First Open Water In Ounasjoki

First Open Water In Ounasjoki

I'm almost sorry for not posting anything for a while. We were in Norway again a few weeks ago and I've been mentally and physically exhausted after that. I don't know what happened, we did nothing unusual. It's been hard enough to get myself to work, and I don't want to write anything when I'm so tired that I cannot even sleep (or think).

I mostly ride with boys and I think I need to do twice the work they do. Oh my god, my legs are so weak compared to theirs! My heart beats faster and recovering from a harder performance takes more time than it used to. Also my resting heart rate has been too high. I think I'm trying to tell you that I'm getting old. 

However, there is one thing in which the boys don't beat me yet and from which I recover fast. 


I was a compete swimmer through my college times. I quit when I was 20 and going to university. By that time I was already an oldie. Swimmers peak very young, you can recognise that by looking the lists in Olympics.  

I wasn't very good, but my team was excellent and they were also my best friends. Now when I think of it, I think they motivated me more than my personal records. 

I'm a 100 percent advocate of endurance sport, but swimming is much more that. First of all, it's probably the only sport in which you'll be punished for breathing. Physical size and strength are not enough. You need to have a great technique and endurance, and still you might be lacking some abilities. Like fast enough reactivity.     

However, water is a very tender element. It allows your body to do great amount of hours without instant injuries. It took years for me to understand that two hours of swimming and two hours of irunning are not comparable. Even harder thing has been to understand that sometimes an exercise can last less than an hour. I still rarely count them as a real performance. 

I know many people view swimming as the most boring sport. It might be so if you think of it as a practise during which you go back and forth the 25 meters pool sixty or 120 times. Sometimes I use psychology for getting the exercise done. The thing is that time stops when you jump into the pool. It starts to run again when you get out of it. 

Anssi and I bought wetsuits last summer. They have turned out to be a very good investment! Open water swimming has nothing to do with pool swimming. I cannot swim for hours in a river or a lake (I haven't been able to test my suit in a sea yet). We have two rivers in Rovaniemi and both of them have strong streams. The water is darkish, so the visibility is not great. In a pool I unconsciously follow the lines on the bottom, or when I swim backstroke the roof texture plays that role. They keep me swimming straight. In open water there is not a single benchmark. I have to stop frequently to check the direction. 

I opened the open water season 2016 last night in Ounasjoki. We live near to Arktikum, the museum and science centre in Rovaniemi and there is a nice little beach just behind the main building. 

The weather has been great and warm this week and the other day we noticed that the birches were already blossoming. The sun is up all day and night long and there are no mosquitoes yet. A very good time of the year. 

The water was chilly, but the evening was warm. This is the first time during my ten years in Rovaniemi when I got the summer feeling in May.

Hope everybody remembers to do pleasurable things.