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

 

 

 
BTG -BGD sunday (25 van 47)Trying to explain and write down last weekend 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. 🙂 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. 😉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. 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)

Friends Like Mine – Quality Over Quantity

IMG_7958-1I had one of the best runs tonight, one of those that make you feel like you are on top of the world. And it’s all because of the company I had.

Lately I’ve really realized how truly blessed and lucky I am to have the people I have in my life. I’ve always been quite a lone wolf, but these days I am just overflowing in happiness and smiles. And that’s “just” all the people I have around me, all around the world. The people I really have and let close to me are just insanely amazing!

I remember when I was younger how I always wanted to be one of those popular ones who have all the friends and who people want to spend their time with, well I was never that one because I was just too picky. That’s the truth. And because always made my life a lot harder than it really needed to be. And if someone was a friend, I was so terrified of losing them that I probably suffocated them with all that I had. This all obviously came from me being really insecure with myself and not really sure who I was and really didn’t love myself.

I had to fall really deep to start loving myself, which means that now I am able to love others. It’s not selfish anymore, I love and be there for others because I get so much out from it. It’s not a situation where I expect to get anything, I just give and am happy with that. Because that’s what love is, something you give without any expectations.

So now, I have no interest in being that popular one, because I am so happy with what I have. All the people I call more family than friends, the ones I love with all my heart like I do all, but the ones that are in my heart in a special way. There’s people I’ve known for quite long and people who I just met couple months ago, but have so so special place in my heart, that I hope they will be there forever. Because life without them just wouldn’t feel as amazing as now.

I am a firm believer in Universe and it making the moves that we should have in our lives, if we just let it and are open to it. And I feel that I’m finally letting go and letting it do the moves I deserve to have. Because I do deserve as much good as any other here. And we all deserve all the good. Someone being happy, isn’t anything away from someone else. IMG_7956

After my last relationship I made few promises to myself, that I want to be 100% who I am, with all I am. That honest and loving one I am. The one who genuinely means what she says. The one who is not in a hurry and loves peace more than anything else. Being this open isn’t always the easiest but still I don’t want to change a thing, nothing. I feel like I’ve never been this happy, in peace and just able to really listen what is in me and around me too.

I also made a challenge for myself when I moved to Copenhagen. I need to be more social and challenge myself with those situations that I am terribly afraid, which means being in a group of people I don’t know. Or in general in a group of people. So far all of those moments have made me feel so good, that I think I’ll keep doing that. And it’s not that serious if you made a fool out of you at times, that’s part of this. Being who you are even if someone doesn’t understand you or thinks that you are a total idiot.

I’ve also challenged myself for some time with something that has always been really hard for me. I want to actually let people in, in my life and give them a change to show me that it’s okay to let them close. But at the same time I’ve learned to set boundaries in all that. Which is equally important.

I’ve made the conscious decision to not let certain people close, because I’ve had enough of negativity in my life, so I want to surround myself with people that appreciate who I am and that’s it. We are who we spend time with, so I want to be happy and positive and encouraging and loving, so I’ll surround myself with that kind of people. It might sound really selfish but it’s being healthy selfish and good for me and my future.

But since I’ve found this peace, I’ve been able to be there for people in a whole new way. I’m able to take myself out of the situation if it has nothing to do with me, not giving my two cents in something that isn’t anything to do with me. I am able to be there for them and listen and ask the questions that might challenge them in a way they haven’t thought about things yet. But mostly just be there.

And I am able to love, like never before. And I intend to keep doing just that. So the one who has my heart, you’re about get all that has been bubbling in me so long and all that’s there now. And the funny thing is that for the first time I’m not in a hurry, I know that I am on the right path. Day at a time is the way to go. With all the ups and downs, because they are all part of this, and I would not change a thing. IMG_7772

This is all part of my own journey, growing older, maybe a bit wiser while at it. I am so happy that I’ve gone through so much, pure hell, in my life. Because without all those moments when I just wanted to disappear and give up because I didn’t see anything good or any light at the end of the tunnel, I would not be who I am now. And I absolutely love myself! I don’t even understand all this always, but I rather have this all than whatever I had before. All of my past, it made me stronger and courageous and so damn loving, and why the heck would I change any of that, just because I am afraid at times?!

So, I will keep on my “lovers gonna love” path and keep being me. ❤

PMA ❤ and be sure to check the video below from our cheerzone at the Copenhagen Marathon, you might see this little one hugging one of her best friends while he’s running :).

 

 

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 ❤

To Sum Up 2014

IMG_6288For a good couple of weeks I’ve felt that I need to sum up 2014, mostly for myself. Though I think it’s nice to get it out there.

But the main thing is that I don’t seem to understand how much good has happened to me this past year. Others seem to see it, but I’m in this weird bubble of not realizing.

Today I went through my blog for the past year, checking the posts that I’ve written. Noticing how much has happened in really short time. Mostly really good things, a lot of doubt, some deep depression, and a lot of running. I’ve lost a lot in 2014, but I think I’ve gained even more.

