Rullskidkurs med OK Nackhe, oktober 2017, Åkulla.

Jag har tänkt (tro det eller ej…). I min världsbild är Black Friday inte en hållbar pusselbit. ”En köpfri dag”, som inträffar samma dag världen över, låter mycket sundare. Men eftersom det ändå är julklappstider, och jag känner att jag faktiskt har något att bidra med i denna värld, vill jag ändå annonsera ett erbjudande.

Visste ni att jag erbjuder personlig träning, tekniklektioner, coaching, föreläsningar, resor och mycket annat genom mitt eget lilla företag? Mest kring löpning, äventyr och skidor/rullskidor. Men jag är öppen för förslag när vi skräddarsyr just dina eller ditt företags julklappar.

Från och med i morgon, lördagen den 25 november, och hela vägen fram till julafton 24 december skänker jag 25% av alla intäkter från denna verksamhet (inkl presentkort på framtida tjänster) till Naturskyddsföreningen och/eller Protect Our Winters. Eller annan valfri hållbarhetskämpe om så önskas. Prislistor och upplägg är helt individanpassat, så tveka inte att höra av Er till mig för vidare information. Eller läs mer under Tjänster.

Slow enough to win – Chapter 4: Spontanity

So I managed to be slow enough to win a handful of races so far in my life. I figured most of them had something quite interesting in common. The idea of participating appeared between 1 and 48 hours before the actual race took place, often with the approach ”I’m not ready for this kind of race yet, but let’s give it a shot!”. In other words, spontanity seems to be a key to success, at least for me. I struggled a little bit with the dilemma ”Planning or Being spontaneous?” Until I realized – what if they could go hand-in-hand? Maybe we just have to Prepare ourselves for Spontanity?

<- Back to Introduction ”Slow enough to win”
<- Back to Chapter 3 ”Motivation” | Forward to Chapter 5 ”Technique” ->

Spontanity = Focus ?

In the game called life and particularly when it comes to sports and performances, there’ll be small challenges in every step we take. Knowing a race track by heart is of course one of the greatest advantages you can get. But how could we combine those careful preparations with the playful game of spontanity? The answer sounds quite simple, now that I found it. But I will still struggle to perform it in reality. Over and over again. My answer is ”Focus on each playful step – keep your goals as guidelines”. This is suitable for long term preparations aswell as each training or race itself. If you keep your mind on a summer race already during winter training, you will forget to enjoy the present moment, and there’s a huge risk that life will disappoint you along the spring. If you’re thinking of crossing the finish line already at the start of a race, the road will seem endless and painful. If you keep your mind on each step, the surroundings and your own body signals, maybe the cute girl or boy in front of you, the probability of joy/success is much bigger. Compare it to work – if you focus on your salary and at which time you will get home today, the day will seem very long. Focus on your tasks instead and you won’t notice the hours passing.

So where does the spontanity occur? In each step. Even if you might have to plan your life meticulously, try to catch each opportunity to play. Run a different trail, leave the trail, try a race you never thought of, eat I dish you never tried, speak to strangers. Do like your children would do. Do tvärtom.

A healthy approach to big goals (guidelines)

We can’t stop ourselves from big dreams, and we shouldn’t. If your dream is to participate in a huge race on the other side of the world, having to enter a year before  – just do it! Enter, book the trip, prepare yourself. But remember to enjoy the preparations, and keep your road open for detours. Make the road an adventure, and the keep the actual goal as a guideline. I used the word guideline earlier in this post, without further explanation. Guideline has, since a long time, been my word for plans (and goals). They give me a direction and a motivation but they are not making my life completely dependent on their outcomes. Get it? Keep on dreaming, make your plans and set up your goals. But see them as guidelines. Another cliché: Don’t dream your life – Live your dream.

The timing of this article – an example from my reality

I write this post from the race center of this weekend’s Skimo Worldcup. Since I started to try some races in Ski Mountaineering two years ago, I always carried this idea of trying the highest level of races. It doesn’t really make sense for a guy who spent his first 20 years by the sea, 7 meters above sea level. But maybe it’s the impossibility that drives me?

