#BTGBGD To Make A Connection Where There Is A Great Difference

 

 

 
BTG -BGD sunday (25 van 47)Trying to explain and write down last weekendΒ feels like I’m supposed to explain something magical that doesn’t exist for most people of this earth. That’s what it really is, magic. Magic of people who “shouldn’t” get together and loving the crap out of each other. That’s what Bridge The Gap Belgrade was. We were making a connection where there is a great difference.

I knew last Fall that I wanted to travel to Serbia as soon as I knew that there will be a BTG event, it’s not your everyday travel destination, and the idea of being able to get to know the people and the city better sounded amazing! I also made a decision before the trip that I didn’t want to do any research and go there with complete blank page. That ended up being one of the best decisions, as with that mindset you see the city and it’s people in a total new and open way. You’re not afraid of something you shouldn’t be in the first place, you trust yourself more and are more open to whatever comes your way.img_4802-1

I’m not sure if I’m able to do justice to the best BTG weekend I’ve been part of, apologies to others, but this is the truth. For me at least, and I know that to many many more that attended. The amount of love that we shared was insane!

Before my trip I was a bit worried how it all will go, as I wasn’t sure who from my friends before are going to be there and was afraid that I would feel like an outsider for some reason. Well how wrong was I going to be…img_4725

From Finland the best way is to travel through Sweden, which I did and to my joy I met first new friend at the check in line and soon was surrounded by close to 20 local crewmembers from Ssideline Stockholm. My trip could not been starting any better. Straight up I felt welcome and my worries were just vanished and soon we were on our way to Belgrade!

And what a way to arrive… There was a group of runners a bit from all over the place at the airport waiting for us, taking us to the party that others were waiting or more like enjoying themselves :). I have to say that it was the best to see some people that I only knew through Instagram but still felt like friends or those friends who traveled all the way from US. The first night went on and in the middle of it I found my way to my hosts place, who was the best, amazing Emelie <3.img_4743-1

In the middle of the night, Belgrade felt almost a bit scary with no idea of anything in the darkness. But once I opened the curtains on Friday morning, oh my how surprised I was of it’s beauty, old and new next to each other in this weird harmony. And that sunshine that blessed us the whole weekend. Felt like I was on some vacation that I had been needing for the last 6 months, which was not far from the truth at all.img_4734-1

Friday was all about seeing people and hugging and having a shake out run and get together and pasta party. The amount of love again, was overwhelming. The thing is that when you find your tribe, you know it, and these people are my tribe. The ones who I can be and always feel like me, exactly who I am, without needing to think anything. And that’s what I love the most. There’s no judgement, no one will think differently of you whether you do this or that, the unity between us all is so amazing, and something that the world should have more.img_4856

To feel that way is special in that big of a group of people, which spans around the world.

And then came Saturday and the race! I knew early on that I will be cheering with my broken wrist and with the degrees all the way up to +30 C I wasn’t too sad about my choice. πŸ™‚ Which only made me respect my friends who did run so much more!2016-04-16_09-16-40DSC_0522

I don’t think I’ve ever cheered as much I did, and with so many amazing people. We had the best group of people doing what we did best. The rule is “if you don’t run, you must cheer”, and we took that rule seriously. So seriously that the sunburns and lost voices were not few but common between us. I don’t know why but these days I love cheering way more than running, or let me clear this, running a road race :). There’s just something amazing about seeing your friends and running next to them, hugging them, cheering them on with all you got. Sharing the love you have in you is the best thing I know! And to everyone, not just your friends obviously. Were were cheering on full blast since the race started to the last runner, and that’s how it’s supposed to be! The last runner is the bravest in my heart, the amount of courage you need to push on when all you want to do is stop and still keep moving, inspirational is an understatement. And I really loved how those runners who had finished came to the cheer point and cheered with us and shared the love that they had gotten earlier. That is #crewlove!DSC_2512img_4785img_4776

After little naps and mending those sunburns it was time for the after party!

And what a party it was! Those parties are something I always wait, they make your heart sing with happiness. There’s so many friends, you get to dance with the best people to the best music and I doubt that there’s ever been anyone who has been able to leave without a massive smile on their face. But as with all the best parties, I keep our “secrets” secrets haha. These are things that you just have to experience for yourself, just like our cheerpoints. πŸ˜‰2016-04-17_00-46-34DSC_1926img_4796-1

