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 ❤

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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 ❤

 

The Importance of PMA and Communities Right Now

wp-1484986650361.pngI might not be the most social person but even I understand that the importance for communities and bringing new to the table is ever more important. What maybe didn’t work few years ago, might work wonders now. We need to try. Make it happen.

The more our world is changing and the more the situation might be against us to bring new and make changes for the better, the more important it is. It might be a new running crew to your city to bring new people together and make new connections and bring that community aspect closer to some and bigger to others. It might be about that new small company that makes spices out of natures own delicious ingredients, but it’s something new and fresh and needed. It might be an on going campaign for winters, so that we have snow when the next generation is here. Whether it’s big or small, it’s needed and we have to be open with our hearts to that.

I think in many ways the generation I am part of, are trapped in this space of the “old” holding us tight and not be willing to let us make any changes or even listen to us with how their changes effect our future. But there’s a change happening, maybe it’s still grasroot to some, but it’s happening. We have to change, if the old and once maybe good doesn’t work anymore or only makes things worse.

It’s normal to be afraid of changes and taking risks, even if they look like they would make things better in the long run. Someone always have to be the first to make them. We can’t just hold to something that has always been, because it’s always been. The world changes and we need to change with it, whether it’s about how to reach people or being more minimalist with your life, it’s your choice. But if we just shut our ears and eyes of everything, we can just sit back and moan about everything and stay in our bubble.

A lot of the time the problem probably is that we don’t want to leave our bubble and learn new. From other people, cultures, foods, whatever, we are afraid of the difference so we rather leave it outside of our lives. But the more open we are to differences, the riches our lives will be. More we open our hearts the better our lives will be, that’s just a fact. Helping someone else has never been a bad thing. Never.

So let’s give each other a chance to show their side of the “story” whether we like it or not. Being respectful, humble and open are the ways to go and move forward. We can always learn more from each other.

We don’t have to understand the other but we can try, we don’t even have to like them, but we need to respect them. Hate has never solved anything. I doubt that it will start solving anything now. Use it as a fire to build new, rather than let it burn you from inside.

Let’s build new, open our hearts and remember PMA ❤

Blips of Loneliness

wp-1480357086390.pngI noticed it last Friday, for the first time in a very long time, I felt lonely. In that way that swallows your whole being under it like a heavy blanket. In a way that doesn’t even really need saving but just to be there, let the feeling be “out” and move on. But it was still there, and it made me really think why it even came for a visit.

I’ve been so content with my lone life for over a year that this feeling felt just weird, like a unknown dark veil. Me being able to be on my own and liking the way I am capable of being alone a lot has always been a blessing and a curse for me. It let’s me charge my batteries, it let’s me think my thoughts which I really like to do, I love to be in my own head and just do some mind work. I’ve always been good at being on my own and figuring out what to do on my own, I don’t mind seeing no one in few days or more. I don’t need other people to make me feel whole. But there’s also the downside that I tend to be so good at this that I kind of over do it every now and then. And then I get this feeling that “will I end up being alone for the rest of my life, because no one even knows that I exist, as I really like to be on my own”.  And as the truth is that no one will come to your door and ask you out or “to play”.

The older we get the less we have these accidental places and moments in our lives for meeting new people or old friends, as we have been granted with the opportunity of making our lives the way we want them to be. Some like to be surrounded with friends or other people all the time, I tend to like my solitude to an extend where I feel lonely at times.

The more you learn to know yourself, the more you find ways that make you happy with your life. The more I’ve learn about who I am, that I am an introvert, that I happen to be an highly sensitive person, I’ve learned to accept the ways those help me understand myself and the surrounding world and how I need to listen to my body and mind closer than I did before when I didn’t know what those amazing and sometimes hard traits are that make me the me I am.

I’m no stranger to feeling lonely, I’ve felt that a lot in my life, but for the past year, I’ve been more or less really happy with who I am, being single and living my life with all that it’s thrown at me. And this year has not been easy, by any measurements. It’s taken more out of me than I knew could happen, but I’ve learned to know myself even more once again. For such a long time, I felt that I will just feel lonely and that it’s, but that was before I understood, really understood that before you love and accept yourself, you will never be content with yourself and your life.