The last few months gave me the worst conditions for preparing – I couldn’t afford to go to the mountains early enough, which left me stuck in the south of Sweden working my ass off trying to make it south before the first race. I tried to find the best hills for uphill roller skiing / running and collect as many vertical meters as possible when I had some time off. Just to arrive in the real mountains and realize I’ve been trying to create a mountain. At sea level. With my tallest peak at about 150 meters…

I did the first WC races in Andorra, which also happened to be my first speed trainings this year. DNF at the first Individual and 26% behind the winner at the Sunday’s Vertical. But the results aren’t as important as the question: Did I enjoy it? No.  Did I enjoy the preparations? Not really, except for a few moments. This week, I went back to my heart (and my wallet…) and asked: where do you want to go? I ended up running 4 hours on  tricky trails in Montserrat close to Barcelona, and spent 24 hours in the center of the city. Getting around on my longboard…

Meanwhile, most of my colleagues/concurrents spent an entire week exploring the area of the upcoming races. I’m sure they’ll have a huge advantage, physically and mentally, in terms of doing good results. I wish them good luck and I admire their ability to focus. But as much as that, I’m happy to be back on MY own path, ready to enjoy the World Cup and the mountains from MY perspective.

Slow enough to win – Chapter 3: Motivation

This chapter wasn’t part of my original plan for these articles, even if I touch the subject in many of the others. But it struck me lately, like a baseball bat in my face. The last few weeks, I felt like I’d lost my ”religion”. Training and racing wasn’t a pleasure anymore. My smile was gone and I had to force myself through that door out…

<- Back to Introduction ”Slow enough to win”
<- Back to Chapter 2 ”How to start” | Forward to Chapter 4 ”Spontanity” ->

So I had to restart. Return to the beginning. What made me smile before? Which parts of training and/or racing are important to me? What makes it worth it?

Happiness isn’t just a factor that should be the base of all choices we make in life. It’s also as important as (or more important than?) your physical capacity when it comes to performances. You can be in your best shape ever, and prepare perfectly for a race or an adventure. But if the task itself doesn’t make you happy, if you can’t make it with a smile on your face, the race is lost before it even started.

Unlike other parts of preparation, we can’t force ourselves to be motivated and stay happy. There are of course plenty of things we can do to be more happy, and some mental coaches even say that Happiness is a choice. Maybe it is, and one part of their message is the same as mine. Do things that makes you happy, in a way that makes you happy.

It might sound simple, but it changes. Like my year that passed:
Autumn 2015: Racing Falktouren, Interval training with runFBG and ”gubbdistans” with FBG Roadrunners, or just getting back to training made me happy.
– Early winter 2015/16: Nothing made me happy. Too much stress made me sick.
– Late winter 2016: Ski mountaineering and sunny adventures at high altitude made me happy.
– Spring/early summer 2016: Being in super shape for running after the skimo season, winning races (or just running them?), any training made me happy.
– Late summer 2016: Roller skiing up big mountain passes made me happy.
– Autumn 2016: Still trying to find out what makes me happy.

So, it changes. But are there any factors that stays along no matter what? I’m still trying to find them, but here’s some suggestions when it comes to me:

1. Collecting true stories my grandchildren will never believe
2. Sunny weather 
(But where’s the sun in Halland in november?!?!)
3. Exploring
(But what to explore in Halland in november?!?!)
4. Powder skiing (But where to ski powder in Halland in november?!!?)

… Are all factors that almost always makes me happy. Other things might be being in shape and winning races. But they are nearly impossible to plan / predict. And as I wrote earlier, happiness is a basic condition for winning rather than a product of winning.

This chapter tends to be a analyse of myself rather than advice for you, but my message is: Ask yourself these questions. Even if you might not need them right now, save your thoughts for the future. Pick them up whenever you may lack motivation. When you can’t find the smile of yesterday.

Don’t hesitate to make a comment here, send me an e-mail (info@andreaslundblad.se) or Instagram-post (@animaluminium / #slowenoughtowin) with your own ideas on the subject.

Slow enough to win – Chapter 2: How to start

A chapter dedicated to those who don’t like training or think they’re not capable of running etc. Basically, for the ones who struggle to start. We can all run. We’re born to run. Give me a chance to prove it!