Sunday came, maybe little too fast after Saturdays happenings, but damn it started good. Our organizing crew, BURT – Belgrade Urban Running Team, had done something so beautiful. They planted trees in a park for all the crews attending, and we had this amazing ceremony to open the park. And there was also this amazing surprise to all the crews and to myself too. During the race, at our cheerpoint, we had a graffiti painter doing a massive piece. And at the ceremony the guys cut it in equal pieces and gave to the crews attending as a thank you. And then I got the biggest surprise, that humbled me and still does, to the core and everywhere else too, Nikola all of sudden said my whole name and I didn’t understand why at all. He then said words so nice and loving that I don’t remember at all anymore as the whole situation felt so surreal to me :). He gave me piece of the graffiti as a thank you for my support and love to them. This still brings almost tears to my eyes, to feel that loved is a privilege and I wish that every damn one could feel like I did on that moment and weekend. Thank you! ❀BTG -BGD sunday (44 van 47)

Still a day and a half left, what to do? Wondering around the city with your friends without a plan, best! Again, Belgrade is just amazing. It’s so warm and open and the people are the same. Food is just amazing and so cheap for us coming from the euro area. The city is filled with greenery, beautiful old buildings everywhere next to brand new modern mirror boxes. The history and future are in balanced contrast next to each other. And with the weather we had, it was hard to do anything else than wonder around with friends til the late night.img_4758

And like with any amazing, mindblowing trip this one ended with a last memory. In this case, with two people getting inked memory of the movement on them… I might have been the other one :D. There’s something about this Bridge The Gap of ours. It changes your life, if you let it, in a way that you could never ever even dream of. And how it has changed mine is so huge that it’s hard to put down. But I didn’t even need to really think why I would want to have it tattooed on me. With the handwriting of my dear dear friend Nikola, from the local crew, part of my international family. To his surprise of course, but sometimes you show your love in funny ways. And I have to give big shoutout to Grisha, for getting as amazing tattoo as he did! And massive thank you to Nemo from Karavampir Tattoo Club.img_4812-1img_4859-1

Monday ended at the new indoor running center with loads of fun with the rest of us that was still there. There were goodbyes, hugs, photos, smiles, and all the love.

I had to leave super early on Tuesday morning, which I would’ve rather moved weeks if not months further. It’s not easy to explain why or what it is about Belgade and it’s people that makes you feel as good as I feel still. But what I can say is that it’s the love we share. The openness of it all. The camaraderie that we have around the globe. And again it’s the love, sharing it with the ones you don’t even know that well but they are part of something bigger than we all are. I feel very very blessed to have friends and family around the world like I do. Without running and Bridge The Gap I wouldn’t.BTG -BGD sunday (15 van 47)

I wish I could thank each and everyone but there would be way over 400 names to write down and I don’t want to forget any, so I send this to you. Thank you for taking me in to your lives and sharing what you love the way you do. My life is so much richer with you all. I wish you all know how much you mean to me. LoveLoveLove. And I will hug you when we see again, because one way or another we will see soon again! This is not a goodbye this is see you in a bit. ❀

BTG. LOVE. PMA. CREWLOVE. ❀img_4854

 

 

 

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CPH HALF – Uniting People Across Boarders

Photo by Sofie Riisgaard

Photo by Sofie Riisgaard

Last weekend, or the five days around last weekend were more than amazing. Little to no sleep. All the laughter and hugs. So many new people, more than ever before.

For five days I was surrounded by like minded people from places I hope to visit but have never been before. People who reminds that we are all the same and all have the same heart beating inside of us.Β image2 (6)

When the world is how it is these days, it’s pretty damn amazing to have a platform like we have through running. We break all the barriers and stereotypes, fear and worries about difference. We conquer it all with love for a thing that is the simplest. We share the love and show the world how amazing it all could be.image3 (4)

I might see some of my closest friends once a year but when I get to hug them after all that time, it’s like nothing have been between us. I got to hug new people that I know will be part of my life for the rest of my time here. That stuff is special. I know again, even more than before, how blessed I am to found running and all these people. I know that I have new places to visit because there’s people who I feel at home with.12000980_937674826294929_3938398543305013179_o

I would never in my life before thought that I could have friends this much all over the world. What we have with Bridge The Gap is insanely amazing.

It’s about the unity, passion, love, friendships and respect to one another.12015085_10153638889944878_8159246979629199194_o

Yes, we did run the race, but what really have stayed with me, almost like a fire burning is the fact how lucky I am. After having one of the hardest years of my life, I could not feel more loved and grateful for all of this. The feeling when you see a person you’ve been in contact only through social media and can finally hug, priceless. It’s like they’ve always been next to you.

For me, this all is about being there for others, loving and appreciating the difference of all of us and using it as a force to show the world how we really are to each other. I’ve learned so much through this all, learning more all the time. Loving more all the time. Positive vibes spreading around the globe.

Photo by Pim Rinkes

Photo by Pim Rinkes

I want to thank all that were part of that time here in Copenhagen, thank you for making one of the most emotional times the best ever. I might have lost my Grandma exactly year ago, and ran for her again this year, but the love around me carried me home and I know that I Grandma would be the happiest to see all of this in my life.

Let’s keep being us, because we are pretty damn amazing!

