We have been side by side since 1993, as a couple but also as a team. I, Sari, I have always been interested in sports, but I have never seriously competed in sports. I have watched my father’s crazy endurance activities since I was a child; his long bicycle trips, Sulkava rowing, and skiing events have inspired me year after year. I’ve heard stories about my uncle’s bicycle trips to Spain and back before I was born. So, all extreme sports interest me, including, of course, ultra running. Our family did not have a car, so I used to walk, run or cycle everywhere in a small town where we lived. I never took a bus to school, I rode my bike it in all weather conditions. In the wintertime we did lots of cross-country skiing. As a child we went camping a lot, so I was used to being in the wild.
I am strongly interested in the positive effects of sports in our daily lives, how it impacts our attitude and doing. I do not see ultra sports as only physical, as it affects every part of our lives. That is why I want to do some extreme sports myself, such as rogaining. I believe I understand better how you feel when you are tired, when it hurts and how you recover after feeling sick in the race. I also understand the side effects of laziness in training – during the race you’ll know, if you didn’t train. You feel it in your body and mind.
I am a pretty work-oriented person. My professional career supports especially mental coaching. In daily life I coach people with their challenges in work and personal life as well as in nutrition. I use different methods to help Mikael to focus and control his mind in a positive way. During the race when you are tired, you might forget the basic rules and as a coach it is my duty to remind you about them.
As a body therapist I am able to give physical therapy, shiatsu and other body therapy methods to prevent possible injuries and to relax the body and mind.
In daily life I also check nutrition basics and help with taking care of equipment. In Mikael’s ultra running my role is to help with the training plan, commenting and giving a second opinions. Before the race we always draw up the race timetable and strategy together. In addition to making sure Mikael drinks and eats enough I have an important role at the race.
Why on earth do I spend so much time coaching and helping Mikael and during the races also other participants? Because I love it. Because I am interested in it. Running works for me like a mindfulness lesson for me. Races give me the same effect. I forget my daily work, routines and possible worries. In the race I have also a chance to be outdoors in the sunshine and rain. When I am stressed out, the forest works for me as a sacred place for me. It is MY choice to be helping Mikael and others. We are a tight team with Mikael. One plus one is more than two. Together we are more.