Lifestyle Feature – Super Surfer Mom
Mother’s Day traditions around the world are as diverse as the women they honor. Customary ways of paying tribute vary from country to country, as do the date and time of year, sometimes for religious reasons. In Costa Rica, Mother’s Day is a national holiday, celebrated on August 15 in conjunction with the Catholic feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Otherwise, the sentiments expressed on Mother’s Day are universally the same everywhere. Words and gestures of appreciation often fall short in conveying what’s in our hearts. Our mom is special. All moms are irreplaceable. What would our lives be like without her? What would society look like?
“Supermom” has become a phenomenon of everyday life in modern times. Even if the same could be said about all generations of mothers throughout the ages, the complexity of maternal roles and demands being juggled by so many women nowadays is unprecedented.
Here’s our special tribute to a Costa Rican mom who also happens to be a world-class athlete – a super surfer mom!
Lisbeth Vindas is no stranger to the physical demands, dedication and commitment that sportswomen in her league know only too well. The decision to start a family means putting their careers on hold, then battling their way back to full fitness before considering a sporting comeback. Many fail. Others, like Vindas, not only return, but hit the heights once again. All along, being able to give and receive the best quality of time has remained a priority when it comes to her child, family and friends.
Home for Lisbeth and her family is Jaco Beach, where she grew up. As soon as she caught her first waves, the future champion immediately fell in love with surfing.
“I thought, this is what I want to do. I want to be a professional and surf all over the world.”
From winning her first title at age 14 to competing in the recent 2017 Ironman 70.3 in Playa del Coco, Lisbeth just celebrated 22 years as a pro. She’s remained in Jaco because of its beach break and range of waves; it’s the ideal spot for learning, teaching and practising surfing.
When the time came, Vindas knew being a mom and high-performance competitive surfer at the same time would not be easy. Coaching and owning a surf school would add another dimension of discipline and time management.
At the center of it all has been her now five-year-old son, Yullian. Lisbeth has strived to organize her life in way that enables her to be 100 per cent the best mom to her beautiful, energetic boy. At one time, her days were planned around the tides; she now adapts her own activities to Yullian’s school schedule.
“The school stage of raising a child needs a lot of dedication,” she says. “I must find the balance every day, now that Yullian is learning to read and write. I devote as much time as possible to helping him with that, as well as arts and crafts.”
Not surprisingly, sports and a healthy lifestyle are second nature to Lisbeth’s son, thanks to early exposure.
“From the time Yullian was just a few months old, I have involved him in a sports environment, in various disciplines such as swimming, surfing, athletics, football and skateboarding. In the end he will decide what he likes, but now as a normal kid he likes to practice everything. But he already knows that sports are an essential part of our lives.”
Yullian’s love of the ocean and aptitude for surfing evolved the same way.
“He was only a baby, five months old,” Lisbeth recalls. “I held him on my surfboard and immediately his eyes lit up. He smiled and boom – he loved it! At 14 months, he could stand alone on the surfboard, followed by his first steps. I will never forget it. That early experience gave Yullian confidence and a sense of safety in the water. He totally understands surfing is the sport that we do as a family.”
More than likely, his supermom’s competitive instincts have already rubbed off on Yullian too.
“My main thought during the Ironman event was Yullian. I wanted to show him that Mom could make it. Yullian had been with me during training sometimes. He always told me, ‘hey mami…focus on the meta, mami!’ That’s all I need to hear to do my best!”