<- Back to Introduction ”Slow enough to win”
<- Back to Chapter 1 ”Listen to your heart” | Forward to Chapter 3 ”Motivation” ->

100 metres of speed is more fun than 5 kilometres of pain

When you think about running, you might picture a long sequence of pain and a heavy body who doesn’t want at all. What if you turn it over? What if you picture a short moment of feeling like you’re the fastest in the world? Go out for a regular walk and try this:

1. Run fast (not full speed but fast). And stop before it hurts. How far did you get? 100 metres? 50? It doesn’t matter.

2. Walk until you feel ready for another short sequence of running.

3. Repeat step 1 and 2 until you finished your walk. Go home. Rest.

The running blocks will get longer and appear more often for each time you try this. Be patient, don’t push yourself too hard, and you’ll soon be able to run all the way. With a smile!

Slow enough to win – Chapter 1: Listen to your heart

Getting enough training is way easier than getting enough recovery

When people ask me for coaching or training advices, I always start at the heart. Literally and figuratively. The most important questions are of course ”What makes you want to do this? Where is the love?”. But this chapter is all about the literal aspect. Your heart gives you exact and measurable information about the status of your body – so learn how to read it!

<- Back to Introduction ”Slow enough to win” | Forward to Chapter 2 ”How to start” ->

1. Checking the resting heart rate

No matter how you choose to live your life, each day will put you through different stresses, workloads, thoughts, conflicts and challenges. It’s impossible to measure every detail and it’s impact. But your heart will react on the total pressure. Checking your resting heart rate (HRrest) on a daily basis / routine is one of the simplest and most effective way to keep your training at a good level and gain a steady progress. I’ll give you some suggestions on how to get started, and then we’ll go on to using this information.

– Sleep with your HR monitor / sleeping test each night – The geekiest, but most precise method

– Keep your HR monitor by the bed, and put it on for a few minutes each morning. Note the lowest value – Still geeky, but a bit more precise than my last suggestion:

– Count your heartbeats for 20 seconds each morning and multiply by 3 to get your resting heart rate – Simplest, cheapest

2. How to use the information

As I already mentioned, the resting heart rate is a summary of all the impacts. You’ll notice variations due to work, private life, training, physical health, sleep quality, and so on. But it all comes down to: when your body tells you to take it easy – take it easy. Recovery doesn’t always mean ”Stay in bed and eat candy” (but sometimes it actually does!!). You might find out that a 1-hour walk or a bike ride, or even a short run, helps you to recover faster. This is all up to you to find out. I’ll give you the basic tools and I’m available for further questions.

Some basic rules:
Normal HRrest (+/- 1-2 bpm)

Go for it! Your body seems recovered and your ready to play!

High HRrest (3-4 bpm above normal)
Analyse: What did I do the last days? Why is it high? If you relate it to mental stress, you probably feel better after some training. But keep it short/easy!

Higher HRrest (>5 bpm above normal)
Rest! You might get sick!

3. Why?

Recovery is always more important for your progress than the training itself. In fact, training degrades your body while recovery rebuilds it. If you push yourself too hard, and don’t get enough recovery between your workouts, you’ll break your body down and get injured or sick. Your HRrest will tell you if this day is a day for training or recovery. the figures below is a try to a further explanation.

Recovery process - basic curve

Recovery process – basic curve

Comparing recovery progresses

Comparing recovery progresses

Slow enough to win

Falkenberg, Sweden, October 2nd 2016

Rulla ner för svensk version

EN When I started to find my way back to training about a year ago, my development and results were way beyond any expectations. After less than a month of training, I suprised myself by running slow enough to win ”Svart bana”, the shortest edition of Kullamannen 2016. People asked me questions. What do I eat? How much time do I spend on training? Which planet am I from? Simply: What’s the secret?

The idea of collecting my thoughts around, and finally answer those questions crossed my mind during the summer. What if I can inspire some of you, and give you a little push in a good direction? So far, I drafted seven simple chapters on different subjects within my philosophy of running / physical performances. They will be published here, one after the other, during the autumn of 2016, so keep your eyes open!

Chapter 1: Listen to your heart
Chapter 2: How to start
Chapter 3: Motivation
Chapter 4: Spontanity


SE När jag började hitta min väg tillbaka till träning för ungefär ett år sedan, var utvecklingen och resultaten långt över mina förväntningar. Efter mindre än en månads träning överraskade jag mig själv med att springa tillräckligt långsamt för att vinna ”Svart bana”, den kortaste banan på Kullamannen 2016. Folk i min omgivning började ställa frågor. Vad äter jag? Hur mycket tid lägger jag på träning? Vilken planet kommer jag från? Kort sagt: Vad är hemligheten?