PMA. LOVE. PEACE. ❀image1 (12)

Oooops, I Moved To Copenhagen!

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Ready at the airport in Helsinki with my house of a bag that fits my life .

Yeah, I think oops is the best way to describe this move, or again :D. I was thinking and talking and planning this one, but the actual move decision was made just few days before my flights here.

Another jump to unknown, or was it? I know the city a bit, more than some others I’ve moved to. I really wanted to get away from Finland, I really did. And now I’m here, not going back “home” or was that even home…

That is one of the biggest things I’ve noticed since I came back here. I haven’t felt this at home in long time, maybe ever, probably never. Yesterday I was walking around in the city and noticed myself just smiling while looking around. This weird, for me, sensation just flooded over me and just made me feel like I finally have found a place I belong. And that is a first for me.

Photo by Sofie Riisgaard

Photo by Sofie Riisgaard

A year ago when I was here, I didn’t belong at all, I wasn’t ready and really not “there” yet with myself. I didn’t really know anyone that well, and I had no energy to get out there and meet people. And then I lost my Grandma. Too much, just too much!

But now, I have quite a few friends here, not only running related. I actually have one of my best friends here, which makes me extremely happy. I do miss my best friends in Finland, but they are with me and in my heart. And I know I am doing the best thing for me. The work I’ve done before I moved here to be able to make this work, is just so different than ever before. I just feel calm and in peace with this all, yes I am afraid and doubt myself at times, but the overall feeling is more than good.

It’s funny how a year ago I didn’t want to ride my bike here, still don’t remember really why, but now I’m at home here with that too. The neighborhood that I really didn’t like last year, is my home now. And it feels like home, like home! Like a place I could find my dream apartment and all. That all feels so overwhelming and amazing at the same time!

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Bridge the Gap/ Copenhagen Marathon Photo by Henrik Thorn

Though me coming here just before the Copenhagen Marathon weekend has made this all feel a bit confusing, as those weekends with friends from all over the globe does to you. You need couple days to decompress. But it was such an amazing weekend. I would not be here now without running and the chance to meet so many insanely amazing people! Pretty damn lucky to call them my friends <3.

I’ve surprised myself in so many ways already here, which makes me pretty happy. Like being able to run almost 20km in steady fastish pace for me without dying. I know that my running will improve so much here, just the fact that I will be running with others will help, but to be able to run with people who are way better at it and the push I have to get from myself and I get from them. Priceless!

But I also feel this pressure coming from within, that this is a do or die situation. Which is a bit stupid, but somehow that makes me push a bit more, so I’ll keep that close now. While I do that, I need to remember to give myself time to let all this sink in. I have to remember that I just moved countries again, not just houses. And it still is a big deal. So be gentle to yourself, please.

Friends on friends on friends!! Photo by My-Ha Lang

Friends on friends on friends!!
Photo by My-Ha Lang

It’s a funny feeling of wanting to do everything at once and the need of pulling back. Balancing it all is the most important thing. To recognize myself and how I deal with different things. For example, if I’ve been with old and new friends the whole weekend, I would be a bit exhausted in normal situation, but when you top that with the move, it’s more than normal to feel exhausted. So the thing is to take some time for myself to get my batteries charging and then do those things I wanted with better energy. Not an easy thing to remember, when you don’t want to do the same mistakes as before. Baby steps…

I somehow also felt nervous about writing these all out, like the place I am at the moment would make some difference in what I can write and not. But it’s fear again, maybe. To be who I truly am in front of so many new. In front of all the new, which makes me feel so powerful and confused at the same time. Though mostly just really amazing and excited, so I’ll take that as a good sign.

So yeah, oops I moved to Copenhagen!

If you know any jobs or want to offer me some, I’m looking :)!

Let’s see how this move goes, I feel ready and yeah, at home, so no reason why this wouldn’t work!

PMA ❀

Marathon Training week 4&5

This post is a bit delayed… I planned on writing this straight after I come back from London. Well sometimes things change and that’s okay too :).

Last week went between warm blankets and cup of tea in hand. So that part will be short but let’s put week 4 here.

Week 4

Tuesday – 3miles/ 4,82km planned, instead I took an extra restday and spend it with my friend and rode my bike.

Sneak peak from a little test photoshoot we did with my amazing friend :)

Sneak peak from a little test photoshoot we did with my amazing friend πŸ™‚

 

Wednesday – 6miles/ 9,65km planned, 10,2km done. Amazing relaxed run to prep myself for the Bridge the Gap weekend in London :).

Thursday – 3miles/ 4,82km planned, 5km buddyrun done.

Saturday – 11miles/17,7km planned but loads of fun run done! 8km around London, shaking our legs out :).

Sunday – Racedayyyy! 21,2km done in heat next to amazing friend, having waterwars and fun the whole time! πŸ˜€

Week 5

Tuesday – 3miles/4,82km planned, but because this was traveling day and I only had about 3 hours of sleep, I decided to take it easy.

