Why Now? Why Not Now?

Photo Esa Laukkanen

It’s said that when it rains it pours… I can safely say that this past six months my life has been exactly that. The sheer amount of stuff happening in my life, majority of it good but also the bad or more so challenging has been there.

It’s been a long time, actually two months since my last post. In all honesty I’ve been afraid to open myself this way and write again. Something changed in me big time when I moved back home to Finland. It’s like my way of thinking when I write that I’m anonymous disappeared and I forget my courage when it came to writing. I felt and still feel that now when I’m honest and me here, it might be for some reason a bad thing. While in my coaching jobs I want to be just that to my runners and people who are around me, I want to talk about mental health and my own battle but for some reason I got scared of how open and raw that all makes me. In a way when we or I talk about mental health and depression, it’s almost like an armor and I can hide behind it. But when it comes to my own well being and how I’m coping with all this change and the ups and downs, I felt really alone though I had more people around me. I got scared of the me I really am and who I am so insanely proud of, who’s gotten me this far. For some reason, here in my home country I felt and feel way more visible than ever when I lived abroad.

My main passion or goal is bringing more awareness to living with depression and mental health in general, if through running I can bring that I’m happy. I’ve finally found a way to be me and stand proud with something I do. In this case coaching. For me it’s all about the overall well being, not just the running part, it’s the complex whole of us. I don’t even know if I could coach anyone without letting them in a bit, so that I can be more for them. That’s my strength but it’s also the reason why I feel extremely depleted at times, and those are the moments when my mental health and the highly sensitive mind kicks me into overdrive and I feel like a loser and overall nothing, maybe for a second but still.

It’s this funny paradox that when you have all going like you’ve wanted for so long in your life, you’ve found a way that’s yours and you feel confident and right. And then it kicks in, that asshole depressive mind, that just wants to fuck you and your confidence up! That’s mental health for you.

I’ve had to go from loosing one of my best friends, to getting a coaching position that I couldn’t even dream of, to getting the news that my already operated wrist is a complete fuck up and needs few new operations, to finding my confidence and demanding what I felt is right and fighting for all that and succeeding, to realizing that one of my closest and dearest is slowly winding away from who they were and I can’t do anything about it. I’ve gained the trust of those I wished to gain, to gotten feedback from my work that I always wished for, to gotten opportunities I couldn’t even dream of and them coming slowly true, to being rejected on a personal level and realizing how much that actually can hurt (again, as it’s somehow still easy to forget), to not wanting to give up because why the hell would I do that?!

I feel really loved but at the same time really lonely, it’s that old feeling that doesn’t let go. Or more like that when you’re already a bit down, having that moment in your life where things don’t feel the best, then it hits you. Those feelings that you didn’t even remember existing because maybe you didn’t feel that they were there anymore or you had made that decision that they aren’t part of you. Walking with a badge of honor for something you’re afraid of saying out loud. Sometimes it takes a hit from a cold and wet towel to your face to realize what you want and why you want it.

In this case, I had to admit that I am insanely good at and love coaching, and that I want to get better at it. That I have to find my own balance and boundaries when it comes to my way of coaching, so that I won’t deplete on a regular. That maybe I do feel alone at times, and that it would actually be nice to have someone in my life, that I don’t need to feel like there’s something wrong in that. How nice would it be to fall asleep on someone’s arms? Really damn nice.

For me this past couple of months has been a time of being me more than ever before, once again. And a time of realization of what I want and what I want to let go. And how I don’t, really honestly don’t have to carry this load of life on my own shoulders alone all the time, it’s ok to feel weak and tired and need others to be there. I still suck majorly on that department but I’m getting better at it. I also hope that with this post, I could slow and steady get over my fear of being me here and writing again, even if that means that someone here in Finland actually reads this and might even say something to me about it… Shit that is scary! I’m honestly terrified of that. No jokes whatsoever!