Idén om att samla mina tankar kring, och slutligen svara på dessa frågor slog mig under sommaren. Kanske kan jag inspirera några av Er, och ge Er en liten knuff i rätt riktning? Än så länge har jag skissat ihop sju enkla kapitel om min filosofi när det kommer till löpning och fysiska prestationer. De kommer att publiceras här, en i taget, under hösten 2016, så håll ögonen öppna!

Kapitel 1 – Listen to your heart (Än så länge på engelska, kanske skriver en svensk version om ni ber snällt)

En vår som fick vara vår

Det känns som att de senaste åren har saknat en årstid. Riktigt givande vintrar har avlösts av vackra varma somrar och VÄLDIGT MYCKET HÖST… Våren är dock en årstid som jag inte riktigt mindes smaken av. Fram tills i år.

Kontinuerlig träning
Det som kanske syns tydligast, och är mest mätbart, är nog min träning och mina prestationer i olika tävlingar. Maj 2016 var den första månaden på många år som jag lyckades göra idrotten till en stor, viktig och naturlig del av livet. Halvvägs in i juni känns det fortfarande som att detta skulle kunna hålla för alltid, men än så länge är jag glad att ha hittat tillbaka till en hälsosam aktivitetsnivå. Och kanske framförallt, en inspiration och utvecklingskurva som överträffar allt jag tidigare upplevt. En ny vår.

Tävlings- och testresultat
Vårvintern avslutades, för min del, med att vi lyckades vinna vår kategori i Patrouille des Glaciers i slutet av april. Tävlingen var vinterns stora mål men jag bråkade med olika sjukdomar och dålig form i stort sett hela säsongen. Därför var det en stor lättnad att jag var starkast i laget när tävlingsdagen kom, och det som skulle varit vinterns avslutning blev nog snarare ett startskott för våren.

Heading for the podium! Picture taken ten days ago, on our way up the last hour of PDG. Magically capturing one of my strongest moments of the race. And this season. And this life. Thank you Tim, whoever you are! And of course @raphaeladdy and @jo.rausis. Up next: #falkloppet ! #Repost @timlloydphoto ・・・ Two members of a team compete in the Patrouille des Glaciers, a ski touring race from Zermatt to Verbier. The first race occurred under a warm and clear night followed by a beautiful morning. I was sad to hear that the second race had to be cancelled as the whole of the Alps have been blanketed in another round of winter. With the race held every two years many will have to wait until next time. Hopefully then I’ll be on the start line with them. #pdg2016 #skiing #winter

Ett foto publicerat av Andreas Lundblad (@animaluminium)

Falkloppet avgjordes bara några dagar efter att jag anlänt till Sverige i början av maj. Idén var att få en tidig indikator på löpformen inför våren och sommaren, som ett litet test. Det tog mig 36 minuter och 11 sekunder att genomföra de 10 kilometrarna längs Ätran och vallarna, vilket var min snabbaste miltid på nästan fem år. Positivt överraskad och totalt utslagen men ändå en riktigt bra början.

Det gick några veckor med helt okej träning innan jag, väldigt spontant, anmälde mig till Hallandsleden Terräng 30 km. Det har gått nästan sju år sedan jag sprang så långt, och jag tvekade in i det sista innan jag bestämde mig för att ge det en chans. Tanken var först att testa den korta banan på 10 km men enligt säkra källor är första 20 km den finaste delen. Något som jag numera kan intyga. Till slut gick starten och jag var fast besluten att försöka springa Tillräckligt långsamt för att kunna vinna. Egentligen trodde jag nog inte att jag hade en chans, men jag visste åtminstone att min enda chans är att hålla rätt tempo från början. Jimmy Jacobsson stack iväg direkt och jag brydde mig aldrig om att hänga på, men jag fick åtminstone en betryggande andraplacering redan ut från start. Det tog inte många kilometer innan jag kom ikapp Jimmy, och redan innan vi sprungit fem kilometer kunde jag höra att han kämpade för att hänga med. Min taktik hade hållt dit fram, men jag visste att vi hade 25 km kvar och att han är betydligt mer rutinerad än mig på de längre distanserna. Så jag fortsatte att försöka hålla nere farten och pulsen för att spara på krutet tills han eventuellt skulle komma ikapp igen. Men fem kilometer blev tio, som blev tjugo och när jag nådde målet efter 30 km var jag återigen positivt överraskad. Tiden 2:16 på en väldigt kuperad och teknisk bana var nästan 5 minuter snabbare än jag hade vågat hoppas på och en kvart snabbare än jag vågat tro på. Dessutom räckte det till en segermarginal på nästan 18 minuter. Tillräckligt långsamt för att vinna.