Wednesday – 6miles/ 9,65km planned, 5km buddyrun done. Super tired and sluggish run, felt already a bit sick but just wanted to push through.

Thursday – 3miles/ 4,82km planned, spent in bed :(. And the rest of the week too…

But tomorrow I will be back! πŸ™‚ Today I will do some yoga and some stretching to make my body ready for running again after resting well.20140630-131948-47988864.jpg

 

Bridging The Gap with Hackney Half

Enjoying our time together with amazing friends at Primrose Hill

Enjoying our time together with amazing friends at Primrose Hill

How can I start this… It was one of those weekends. Filled with friends, love, happiness, running, dancing. Also new friends, good food, bike rides, sunrises and smiles.

This was my second Bridge The Gap event, and I was prepared for this one. I learned my lesson in Berlin, when it comes to eating and drinking enough ;). So I had goals, yes eat and drink, but get to that after party and dance my ass off, because I missed that in Berlin due to heatstroke.

But also prepared for not expecting too much, and mostly enjoying the moments without extra craziness. As I wrote after Berlin, I was sadly a bit disappointed in certain things, so this time I was wiser and also was able to let things fly over me without caring. Which made the whole time in London wayyy better. It’s all about learning. πŸ™‚

About that eating part ;). Cronut filled with raspberry  creamy stuff, yum!

About that eating part ;). Cronut filled with raspberry creamy stuff, yum!

The point of this trip was to see friends and run the race. I was so excited to see some friends that I had missed a lot during these couple of months, and how many new ones did I gain, it’s insane how amazing people there are to get to know! When it came to the race, I was so honored to be there for my friend, Jamie, to run his first Half. Sharing is caring and I could not be happier that I did that.

So, I arrived on Friday afternoon, met my amazing friend, Dani and we took my stuff to her place, got bikes and biked to the city. How nice it is to see newish places from that perspective! Best!

Best hostess the mostest!

Best hostess the mostest!

Though obviously I wasn’t ready for the switch of the sides while in traffic haha! But no accidents, only a minor fight with a fence when going over it haha! So, Friday was all about meeting people and eating and chilling. It was just so nice, could not ask for anything better. Night riding through London was pretty awesome.

Saturday came fast with a first Bridge The Gap event, shake out run and bbq. I have been dreaming of running with Run Dem Crew through London streets and now I got that chance :). Not only did I got the chance to run with Run Dem, there were people from NBRO/ Denmark, Patta & Running Junkies/Netherlands, Run Pack & Berlin Braves/ Germany, Paris Running Club/ France and obviously my crew, Still Waters Run Deep :). If I forgot someone, please forgive me.

Sunday! Race Day! Heat! Yes, so Sunday came and the weather was super hot already early in the morning, but this time I was prepared. I had my cap on and water bottle. Days before the race some people were saying that the course is quite flat… How wrong were they haha! It started with a hill and when you were just dead from the heat in the end, there was few hills more. During the course there were so many runners who just collapsed from the heat, so hydration was pretty big deal. We had great race, and the crowd around the course were so amazing, thank you! And when we got to Cheer Dem Crew, all happiness broke loose! I jumped on Ciaran in Berlin, and I warned him that I will do it again and boom, I did it twice! πŸ™‚ That feeling that you get from people you know cheering like their lives depended on it, is insane! Makes you feel like you can do anything, and basically you can!! πŸ™‚

CHEER DEM CREW !!!!

CHEER DEM CREW !!!!

I could not be prouder of Jamie, on how he ran his first half. It was not easy by any means but he pushed through like a champ!! On to the next one!!

Sneezy Panda Yeller and Super Champ!!

Sneezy Panda Yeller and Super Champ!!

I was so happy after the race, so proud, feeling good, surrounded by friends, can you ask for anything better?! And I was ready for the after party πŸ˜€ this time nothing would stop me from dancing!

AND THIS IS WHAT YOU GET WHEN I GET TO THE DANCE FLOOR HAHA

AND THIS IS WHAT YOU GET WHEN I GET TO THE DANCE FLOOR HAHA

It feels hard to write down what that weekend felt, it’s a lot. It’s been a week since I came home, got a proper after fun flu and now try to make all those feelings in to a blog post… What I can say is that these days with all these amazing people give me hope, and make me feel like home. I have this huge safety net of friends all over the world. I can be who I genuinely am and I am accepted, that is lucky! Obviously I am “secretly” planning the next racetrip to be able to see my friends again, and make many more. I will leave you with photos and stop trying to explain something which I can’t :). Thank you! You all are amazing! Till the next time! Love and hugs!

Run Dem Crew x NBRO x Still Waters Run Deep

Run Dem Crew x NBRO x Still Waters Run Deep