''MY BIGGEST OPPONENT IS MYSELF''
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WORKOUT AT THE LEVI SKI CENTER IN FINLAND

Through the 15th-18th of November, I had a lighter training week at the Levi ski center, spent comfortably on both freestyle and classic skis, a welcome change of pace from running workouts. Altogether I traveled almost 100 kilometers on a low pulse, with a longer 4-hour trek in between.

My first surprise on the ski course was definitely the sheer amount of different international teams who had also come to train on the Levi ski courses. This was probably the only place in all of Europe where one could ski at the time. I counted around 10-15 teams and this was the first time I ever got to see skiers from South Korea.

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At first it was embarrassing to travel among them, as these skiers were literally flying on their skis, but when I saw others like myself there I realized I was fine.

The finished ski course was 5 kilometers long, or 10 kilometers back and forth of a proper course with pleasant incline and a few gentler parts. On the day of my 4-hour trip I decided to explore parts of the course without ski tracks, and I added around 8 kilometers of undiscovered nature to my trip. The training week skiing in the forest, not knowing where and when the course will end, was unbelievably awesome.

One day, the weather was nice and when I was going down one of the tallest mountains of the ski course, a herd of deer had crossed the road a second before my arrival. When I got down, I sighed in relief, glad I didn’t hit any of them. My speed going down was around 70 km/h, so nothing good would have come from hitting those horns — sometimes it’s nice to make fun of oneself like that. Skiing felt super, and some people going off-course was just part of the experience.

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I was definitely personally motivated by the handicapped skiers, who moved forward using literally only the help of their own hands on specially made skis, and a Ukrainian girl who skid up the inclines with one hand. This is a sight that gives you motivation and strength, and it makes me think of all of us who still have all of our body parts and our health.

Every evening after training I got to relax in the Levi spa, where I could cut loose and let my body rest. Naturally, sporty activities were available there as well, such as bowling and good old playing cards.

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The 18th of November was a workout-free day for me, so I had nothing to do but rest; this didn’t work out, since my good friends woke me up. After my friends had gone skiing for the morning, I decided to simply take some photos and get acquainted with the various local shops of Levi, to see what goodies they sell. Naturally, I ended up between Levi as they came from their workout. We had 5 hours left until the plane departure, so we decided to head back to the Levi mountain to enjoy skiing. The last time I got to be on freestyle skis was around 4-5 years ago, since I ruined my knees with dancing and became unable to pursue that hobby any further.

At first I was all cramped up, but after we had gone down the mountain a few times I had remembered it all again. Before going up the mountain, my friend told me to put my helmet on, and I even told him I wouldn’t but I eventually did anyway. After I jinxed it, a kid hit my friend on the mountain and knocked him over, but it was a happy accident with no injuries, even if it could’ve gone poorly. Another lesson to rather be safe than sorry.

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Here’s where I’d like to say that the best partners for traveling and training are your best friends! I’m truly lucky to have friends like these, who are also interested in sports and who have always invited me along to these sporting events! I’m proud of all of my friends and I wish to thank you all for supporting me with your sincere joking and ribbing!

 

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