Bara tre dagar senare var det dags för 3000m-test med RunFBG på Falkenbergs IP. Benen var fortfarande tunga efter söndagens lopp men jag tog mig runt på 9:38, vilket kanske inte är någon världsklass men för mig var det nytt personbästa. För första gången sedan 2012 kunde jag notera ett nytt sådant på en löpdistans, och oavsett vilken sådan är det en oerhört viktig milstolpe och inspiration.

Plötsligt hade jag varit i Sverige en hel månad och det blev dags för årets andra millopp, Friskusloppet. Vinden låg på från sydväst, som om den aldrig gjort annat, och jag bestämde mig för att hålla den klassiska Friskuslopps-taktiken. Gå inte upp och dra en meter i motvinden söderut, oavsett hur långsamt det går. Mycket riktigt började det med ett taktiskt rävspel där farten pendlade mellan 3:25 och 4:00 per km. Ingen ville dra upp tempot och efter 3-4 km var en stor del av startfältet samlat i en enda tätklunga. Plötsligt kom det en telefon-kille och sprang om. Vi var alla lite förvånade av att det var en kille med telefon på armen som drog upp tempot, men ingen vågade låta honom dra iväg själv så plötsligt var vi 5 personer som låg och hetsade i 2:55-3:10. Alldeles för snabbt men det varade bara i någon minut. Vid vändningen efter 4,5 km var vi fyra personer i tätklungan men telefon-killen fick släppa ganska snart och inte långt efter var det min tur. Jag hade misslyckats lite med att hålla min egen fart, men å andra sidan var det kul och lärorikt att få vara med och leka i tätklungan. Resten av loppet sprang jag och bevakade min tredjeplats, som jag höll hela vägen in i mål. Visserligen tog jag in lite på tvåan på slutet, men jag var väldigt nöjd med att få gå upp på prispallen och dessutom tiden 35:19, nästan en minut snabbare än Falkloppet en månad tidigare. Och bara några sekunder från officiellt personbästa på 10 km.

Senare samma vecka skulle RunFBG åka iväg till Trollhättan på ett litet löparäventyr. 10,6 km genom slussområdet och dess 1040 trappsteg. Idén om att åka med hade spökat i bakhuvudet i några veckor, men dagen var egentligen bortlovad till annat. Fem minuter före avresa tog ”vi” dock det mycket impulsiva beslutet att pausa Elins packning för att åka med till Trollhättan City TrailLoppet skulle starta kl 14:50 och jag hade inte hunnit tänka på lunch, så jag åt en halv chipspåse, en Magnumglass och en Enervit Pre Sport i bussen på väg upp. Detta svaldes ner med vatten, kaffe och sportdryck. De andra skrattade lite åt mig men jag var inte orolig alls. Vetskapen att jag tidigare gjort mina bästa resultat på impulsiva beslut och McDonald’s-mat ingav istället hopp. Under uppvärmningen höll jag på att springa vilse bland slussarna och missa starten, men jag hittade tillbaka i tid. Löparlegenden Rune Larsson intervjuades före starten och sa bland annat att ”Om någon klarar den här banan under 50 minuter är den ett mindre fenomen”. Som alltid startade jag med orden ”Spring tillräckligt långsamt så har du chans att vinna”. Denna gången var det ett tiotal som brände iväg alldeles för fort, men de orkade hålla farten förvånansvärt länge. Efter 2-3 km började det dock splittras lite och vi var en liten klunga som höll ihop ett tag. Jag upprepade orden för mig själv; ”Tillräckligt långsamt. Tillräckligt långsamt”. Vi hade inte ens kommit halvvägs när jag snubblade förbi ledaren i en liten utförslöpa, och plötsligt låg jag först. Något orolig för att bränna av för mycket slog jag av en aning på takten men märkte ändå att tvåan hade svårt att hänga på. Så jag fortsatte i mitt ”tillräckligt långsamt”-tempo. I en av uppförstrapporna framåt slutet av loppet skuttade jag på lite för fort och fick nästan gå de första stegen när det planade ut ovanför. Benen sved av mjölksyra och jag började titta över axeln, övertygad om att de andra skulle komma ikapp. Jag lyckades dock behålla min ledning och sprang i mål på 48:05. En riktigt skön seger på en rolig bana, speciellt med Runes ord i färskt minne…