Writing your being out. That stuff is my therapy, just like running is. But it’s also putting yourself out there in a way that anyone, whoever can put you down or comment or just very honestly dislike you. I don’t think I’m any braver than anyone else for starting my journey the way I did. I still hope the same thing I did back then, maybe if I can help one person somewhere around the world to feel like they are not alone, then I feel like I’ve done what I set out to do, without realizing it back then.

So, what this new beginning is, basically… I’m challenging my own damn self to do something I love and enjoy again, whether I am scared shitless or not.

PMA ❤

Running, Running Less, Running More, Running You, Running Them

adidasrunners_170215_osk_5324I’ve been thinking my own relationship with running a lot now that it’s pretty daily in my life again, in a totally different way than before. It’s not all about me anymore, it’s mostly about me being there for others through running. It’s a different way of looking the whole thing.

It’s been super interesting listening others speak about their journeys and stories with running, and obviously you go through your own next to it, in your mind. It’s been interesting to answer questions about how I look at training or the lack of it or whatever running related.

I’ve had my massive ups and downs with running, from being completely in love with it, to hating it to a level that I didn’t want anything with it. I don’t think that running is for every one, why should it be? We all have something that makes our blood pump in a way that it shines with the biggest smile from our faces. Everyone can run, and if running is something that you want to try, I highly recommend it, as even though my own journey being so vast I’ve had more positives from it than ever negatives. I’ve learned so damn much about myself that it doesn’t even make sense on my day to day life.

But the thing is that like with any other relationship in life, it might end up with running that you just don’t love it anymore and you need to breakup. My beautiful friend, Bangs and a Bun wrote an excellent piece about this exact thing. You can read it here. I’ve had my own breakup with running, and it felt so damn good! I needed to take that break from it all to see why I even wanted to run, or did I? I needed to see why I had run in the first place and why I had fallen so far from the fun aspect of it. Why didn’t I feel like it was fun anymore.

So much of the time, majority of the time, we put this massive pressure on ourselves through others. When it comes to running or any other activity in life, we seem to do it even more. With all these tracking apps and groups, it’s easy to loose the sight of why I do this, rather than compare yourself with what and why others do what they do. But the truth is that what and why or how much others do, is their business, none of ours. If you move for the likes, you’re already on the wrong path. That shizz ain’t bringing you closer to the benefits that you could get from the joy of moving, it’s drawing you further. Yes, when we see someone doing something that we want to do too, it can be used as a motivation to push ourselves out the door when we least want it, but it needs to come from an honest and loving place in you. Not hating what you aren’t doing, and or feeling guilty that something just doesn’t feel like you now or anymore. Wanting to change is totally okay, taking a break is totally okay. Taking a year long break is totally okay if that feels the right thing to do.

I’ve been jealous and felt envy of people, a lot at times but the truth is that that’s always my insecurities speaking their ill language to me. If someone is skinnier or faster, so fucking what. That’s a mantra that I have to remind myself with, still. I’m not perfect, thank goodness! I have jiggly bits, my belly is far from having six pack, and YES I have cellulite, but when I move I feel strong because that’s me and I am doing something that has given me a chance of staying alive.

We tend to compare ourselves to others, or to some past moment with ourselves. I do that too, I have moments when I wish that my body right now could be where it was almost two years ago, when I was in the best shape in my whole life. But hey, life happened, and stuff changed, jiggly bits came back and that booty got little bit more stuffing, ain’t nothing wrong with that. If and but, you can look at yourself with loving eyes and say that no matter what is the situation right now, you still love who you are. That is not easy, I’m not saying that it’s easy for me, but with almost 5 years of fighting myself while at the same time realising that I’m feeling so much better, noticing the positivity growing and growing, I had to admit that being loving to myself and speaking lovingly are just the things that make the most sense, that’s it.

So, if running is your thing, do it! If not, don’t and find something that puts that massive smile on your face. 🙂 Run alone, run with friends or crews or groups, do it hard, do it with all the dance breaks in the middle, do it slow, stop and smell the roses, the end “line” can always wait and it will be there no matter the pace.

