Tag Archives: lifestyle

Running really is a drug

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photo: Naturalrunningcenter.com

I used to run only to catch a bus, if I really was in a hurry. I hated running. It makes you sweat and it hurts everywhere in your body. At school me and my friends walked the Cooper test as a protest.

So it’s a big surprise that today I can’t live without running! It really is a drug, like they say (although I never believed it before).

How did it happen? I don’t remember, but I’m sure that I was alone when I discovered the real joy of running. This has happened to me with all the sports I didn’t like at school but later on I’ve come to adore.

I guess I’m a bit of a rebel and a free soul so I don’t like if someone tells me to do something – especially if it involves moving my body physically.

Probably I just one pretty day, a couple of years ago, went for a walk and suddenly decided to run a bit. And the next day a bit more. And more and more. Little by little I noticed that it’s actually fun and feels good, if I can decide the velocity, when to stop, where to do some streching and when to stop to admire the view. I only run outside and I’m picky with my routes.

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Luckily near our home in Kamppi, the centre of Helsinki, there are some excellent paths. My favourite ones are the one around Ruoholahti, first running on one side of the canal till the bridge and then the other side back.

My other favourite is the sea path behind the cementery of Hietalahti. Amazing views right by the sea, and normally not too many people either.

I always run alone. Only a couple of times I’ve gone running with my boyfriend but it’s just not the same. I guess I’m not of those runners who can chat about their day at the office, what to cook for dinner etc. routine stuff while running. For me running is quality time of my own, with my music and personal rhythm.

Nowadays I need my weekly dosis of running, normally I run 2-3 times a week, half an hour at a time. But this depends.

I’m completely hooked, because I get anxious if I can’t go running for one reason or another. I’ve postponed dates to go running (+ shower afterwards) and now I reserve time for my running sessions in the calendar.

After running, I feel happy and relaxed. Always.

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This post on running is my response to Daily Post’s Weekly Writing Challenge: Fit to Write. Thank you for the inspiration!

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How is it living in a cold country like Finland?

A question I’m constantly asked by foreigners when traveling anywhere outside the Nordic countries. Well, maybe Russia and Baltic countries included.

So, how can people live in a country where it’s always cold?

Ok, first of all it’s not cold all the time, all year round. Of course not. Otherwise we’d have all now emigrated to the Southern Europe.

Helsinki can also be like this! My favourite rocks at Eiranranta

A small forest with morning sun in Tampere, Finland

Also, cold is a relative term – the human body can get used to very strange conditions, also to -20C. At least for a couple of days of the year.

I feel many Finns have some genetic mutation, as they almost never complain about the cold. Or the weather in general. They also think it’s not good behaviour to do it – believe me, I’ve heard so many times the comment “please don’t complain, it could be worse“.

Well, here the criteria for bad weather is quite different as in most of the countries.

If you’re interested, here comes the average temperature of Helsinki during different months, as published on Travelhappy Climate Charts for Helsinki.

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You can read more about the Finnish seasons (the change is amazing!) on the page of Ilmatieteen laitos, the Finnish Meteorological Institute. They offer interesting info on the Finnish weather and its different phenomena in general.

Anyway, today I seriously reflected the question about the weather. We’ve been 2 weeks island hopping in Greece with my boyfriend with a temperature of 25-30C and guaranteed sunshine every day.

The thing is that I’m a person that seriously loves sun and warm weather. Especially in the winter, I ask myself why was I born in Finland where most of the time I’m freezing. (I also complained about the chilly wind in the evenings in Greece so you get an idea of my desire for hot weather).

Actually one of my life goals, which I confirmed this summer, is to be able to spend one entire year in a summer dress and flip flops. Let’s see when and where…

Today, when we returned to Helsinki (wearing my summer dress and flip flops) it was raining and +19C. Literally a chilly welcome. Eventually the sun started to shine and the temperature rose a bit.

Still, I wonder how this kind of very unpredictable weather affects the Finns living here? Does it make one suspicious towards the world… and everything? You can never trust that it will be sunny even for 3 days in a row – and the weather forecasts change all the time.

Winter evening in Kuusamo, Eastern Finland. To admire a snowflake you must go outside…

So the final answer to why reminds in the air – and in the minds of the ancestors who came to live in Finland.

Of course there are many excellent reasons for living in Helsinki. And the few hot sunny days we have really are wonderful!

Also there are many people in Finland who don’t share my view. Their attitude to weather is stoic.

Or maybe they mystically forget the bad days and remember only the best of all our seasons: the bright snowy days, spring blossoming and autumn leaves with amazing colors…

Autumn at its best! At Billnäs village on the South coast of Finland

Yes, of course all this is nice. Personally I just can’t forget that many many mornings you wake up and the world is grey and you go to sleep and the only change is that now the world is black. For me this is pretty depressing, for many Finns not.

I guess that’s the trick of living here! You need a bad memory or some genetic modification…?

Rowing my little boat on a rainy day, in Tampere, Finland

Rowing on the same lake on a sunny day. Quite a different feeling.

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