Tävlingsresultat och träningsglädje i all ära, men det finns två individer som gjort hela skillnaden den här våren. Efter många år av ensamhet öppnade Elin och Rocky sitt hus och sina hjärtan för mig. Vi har delat allt. Kravlöst. Öppet. Accepterande. Jag har fått vara mig själv varje sekund och jag har fått känna att jag betyder något för någon. På riktigt. Igår gav de sig ut i världen. Elin och Rocky. Jag var stolt och glad för deras skull när de lämnade Sverige för sitt nästa kapitel i de franska Alperna, och evigt tacksam för att de hjälpt till att ge mitt liv en riktning. Det ska bli mycket intressant att se hur det utvecklar sig framöver, när jag ska göra allting själv igen. Det är ofantligt tråkigt och kan gå precis hur som helst. Men nu vet jag hur lite (fast ändå mycket) som behövs för att kompassen ska stanna upp ett tag. Tack för den här våren. En vår som fick vara vår.

☀️ #tarvarapådagen #hoffsnäs #frukost

Ett foto publicerat av Elin Fredin (@elinfredin)

”I’ll just go check out the town. Might go for a litte run aswell.”

I guess my next post should have been some kind of summary of the winter season and the surrealistic feeling of receiving a Patrouille des Glaciers gold medal two days ago. But it has to wait. I have a story to tell…

The sun had just started to heat up our campsite, a few kilometres from Moab, on my first morning in the Utah desert. My plan when I got on my crappy mountainbike that morning was to check out Moab, and maybe go or a run if I could find some interesting place for that. I didn’t even get to that town before I passed some signs directing me to ”Arches National Park”. It was April 22nd of 2013, exactly three years ago. As I look back on that day, it might have been the first day of my life. Life as I define it. 

Thinking to myself ”Andie was talking about those Arches, maybe I should check out the opening hours and prices for that park”, I headed to the entrance. I’m not sure if it was a day of free entrance or if it was free because I entered on a bike. But I didn’t have to pay so I figured I could have a look at those arches. Somehow I filled up my water bottles by that entrance, so I guess I must’ve been feeling I was heading for a longer adventure than expected. After three hours, 50 kilometres and an extremely beautiful scenery, I reached the end of the Park road at Devil’s Garden. Bikes were not allowed in there so I locked up my bike and went for a run. With nothing more than a map in my hand, I remember people asking me ”Where’s your water?”. ”Oh, it’s at my bike, I’ll be back there soon……..”

I was almost at the very end of that ”Devil’s garden” when I met Dorothy, the lady who asked me ”Are you an ultra runner or something?”. I said ”No no, I just run a little bit for myself whenever I feel like”. She also asked if she could have a picture of me, since it had been looking ”so cool” when I came running along that ridge. There’s not many pictures from my life, so I said ”Sure, if you can send it to me aswell somehow?”. I gave her my e-mail address and went back some 50 metres along the path, trying to ”remake” that run that looked ”so cool”. After speaking a little bit more, I went on running. The 12-13 kilometres through Devil’s garden took me almost two hours and I remember stopping for a rest due to ”not feeling that good”. I guess I was at bigger risk than I realised, but this beautiful scenery was so addictive. And it’s hard to turn back once you started, right?

Arches National Park, Moab, Utah (Photo: Dorothy Gibson)

Arches National Park, Moab, Utah (Photo: Dorothy Gibson)

However, the road to Devil’s garden had been mostly uphill so the return was a little bit shorter. Even with some detours within the park, I arrived in Moab already two hours after finishing my ”little run”. In other words, I went for a run and I checked out the town. Just like planned. I just made a little bike detour along the way. It also sums up as my, by far, longest ”training” ever. About seven hours if I don’t count the pauses. Maybe I was some kind of ”Ultra runner”, after all?

