chance to rise, their lungs full of fresh Costa Rican air. 

Text by Katherine Stanley Obando, inspired by the women of Mujer Montaña Costa Rica; by open water ultramarathoner Rocío Mora; and by all those who undertake Costa Rica’s highest peaks, toughest swims, and most unusual races. Our weekly Media Naranja column tells short love stories with a Costa Rican twist. During our November edition, “Tenacious,” they will focus on how nontraditional Costa Rican sports and athletes emerge from the shadows.

Have you participated in an extreme race in Costa Rica? Tell us about it for our roundup of adventure races coming later this month? Contact us at 8506-1506 or [email protected].

Welcome to ‘Tenacious’


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