The Spring was a lot of down moments, injuries and learning from them. And falling into depression from that all, but getting up and running my first Half Marathon in Berlin. Getting adopted to a running crew, Still Waters Run Deep MCR, to have a running family to call mine. Having my first interview, on Reason To Play, crazy important to me. Thank you Karen! I turned 30, and was stoked about that. Had the best birthday party with tacos and so much love! Trying to find who I am and what I want in my life. Finding so many new friends, the closest these days. Finally broke that 1000km that I was chasing. Started to train for my first Marathon that I never ran. Visiting family in Finland with a new mindset and had the best time.

The Summer time, wow! Things really started to move forward, there were a lot of things happening in Hannover, not nice things, that pushed me forward. Ran the nicest Half in Hackney, taking a crewmember and close friend to the finish line, Jamie, I’ll always keep that memory super close to my heart! That time in London got me so much more me, that I had been yearning. And got me so amazing new friends that boom! Those new friends helped me with the next chapter in my life. I finally admitted to myself that I need to move away from Germany, to be able to be truly happy. And all of sudden I was moving to Copenhagen to an amazing adopting family, Christina and the kids, you in my heart! 🙂

CHEER DEM CREW !!!!

CHEER DEM CREW !!!!

The Fall… I moved to Copenhagen, realized that I am in a long distance relationship for real. Had the most amazing first two weeks in my new home city and then the bomb dropped with full force. My Grandma passed away. It felt like all stopped. I was alone in a new place, couldn’t say my goodbyes, even though I knew that we had said all that we wanted. But still, her passing threw my whole life upside down. All of sudden I was so lost and didn’t know what to do. And one day I knew what I need to do, I need to move back home to Finland to be with my family. So I made the decision and this huge burden lifted from my shoulders. But before that I ran the Copenhagen Half in my Grandmas memory, to take the medal to her grave. I got the change to be my last weekend with all my international running family and my crew members, could not ask for anything better in that time of my deepest sadness. So much love and support that it just took over all the pain and carried me on. Thank you to all of you! ❤IMG_4888-0

And then I was back in Finland. My own family had been ripped in three, one in Germany, me in Finland and even my longest familymember, my dog had to be away from me. He has the best “step”home now, with his amazing Uncle :). No love lost there! But being without him and my bf isn’t the easiest, day by day situation but we do the best we can.IMG_6323

I had to deal or try to deal with the loss of my Grandma. Still no idea how at times, but day by day that gets easier. Trying to remember all the good, and there are a lot of those moments.

Living at my parents place, confused but happy to be with my family. All of sudden starting my new job, after not working for good three years. Just jumping in the deep end. Enjoying and terrified at the same time. Seeing Helsinki in new eyes, seeing way more good than ever before. But noticing that I am here only for little while, my journey is still not ready for settling in one place. At this time I wrote my first piece for Pavement Bound, new amazing website about all things running, where I’m one of the contributors at the moment.image (2)

And then things just started going forward so fast that I am still trying to figure out what is going on… I started running only in a forest, really giving myself the change to learn how to be in silence with myself and the nature. Really knowing that that is my happyplace and I just have no interest in running on the road if I don’t have to anymore. I had already signed for my first Ultra, Fyr til Fyr, this April in Bornholm, but I wanted more. So I signed up for White Rose Ultra, which is going to be in UK, also it’s going to be a 100KM. Dreams are meant to be making true!

I found this amazing new brand from Finland, called Arctic Warriors and I contacted them. And after some mails, I had them as my first sponsor for my Goals2015! They make the most amazing supplements, all locally grown and using old knowledge with the plants in them. Then when I was just searching for a Patagonia jacket and ended up finding one at Ruoto For Flyfishing store, talking more and more with the owner, Joonas. Ending the conversation to the deal of me being a trail running ambassador for their store, using Patagonia! Just maybe a week before this, I told to my friend that my goal is to be a runner for Patagonia! 😀 Not there yet, but the door is open and I’m ready for the adventure!IMG_5249

I started yearning simpler life and wrote a piece here about wanting a dirtbaggery life. And just before Christmas I was chosen to be an ambassador for Dirtbag Runners, which was insane dream come true!image (3)

So how can I sum up this year?! It’s been the hardest and the best year ever in my life! Every day brings something new, most of the time I have no idea what is coming and I’m slowly starting to be okay with it. My family is all over the place, my friends are even more all over the place and I feel like the luckiest girl in the world! Never had this much support and love in my life. I never knew that I can be in this great place with myself after all what’s happened. But here I am, sometimes sobbing my eyes out but most of the time smiling, because everything is pretty great and I am pushing forward, doubt and all. I definitely forgot a lot from here, but the main point is that I am in a good place and my dreams are getting closer to being reality every day. I have to believe in myself and them and they will come true! The struggle might be real but I have amazing belief in going through it no matter what haha :).

Thank you to all that I have in my life, I could not go through this year without you. Your love and support are the biggest blessings in my life and I am so grateful to have family and friends all over the world. Thank you! ❤ IMG_6294