My own relationship with running took almost year long break, I just didn’t want to do it, I had done it so much. I felt that my whole life was all about running and I was tired. I felt that why had I once hoped to do a job that involves running. I felt that I was only about running and wasn’t sure how to have other things in life in a balance with who I was in my running shoes on. I didn’t know how to mix all the sides of Me. I needed to stare at the wall of why enough to want to try running again, to see if it could be something that I could love again. I was scared shitless when I laced my shoes again last summer, I was so out of shape, and it was just pure misery. But that teeny tiny flicker of Me was there from that first miserable run back. That’s how I knew that I need to give running another chance. And I don’t need to be in a relationship with it like I was before, I am allowed and can shape it how it fits me and who I am now best. That’s what I am doing now, as the founder of my own crew, KARMA Runners and as a coach on adidas Runners here in Helsinki. I am combining all my sides together and running just happens to be something that ties them together.

Be gentle with yourself. It’s okay to not love something that once you loved the most. Take a break from it all, try something completely new. It’s all okay and allowed. And it takes time. Remember to listen to your gut, that thing is smart!

PMA ❤

 

People, We Need To Rest So We Can Push On With Our Dreams!

wp-1486894105825.pngI’m a massive believer in resting, mind body and soul. Without rest it’s nearly impossible to be able to push on with something that you find passionate for you, those dreams and goals. Always moving forward with the fastest speed isn’t bringing you closer to your goal, it might make you speed past it and forget to live while you’re at it.

Last year I took a long break of all I had done a lot the past years, running and writing. I didn’t feel inspired in any way, so the best thing I could do was to take a break. That was the best thing because I had time to listen to myself, fall to the depths and climb back, to remember who I am and what I want to accomplish now, and giving myself the moment to realize that it’s okay to change what you are moving towards. It’s okay to change your journey and goals, nothing wrong with that.

Looking back now, I started moving far from who I truly was the past year and that’s the main reason why I felt so lost and confused. I forgot to stay true to myself, no matter how much I wanted and thought of it. I forgot my strengths and power, the thing that makes me Me. For some reason I thought that I should change who I am to be able to get to where I wanted to head, though not even knowing where that was. So basically I was just aiming to nothing.

From the start of this year, or actually starting end of last year, something in me changed. Reminding me of who I am and that should never change. Maybe I needed to hit the wall of pain once again to remember. Sometimes that is needed, that’s it.

Now that I’ve been truly me, my life is filling with opportunities and insanely amazing moments that make me feel the biggest highs. Because I am me, I am radiating the possibility and what I have in me out of me, where others can see it and if they like it, give me opportunities to be me with them.

The reality is that once we realize that when we are true to ourselves the best things will come to our lives. It’s not easy but damn it’s good! It’s so worth it, trust me. Someone will see that and give you the chance you’ve been hungry for all these years.

But if I hadn’t taken the time out of my own life in a way, none of this would be happening in my life right now. I wouldn’t be confident enough to go after my dreams, I wouldn’t be even ready to say them to myself. So I really needed that break and to rest myself. Then and still everyday today.

Now that my life has taken massive steps forward I remind myself daily that I need to rest so that I can do what I want. I can’t let that intoxicating feeling of all the good get the best of me and realize too late that I am exhausted.

Rest is the time when you get to recharge yourself and be able to take what comes next. It’s different for all of us, but it’s equally important. And sleeping enough is one of the biggest, do not under estimate the benefits of sleep!

