Mikael’s story: How it all began

Mikael’s story: How it all began

Born to move

I could say that I was born with a sport attitude and all spare time was spent doing one sport or another. As a child the summertime was mostly spent orienteering, but I also had time for track and field. Especially pole vault and javelin were near to my heart. During the wintertime skiing was a natural choice and often our family headed off to Lapland to cross country ski during holidays.

I was born with orienteering shoes on. We spent all the summers traveling from one orienteering competition to another. For me as a child it was fun, meeting friends and playing around in the forest. It was not too serious training.

Forest and nature has always been playing an important role in my life. As a teenager we used to hike with my dad in Lappish wilderness. We also did long bicycle trips in southern Finland and Åland.

Growing up and falling in love

In Finland we have obligatory military service. Even though I’m not comfortable with heights I wanted to challenge myself. I applied to Utti Jaeger Regiment to do my obligatory army service to become a paratrooper and I was accepted. During this experience I learned many different skills like how to face difficult circumstances and how not to give up. This was an excellent learning year for me.

Around the age of 20 I decided to run my first marathon and after that my focus shifted from orienteering to running.

 After that I started to study theoretical physics at the University of Åbo Akademi. I did my summer traineeship in Geneva at CERN in 1993, where I met my soulmate Sari. And the rest is history…

The best things in life are free

John Simpson

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