ARE YOU AN INTUITIVE OR A TASK-SPECIFIC GOAL SETTER?

Roughly speaking, there are two ways to go about when you’re working on your fitness goals. The first way is being intuitive, going “by feel”, in everything you do. That means deciding on the go what you are going to train that day, what you feel like eating and so on. This style requires good self-knowledge and trust in oneself.

The other way is being task-specific. Relying on someone else’s expertise. Possibly using a sleeping app to make sure the quality is on point. Counting macros. Following a clear training program and so on. This one requires a systematic, possibly monotone way of living. It requires a will to push through days when you’re just not feeling it and a trust in the systems you have decided to follow.

Picture: Tomi Salakari

Both of these methods can be great when wisely utilized. Some people love having everything planned out, for others a certain freedom is a must.

The most common way of practice is a mix of these two. For example, you go by feel with your nutrition, but you like to have a specific training program that someone else programs for you.

On the other side, both of these styles could also be hindering your progress. If you go only by feel, there might be a risk that you are skipping some necessary details. If you go by a strict schedule, there might be a bigger chance that you burn out if you don’t learn to listen to your body.

Let’s dig into these two a little bit more.

Which one are you?

It’s really important to get to know yourself on a deeper level if you want to find out how to achieve your goals. Your goals are usually something that gets you excited. To become happier, to get fit, to quit a bad habit, to compete in a sport, to do well in school or to get a certain job or promotion. Whatever gets you excited, it is up to you to break that main goal into many different pieces in order to find out what steps you need to take to get closer to it.

I am personally more of the task-specific type. I love dialing in on a lot of things like sleep, nutrition and my overall schedule. But there have been situations when it has turned against me and therefor hindered my progress. In the past, I have followed training programs a bit blindly and not listened to certain warning signs my body was trying to tell me. On the other side, I have also used my intuitive style a bit wrong, for example when it comes to nutrition, by kind of just eating when I want and what I want. That resulted in low quality of nutrients and eating too little, which then caused low energy levels and bad mood.

If you have not achieved your goals yet you need to STUDY to get there. By studying I mean studying yourself, becoming your own best buddy. You are most likely just lacking the information. Studying is here meant as a broad subject. Reading is a great way to gain knowledge but there also are many other ways; talking to experts and non-experts, spending time with different people, spending time alone, travelling to a new place, stepping out of your daily routines, reading books and listening to podcasts, writing down your thoughts, being open to new ideas and learning to LISTEN to others. Reaching out for professional help in whatever area you know you need help in. It’s important to be ready to move out of your comfort zone in the possibility to learn new. The skill to wipe out your own expectations and prejudice thoughts is a great way to start.

Picture: Sandra Hagelstam

Intuitive?

Are you the happiest when you “go by feel” with the things you do? Would you eat what you want and when you want by listening to your body and needs for that exact moment? Would you go to sleep when you’re tired, no matter if it would be early or after midnight and wake up without an alarm clock? Would you workout when you feel like it and choose the tempo and movement on the go? Do you like to keep your calendar quite empty since you don’t know how you will feel in two days?

Can you separate what you really need from what you’re just tempted to need? There is a fine line between these two and no one can really say for sure when the mental aspect has a bigger benefit in comparison to the physical benefits.

Do you need this kind of freedom in order to be mentally balanced and therefor assured that you are staying true to yourself?

Being the intuititive type shouldn’t mean that if you have a surpirising sweet tooth every day at 15.00, you eat chocholate bars, because in the long run it’s not healthy. But if you feel like having a beer here and there, you have it because it makes you feel good.

Task-specific?

Do you want an exact schedule of your food intake, count the calories/macros and track that you drink enough water during the day? Do you want to be every night in bed by 22.00 and wake up to the alarm no later than 7.30? Do you want to do cardio on Monday’s, weight training on Wednesday and Yoga on Sunday’s? Do you like to schedule even the days when you don’t do anything in your calendar? Is this a way that make you feel excited and stronger towards your goals?

Is this the way that you feel the most powerful and dedicated, sort of in control of your destiny?

It is nowadays possible to monitor and optimize almost everything. Sometimes that can become a bit draining, though, and you might feel more like a robot than a human being.

Picture: Tuomas Hinkkanen

Well…

You don’t have to (an probably won’t be able to) decide that you are exactly either one but the goal is to figure out in which areas you are more of the task-specific type and in which areas you’re more of the intuitive type. The main thing here is to find an efficient system to achieve your goals. The whole process can become a struggle if you don’t have the right tools for you.