I thought I’d never get those pictures Dorothy had been taking. But about two months later, a few weeks after coming back to Sweden, I received an e-mail. One of the pictures in that e-mail is easily a top-5 among my favourite photos from my life so far. Not only because it’s from the first day of my life, but also because I went for another adventure the next day. Biking/running to one of those snowy peaks you can see in the background. But that’s another true story my grandchildren will never believe…

Devil's Garden, Moab, Utah

This picture carries so many words… Thank you Dorothy Gibson.

 Map of my route that day (except the running, GPS device stayed with the bike)

Heroes – about the people who inspires me

One of the biggest made a statement today. Bruce Springsteen is cancelling one of his shows due to discrimination and violation of human rights. It sent my thoughts on a path. A path which passed my first thought ever of a reason to become famous. It went on to thinking of what makes some people inspiring for real, and ended up with… A car commercial (!) Does it sound strange? Well, let me explain!

The statement: http://brucespringsteen.net/?p=10243

Let’s start with Bruce. There’s been times when I felt a bit… Geeky? When I referred too much to the same persons. Over and over again. And Bruce is certainly one of those. Until today, I’ve never really had an explanation. What makes him special? I’ve been to 5 hour concerts where he didn’t get off stage one single time. 65+ years old… I’ve listened to the Born to run record before each race for a few years now. And I even have one of his quotes, in his handwriting, tattoed on my arm. But I still couldn’t explain WHY. Why is it him, and a few other persons on this earth, who gets so much of my respect?

It hit me today, with that statement he made against open unfair discrimination. He’s for real. He has the power to make a statement that reaches us all, and when he does, it comes from the heart. It doesn’t come from his wallet (actually, it will affect his economy negatively since he’ll refund the tickets for the show) and it’s not even his own business. He’s not one of the victims of the discrimination. It’s completely altrustic, all from love. He’s for real.

So this led me to that thought about being famous. I write sometimes. Silly love songs, thoughts that comes from my heart. Blog posts that I somehow believe could inspire someone. I post pictures and thoughts just because someone might laugh about it. Or get inspired. There’s something inside of me that reaches out to make a difference, if even just for one person. Sometimes it’s just for myself. I had those dreams about being on a stage, performing or speaking to a huge crowd. Maybe we all did? But I never really saw a reason, a purpose, in becoming famous. But I saw one today. Goldhearted people has a reason to become famous. And I’m happy they do. We need more people like Bruce. More people who can rise up and make statements against discrimination, pollution and war. Just to mention a few subjects.

So my thoughts were still wandering that path when I got to think of other people who inspired me. Other people who are for real. The most recent one that came across me must be Kilian JornetI’ve been hearing that name every now and then, ever since I fell in love with the mountains some years ago. I didn’t really listen to that name, and I didn’t really read about him or care. I saw his name in the top of some race results and I figured he must be strong. And I got to know that he shares his life with a swedish girl called Emelie Forsberg, who’s basically known for the same thing but among the women. However. I had this chance to represent Sweden in a world cup earlier this winter. But I didn’t know it would give me a ride through France with Kilian and Emelie in the driver’s seat.

Along that drive, and the week in Andorra, I got the impression this Kilian was something more than just a strong athlete. People wanted him to sign books about his life, and I heard stories about his support for the himalayan earthquake victims some years ago. But he also turned to me, if even just for some seconds at the lunch table, seeming genuinly aware and caring for people around him. I can’t really say I know this guy. We shared a long drive, one training and a few words that week. But I know one thing. This guy is for real. This guy has a heart of gold and he’s doing what he does out of love. Love for the mountains, in his case.

So how did all this end up with a car commercial? Well, I couldn’t let go the thought of that car we went to Andorra in. Something about the lifestyle and attitude of Kilian told me that he wouldn’t spend his money on a fully equipped Mercedes Marco Polo. For some reason, I googled it. For the first time in my life, I was watching a car commercial that touched me for real. Not only because I’ve traveled in that particular car (not just that model) and with that particular guy driving. But also for the message it tells. Because I know those words comes from the heart of this guy and not the car company. Mercedes might still have nothing else but money on their mind, but I know the message and the story is for real. And his voice is important. Meant to be heard. Meant to inspire.

So this is to the people who inspires. To the true and real role models. The ones who lives their passion out of love. The people who makes a difference in this fragile world. The people who deserves that power, maybe because they never claimed it…

To the heroes. Thank you.