Exploring my Finnish identity


Cross-country skiing seems to be one of our national sports. It’s one of those things you’re expected to know. The expectation somehow comes with being Finnish: just like knowing how to light a fire under the sauna stones, how to manage walking or driving on slippery roads, or how to keep the heat in the house.

I’ve never been much of a skier, even though I remember loving our childhood skiing trips to Lapland, but conveniently, I got a great recycled Christmas gift: used skis, skiing shoes and poles.

Of course I wanted to try them right away. The only baby hick-up is, I have not really touched skis in about 20 years.

The ski tracks in the photo start literally from our back yard. I take two steps, and I’m on the tracks. They’ve created tracks to a much used dirt path, where people can walk in the middle and ski on the sides. Pragmatic, eh? However, in the nearby forest or fields, ski tracks seem to be somewhat sacred. You’re not supposed to walk there, and if you do, the skiers will usually remind you not to.

A little shaky at the beginning, better balanced after a few hundred meters, and thoroughly enjoying after half an hour. Tonight I glided through the white fields and forest for about an hour, heated the sauna afterwards, and felt like heaven.

This might be my kind of exercise after all. Maybe it’s in these Finnish genes?

♣ In the meantime: I recently watched a bad movie, The Nines. And I wonder, why the kind people at Netflix say “intelligent” when they really want to say “incomprehensible”?

♥ Song of the day: Marvin Gaye, Inner City Blues (it’s such a great, great song)

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