For me it’s meditating in the mornings with Headspace app, it’s simple enough and takes 15minutes, but the benefits are massive. I am able to start my day with a mindset that is ready to take the fast pace with calmness. I don’t have to drown myself in it anymore, I am able to stay calm and still be excited. When it comes to running, I take restdays to let my body recover, especially now that I am coming back from a long pause of normal training. I’m easing my body and mind to that all, letting that feeling come back when I yearn to run again and it feels good and is really something I want to do rather than have to do. I also keep a balance in my life with challenging myself with a new hobby, fly tying and soon fly fishing. When my life is now a lot about running and being quite social, I balance it out with time for myself in a totally different surrounding doing something that I have no clue from before. I’m also extremely grateful for this all, that I’m able to do what I am and have the opportunities I have. I do not take them for granted. I am really proud of the work I’ve done to be able to be here, but it’s taken me years and hasn’t been easy by any measure. There’s been a lot of tears, jealousy and negativity, but I wasn’t ready. I’m a working progress and always will be, now I just know and accept it. So I’m able to be ready for certain opportunities.

If we don’t rest the complex whole of our mind, body and soul, we won’t be able to do the things we want to accomplish in the end. Do not try to fool your body, that shit will always outsmart you, believe me!

And remember, really let this sink in, comparison will kill the living daylight out of you! What someone else is doing, doesn’t mean that you need to or should be able to do the same. We are all just one, and that makes us so damn special. ❤

So, rest up, ain’t nothing wrong with that! Find your way to do it and enjoy!

PMA ❤

Running Away From Or Towards Something?

wp-1484591806749.pngOn my second run of 2017 today I was thinking of how differently we use running as a way to deal with things in our lives. Sometimes we run away from something, sometimes we run towards something or at times we just run. During my run I was thinking the different times of my running life and how different it’s been from one to another.

It’s funny to “go back” and think why and where it all started for me. Why this blog started, why I wanted to do something to change my life.

Back then I was so depressed that I didn’t have that many options to deal with it, and from all the things possible, I chose running. A thing that I deeply hated for almost 15 years before starting it again and finding it’s healing and therapeutic ways. The reason why I hated it so deeply was the fact that in my teenage years I ran track and it was all about getting faster and getting results that weren’t even close to where I could push my body, to the point that I got badly injured for quite a long time, even while I still went to my practices. It was the mindset that was planted by my coach at the time that “if there’s no blood, it can’t hurt” and other productive ways of coaching.

So with all that I started thinking how I wish to help others who run or have recently started running or struggle with their running journey. Because I’m never going to be the fast one, or the one with massive interest in all the schedules and number playing when it comes to running. I’ve gone way past my own limits with running so I know that it’s very much possible to “be more than you thought of possible” in your own body and mind. I’ve made few running dreams true and hope to have few more of those moments in my life still, but I’m not in a mindset that “I need to” because it just takes the fun out of it for me.

Something that I come across a lot and for some reason a lot in Finland, is that there’s this need to do more, push more, be more, not rest enough, do everything serious and super goal oriented. Yes that is a way of moving for some people and they get their kicks out of it, but for some reason the past years it’s been the thing that people drive themselves towards with consequences of injuries and nagging pain in their body that they rather ignore than listen. It seems and feels that if you’re goal oriented you’re doing it “right”, if not then you are just playing around.

Maybe this is only me, but seeing these images on IG of results and how much someone did and why they don’t need rest days, it just doesn’t make any sense to me. I’ve gone through my share of injuries with running, I’ve been the one posting only exercise and health food photos, maybe I needed to go through that phase of my life to find what really works for me.

Last year I basically forgot running, I didn’t want to do it, I didn’t yearn it, I needed a break from it all. Last year I was also in a place where I wasn’t able to run for quite some time, which also sparked the want to start a crew here, to start from the bottom and hopefully helps others in that same position, with the knowledge and experience I’ve gained over my few years in this all.

But the thing is, no matter how important something might be to us, sometimes we just need a break from it. We need to be honest to ourselves and listen to our gut and give our bodies and mind a break from something we’ve learned to lean to every possible time. It’s almost too easy to just run away from something through running, but does it serve a purpose then? Yes, it’s good to exercise and to get your blood moving and get rid of some of that stress that might cause the want to “run away” but it’s also insanely important to be able to stand still with yourself and go through the issue that causes those feelings. We can’t just be goal orientated in life and forget to make mistakes and learn from them and be honest and sometimes afraid or brave and take risks even with those. Being honest with yourself with what you are capable doing and what not, is not only really important but necessary for your well being. Sometimes it’s ugly and at times beautiful, but it’s necessary. None of us can plan our whole life and go with only those plans and never have to come in front of a situation that makes you think again, it would be insane way to live.

