Memoirs of a MasseurTodd Pequeen


I have a particular habit. When I decide to do anything, I tend to do it as hard as I can. There is no time for messing around for me. No doubts. I may ponder a decision for days or even weeks, but once I decide there is no going back. My attitude is, and always has been to not take a nibble, take a big bite. Looking back at some decisions I have made in the past, they seem very irrational today. At the time I believed so adamantly that I simply had no choice. I moved here to Costa Rica twenty years ago with the intention of staying, however I had never been here before. The first time I trained for a marathon I went out and jogged fifteen miles, previously my longest run was six miles. I realize that this type of behavior can have serious consequences, yet surprisingly it has worked out for me.

I was bred this way. My parents were triathletes all my life, my father was my football and wrestling coach. My home town of Buffalo, New York also cultivates people who plain and simple get it done. Not much changed for us when we were buried in snow for a quarter of the year. We prepared accordingly and simply continued on with whatever the plan was….games outside, walking to school, getting to work. This mentality transfers over to my adult life. Only recently I have realized this can be as much of a fault as it is a strength. I can’t count the number of times I have divulged personal opinions, called it the way I saw it, rode that hard line only for it to come back and bite me. For me it just seems so natural to be and behave the way I am—with no filter, with no concern for acceptance. I like to believe the person who I am talking to is receiving my words with an open heart and goodness in mind. I am often left pondering a reaction when I am viewed as offensive or egotistical. I always know the impetus was pure. Worse yet, I assume other people communicate in the same manner. That they want their voice to be heard regardless of whether it makes sense or not. Navigating social media now a days is another ball of wax, one in which I feel I am outgrowing entirely. Communication and sociology and interactions are fascinating as some people require more time to share their unique identities. I just hope sharing is the key word.
I know my job as a Massage Therapist has affected me tremendously. If I am not behaving true to who I am I certainly cannot commit entirely to my client. I would simply be an actor on stage, not a dedicated body worker. We all know people who do the talking, but seem to not be doing the walking. To me that is very hard. More complicated that the original energy of wanting to do something, to go somewhere, to make a positive change. All that said, I wonder if I should temper my old ways with more patience, balance, and wisdom. Time always plays out the way it was meant to. That I know for sure.
If I go on vacation a week is unheard of. I sometimes manage to get away once or twice a year, but it is always for one or two months at least. When I am inspired to go to the gym there is no socializing or hanging out. I am there to get pumped, muscles quivering, then it is time to go. I question the faults in this type of behavior. Surely by now I should know to slow down, to make room for and to enjoy all the subtle and wonderful unknowns that may fall into place. I have researched what this type of behavior says about me and why I am compelled to behave this way. I think we all could use this type of self-analysis sometimes. Sometimes my open friendliness and inability not to get caught up in the moment has led to an empty wallet and commitments the next day I hardly feel like attending.
Manuel Antonio is often labeled as a paradise, a fresh and friendly haven away from reality. Some visitors find it strange here, they say it has a weird vibe. I feel fortunate to have a different, strange, and unique environment around me, the opposite bores me tremendously. My authenticity, combined with dozens of locals, all feel the same way. We are lucky to be able to be who we are, in any manner we see fit. We hope, no matter if you are inquisitive or shy, if you are strait or if you are gay, wealthy or poor, from Asia or from the America’s, that you feel comfortable enough to shine here and bring whatever light you have to this community, even if it is just for a few days, months, or years. That is the energy we can’t get enough of. We thank everyone who feels the same way. 
(Todd was the first male Massage Therapist in Manuel Antonio.  His free time is spent reading, writing, surfing, and keeping his clients and his famous photographer wife Sarah Yunker loose and happy. He can be reached at 8830-7727, at [email protected] or on FB.)