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 ❤

Changes On Changes On Changes

wp-1486580137657.jpgHello diary, it’s me again, after all these changes on changes on changes…

I haven’t been sure what to write about what’s been going on in my life the past months, where my boundaries are. After last years silence on this front, I really wanted to search and see what feels right and what not to share. When I started my journey I was brutally honest about everything, now I know that there are people who know me who read this and majority don’t but they maybe feel that through this they do. But I wanted to be brutally honest to myself in what I want people to know. And it will change, like I have and will. I like that fluidity in life.

My year started with very mixed feelings, as I was mourning a dear friend who I’d lost in an accident and also celebrating a great new opportunity, becoming a coach at adidas runners Helsinki. Two things that somehow combined and intertwined. My friend was the only one who new about this opportunity before her passing. So when I got the good news, I was almost mad that she wasn’t here so I could jump for joy with her, but I knew that she is and was with me in that moment. And like I felt the proud kick in me, I knew that she would be kicking me with a proud smile on her face.

I’ve come to realize, finally, that life is all about timing. You’re not able to have the good things in your life before you’re ready to take them on. No matter how much you’ve wanted them before, all that wanting ain’t going to make them happen. You might meet the one who feels like Home, like no one before, knowing that the timing isn’t right. You might want to be in a different situation in your life, but if you aren’t willing and ready to admit what you’re ready for and what not, nothing will happen. You have to be ready. Otherwise it doesn’t work out.

You have to be willing to understand and be comfortable that you can’t always control what happens.

You might get the news that your just operated wrist might need a new operation, the thing you last wish for, but need to turn the negatives into positives. You already know how you can deal the whole thing in the deep ends.

You might lose a friend in an accident, or you might have to end a friendship because no matter how much you want to have it all in your life, it’s not good for you anymore and have to admit it. Losing someone you love hurts, there’s no way to explain it all. Whether it’s by choice or not. It hurts, a lot. But you have to let all those feelings come and then let them go. You have to put yourself first. That’s the only way to find yourself and truly be happy with YOUR life.

You might have to take an almost year long break from the things that once brought you back to life, to remember why they saved you in the first place. You can’t force happiness or passion. You have to give yourself a break to unlearn everything to learn something new again. It might be learning how to tie fly’s for fly fishing, but if that makes you happy then you need to listen to that voice that whispers in your ear “this is the best ever!”.

You have to be willing to look so close it hurts to understand that you have people who want to have you in their lives, to be able to let them close. Keeping love only in the distance ain’t doing us any favors. If you feel lonely, admit it and do something about it. Moping about it ain’t helping you either, and those walls will feel like they are falling on you faster than you thought.

You have to be willing to learn how to be uncomfortable with yourself. It’s that simple. Once you’re okay with that, the good things start to fill your days. It might be that moment you wake up and you realize that you smile again. Appreciate that tiny moment and be grateful for it at the end of your day. Put yourself out there in yourself and it will shine the hell out of you. Smile to people even if they look at you like there’s something wrong with you. For shit and giggles if not else.

I am extremely grateful for these days I have now, I am for all those that felt like shit too. I’ve worked damn hard to be where I am right now and I giving myself creds for it all. Because I’ve stayed on my own lane, I am here. With amazing new opportunities and passions. And tying those fly fishing fly’s is the thing for me, it makes my insides purr of happiness. Soon I will stand in the middle of a river with my insides purring from the thrill of it all. That’s me.

This is a life long deal with learning and making mistakes. One after another, and again and again. That’s how you find you. By being open, honest, raw, gentle, loving, grateful, passionate, angry and full of life. Your ability to admit your weaknesses is the thing that makes you strong!

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 ❤

I Thought I Lost You, But You Are There Still

Photo Jasmin Helmi

Photo Jasmin Helmi

Last week a friend of mine took some photos of me, I’ve asked her is she could as I needed some for my updated CV. I never thought that the images she took could make me feel the way they did. She was able to capture me, really me, the one I thought I lost during the past months.

For majority of this year I’ve felt a bit lost with myself. First because I was so adamant with my weird feeling of not wanting to stay in Finland, it felt like a prison sentence, I didn’t want to have anything solid here. I fought so hard against it all. And then with my wrist operation I think I grew tired of fighting, as I had to fight against so many other weird feelings that the operation had brought up.

The difference between this year and last is so big that sometimes I feel that they have to have more than one New Year between them. Last year was so much, it was planned and about jumping to whatever came to me, just taking whatever without thinking what it might mean in some time. I was just rushing and living, maybe too much, maybe not enough, but maybe I let myself actually live for the first time in really long time. I had been keeping myself back for so long that I just let loose and flew, not to the right direction by any means all the time, but I was still flying. And ended up my year with my wings almost cut off.

This year started with me looking in the mirror and realising things that I didn’t want to face, as I knew that they will rip all those scars that I had carefully tried to heal, open again to the core. And through this year I’ve looked myself in the mirror with that same look, quite a few times. Feeling lost and not sure what to do about it, feeling like I’m suffocating, feeling disappointed in myself, mind and body. I think that’s been the hardest to take, knowing that now I actually need to take a step back and that I can’t rush like last year. I need to heal, I need to give myself a break, I need to be patient in the many ways of that word. And it’s been very very hard. Depression has crept it’s ugly head at times, but there’s been still something that has kept me without sinking completely.

Photo Jasmin Helmi

Photo Jasmin Helmi

When I saw the photos my friend took last week tonight, I looked at myself in a different way, in new and more positive eyes. I’ve looked myself in the mirror end of this summer with new eyes few times, with a gentle and loving way, saying to myself that “you are beautiful and enough”. And smiled to what that notion has done to my face, it soften and glowing in a way I thought I lost already completely.

And today when I looked at my own face from those photos, I felt so beautiful.

It’s been such a long time I’ve felt like that. Since my operation it’s been so hard to accept the changes on my body, when I can’t be as active as I’ve been. The weight gain and lost of muscle and the cellulite, the evil cellulite that makes you feel so unwomanly for some reason. I looked photos from last summer when I felt so much like I’m in my own skin for the first time, and then this summer I looked at my body in a mirror and it was so far from what it was so little time ago. I tried to say to myself that you’ll get it back soon, but what I just wanted to do deep down was to eat more and make myself feel even worse. Which obviously doesn’t make any sense, but I was at the start again with my body, after all that insanely hard work I’d done for the past 3 something years. I had worked and worked for a body I had always dreamed of, and now it was gone.

It has been such a long summer, and not in a easy breezy nice way. I’ve looked and read and been on the sidelines as others have been living this summer like I wanted to live it. I’ve had to accept the very slow process of healing from two operations at once. Having very good things happening too, like having my own home and not feeling like I want to go again, but not being able to really be happy about all of it. It’s taken me all the way to August to slowly finding me again. 2016 hasn’t been my favorite, at least yet, I might change my mind later about that.

But something changed when I saw myself in those photos. I wasn’t sad anymore. I didn’t looked like there’s pain and frustration behind my eyes. I looked like I am happy again, slow and steady getting my real happy back.

I’m not expecting anything drastic of myself now. I want to show myself that I can again, just like I did little over 3 years ago, when this whole journey started. I’m in a new beginning. But I have great people to make this start easier and filled with deep rooted laughs and tears and honesty.

Let’s do this, once again.

PMA ❤

Photo Jasmin Helmi

Photo Jasmin Helmi