So if when I started my own journey with running, I was definitely running away from that feeling that was just like a empty hole in me, now I am running towards something I know already that I have in me, as I’ve done it more than once, but need a reminder. And if I get a feeling of being shitty or adequate next to more goal oriented runners, I try to remind myself that my strengths are in me being able to be honest with myself, being able to listen my body and mind and take those times of nothing when needed. And through my own journey and experience, I hope and feel that I’m easy to approach if needed from someone who is going through something I’ve gone through or just needs a little support or advice. I see that all as my power next to different kind of runners. I don’t need to look perfectly muscular to be “as good as them”, I need to be myself and with that I can help the most. Myself and others.

PMA ❤

Being Me Is My Crown

” ‘Cause if I don’t follow my heart this time,
I’m gonna forget what this life is all about,
I’m gonna take that path, I’m going in on my own,
I’m gonna take that fear and wear it like a crown.”

– Rebekka Karijord – Wear It Like A Crown

I’m not sure if I know how to write anymore… It’s been quite a long time since I last even wanted to write. I miss those days when I had this yearning and just needed to write, to get those thinking thoughts out of me. I don’t even remember the last time I felt like that, or maybe a bit this past week, like something is slowly bubbling back in me. I think I need to run those thinking thoughts back again…

It’s funny how two things that basically saved my life few years back are the two things I’m missing now the most and finding the hardest to get back to my everyday life. It’s like I’m afraid of them, and most of the time that is the exact thing that starting them again makes me feel, fear.

Most of 2016 I was afraid, afraid of basically anything. It’s like we’re so afraid of loosing ourselves in anyway possible that we forgot to live our lives. Whether it’s our bodies, or not wanting babies, or doing something out off the norm or being selfish and taking care of yourself while that also meaning that we need to “eliminate” the issue to feel better. Admitting your reality is hard, being selfish is hard, being able to stand in front of yourself and admit your limits is hard, needing time is necessary but means that you need to build and make boundaries for yourself and others. That shit is hard.

But then I decided that I want to start this year without all of that. Like one of my favs, The Staves, sings “No Me, No You, No More”. Enough of that now. I want to be me again, the one I know I have been, am and will be. And when I listened to my deepest self and did those painful decisions that are good to myself, I felt so good and this massive weight just got lifted from my heart and shoulders. I was free.

Too often we keep holding on to people, situations, ideas that aren’t good to us by the sheer thought that freeing ourselves makes us a shitty person. It’s human to be nice to people but being too nice with the consequences that you forget to be nice to yourself first. Sometimes working for it just isn’t the right thing to do, sometimes saying that “we’ve gone through so much” isn’t enough of a reason. Sometimes giving up for the better is the right thing to do. Sometimes we need to make room for better things we deserve in our lives. That’s it.

It’s weird writing again, for so many days I wanted to do this, but felt like I don’t know anymore. This whole thing started with me being extremely open and honest about everything. Then 2016 came around and I felt this need of pulling back with this all, I felt that for the first time I need to build some privacy around my life. I needed time for myself, only for myself to figure all that was going on. The last months of 2016 I needed that even more. But the last couple of weeks of last year I got the best reminders of love and luck while battling the biggest losses of my life. It doesn’t always feel fair but if you pull yourself back from the situation and think about it all with listening to your gut, you will find the answers that you knew to be there already.

I have no resolutions for 2017, no plans to do this or that. I pretty much suck with stuff like that. I hope to learn how to listen to my gut closer once again, it always knows the answers that I don’t want to admit. Admitting my reality is my key, that is what makes me stronger. Saying that I’m weak, is my strength. Being a human with all of it, is my power. Being me is my crown.

PMA ❤