But this past weekend, the loneliness really kicked in. I don’t know if it’s the time of the year, every possible ad and commercial is about being together and loving and all that squishy lovely stuff and finding that perfect present for “that” person. Is it that the age I am now that majority of the people around you, tend to have significant others and families, that people like me are the minority not majority. I haven’t even thought about that I would want to have someone in my life for quite some time, and that didn’t really come to me now either. And noticing and being honest about that makes me sure that I still need some “me time” before I can even really think about sharing my life with someone else. All though if I’m truly, utterly honest I do miss being close to someone at times, or that butterfly feeling in your belly or that cheek hurting smiling, BUT still it’s not enough for me to actually do anything about the whole thing. That’s how much I’m happy with my life right now.

And I also have to admit that me being pretty much always the one who has made the first move, and all my experiences in my past has made me extremely careful about even considering anything. I’ve noticed that I actually want the other one to make that first move, and make me feel special and wanted.

But the pure heaviness of the feeling last Friday was pretty overwhelming. It was so “right now”. I noticed myself just walking in the city with my headphones on and looking at people as they were rushing around after work, going to their company Christmas parties, buying frantically Christmas presents, or holding hands and smiling to each other. I don’t know why and how it was such a strong emotion all of sudden.

What I’ve started to do to challenge myself these days is to sign up for things that I haven’t tried ever before and with that having new experiences, meeting new people that I wouldn’t other wise, placing myself outside my comfort zone. I have plans like these for 2017, to really just do things that I’ve wanted for some time but just haven’t done anything to them.

But with all this, I also felt strongly that it’s good to feel lonely at times, if you would never feel that you would never think about if you wanted to change something or if it was just a moment or what. Loneliness isn’t the worst kind of feeling when it’s “controlled”, when you’re able to acknowledge it and sit in peace with it. It is an issue that you need to address when it’s eating you whole and you feel like there’s nothing you can do about it. But I really wish that you understand and remember that you’re not alone and there’s always someone ready to listen and be there with you.

As the year is coming to an end, a lot of thoughts and feelings raise their heads and make us think of what we’ve done this past year, if we’re happy with our lives and what we would like to change if there is something. The darkness outside is really pushing us down but we just need to breath few more times and push back and move on. It’s not hopeless, and you’re not really alone.

PMA ❤

Pressure Drop

wp-image-399967542jpg.jpgIt finally happened, my overly stressed mind and body got some time off and I felt a massive pressure drop happening in me. I only needed couple of days in a different surroundings and time off from my angsty day rhythm.

Like I’ve written during this summer, this whole recovery thing has taken a toll on me in ways I never expected. But it feels so damn nice to finally feel lighter and happier and more focused. That massive cloud is lifting from my happiness and I’m slowly but very surely getting my happy back.

Sometimes we need to go back or far, to see close. I needed couple of days with a person in different city, that really knows me and listens in a way I needed. My Grandpa. Me and my Grandpa have always had a bit special relationship, we are very close, in my childhood people thought that he’s my Dad more than few times. We’re made from the same wood in a way.

When I left my home to go and visit him, I felt so down and restless and just overly stressed. My body was swollen without a reason, I had a minor migraine all the time, it was just rebelling to all what had been going on. Yelling at me to calm down any way possible. I didn’t realise how massive of a difference couple of peace filled days could make.

I remember noticing this thing on my way back from there this Tuesday, I’ve had my ankles swollen for some weeks now, just a little bit or a lot, depending on the day. And all of sudden when I was travelling back home, I noticed that they were normal again, I could see my normal ankles. It’s a small thing but showed me in a very literal way how important it is to calm down. I could also feel how my body in general felt and looked better. And the difference inside, it glowed out with a peace and calmness that I had been yearning for a long time. Life has felt better than in a long time now.

Today is a good day, we have a Midnight Run in Helsinki tonight with members of my crew KARMA runners joining, and I get to run next to them while some of them run their first race, ever!

And next week I get to see so many of my international running friends in Stockholm as we tackle the amazing weekend there during the Half Marathon. Cannot wait!! So things are looking up. 🙂

Sometimes we really need to go away, stop and feel that we are heard and then pick ourselves back up. And we need to remember how insanely wise our grandparents are, so call to them, go visit them, show them that you care.

LOVE! PMA ❤