Obviously these both types work. When I went to Ben Bergerons seminar in London, I understood that his way leans more towards the task-oriented -style. When I went to Tia-Clair Toomey’s seminar in Madrid a week after that, I understood that an intuitive style has worked really well for them. Both styles make champions, that’s why the whole idea is to find out who you are.

Anyone can hold onto a tight schedule for a few weeks, but a few weeks wont make you a champion. Anyone can also live by intuition, but they might have a hard time getting the work done if they live too freely.

Picture: Sandra Hagelstam

What now?

Now put these thoughts into work by testing them in real life. If one way makes you miserable then don’t do it, find another way. A certain level of discipline is needed when you’re inheriting a new habit but if it doesn’t become something enjoyable and somewhat automatic after several weeks, then you might wanna change your way of doing it.

In some situations you might love being very task-oriented and precise but in other you might love your freedom.

I’ve personally shifted my intuitive way if living within nutrition towards a more task-oriented style, by making sure I get enough energy in a day, and I feel much better. In training though, I’ve changed my task-oriented style towards a more intuitive style, by learning to listen to the signs of my body and doing the kind of training that I really need. That has required some patience for a few months, but I’m now starting to see the benefits and oh man are they good!

One last word!

It’s important to always remember to skip the box thinking, since we change all the time! What worked for you last year, might be different from what works for you now. If someone has told you that you are a certain type, don’t be too quick to let that define you today.

You create your own reality!

Picture: Sandra Hagelstam

x Steffi

HOW DO I GET MORE ENERGY?

I know I said I was going to write a post about “Discipine or by feel“, but I just need to get this one out first! I will postpone the other one a little bit, but I will publish it within a few weeks, I promise! It’s too dark in Finland to not post this one now. This is for anyone who feels tired and want to find ways to get more energy. Let’s take a look.

This subject is one of the biggest realizations I’ve had the last couple of months. I’ve been lacking energy for many reasons and I’ve had to cut down on my training amount and especially the intensity, a lot. Now I’m redifining what is needed to do just something as simple as going through a full day filled with energy and enjoyment. When the basic stuff is on point, will all other things feel easier to do.

We all know that feeling when you’re tired. Tired in the morning even though you’ve slept enough of hours. Tired after you’ve eaten. So tired that you almost fall asleep if you sit in the bus for ten minutes. Tired and therefor you can’t focus when your friend is talking to you or you’re trying to listen to your teacher in class. Sometimes you can feel so tired that even taking out the trash feels like an unobtainable task! I’ve had some of these feelings and it was about time that I realized that a change was needed. Now I’m working on recognizing the drained feelings when they come and right away find solutions to change the direction of them.

Something needs to be done if you feel the same way. You can’t live your life in a blur of feeling tired and inefficient, it’s just not enjoyable! This will hinder you to explore your talent to do whatever it is that you want to do. We ALL have talent to do remarkable things. Some of you know what it is and some of you might not now yet, but we all are here on this earth so that we can express ourselves and share our knowledge and wisdom to others in either a direct or indirect way.

So let’s take a look at different ways I believe you can increase your energy. I very strongly believe that an increase in energy levels will open your eyes and get you excited about whatever beholds in your future.

1. Getting excited means getting energy!

Imagine your favorite things to do, if you could choose ANYTHING right now. For me, it would be a vacation in a warm and sunny place, waking up to the sunrise with a lot of energy to do a morning swim in a pool. After that I would eat a big and healthy breakfast with no rush anywhere and I would do these things with people I love. Afterwards I would have a lot of energy and do some work on my computer where I motivate others to live a healthy life. I would also write up some personal goals of what I want to achieve. Solely thinking about these things gets me excited and energized. I will now be taking steps to be able to fulfill this “dream”! Another thing that gets me excited is just as simple as getting my hair done at a hair salon. A plain thing that I know makes me feel good. Therefor, I might book in an appointment at a hair salon and have something to look forward to in the end of the week.

Did you get the point? Try to find out what things gets you excited, big or small, and make time for them. You will have something to look forward to and that usually provides you with some energy.

2. Complaining takes you nowhere.

In life we will face situations that brings out some sort of suffering and difficulties. It’s a fact that they happen and everybody have to deal with them at some point in their life. Some have more difficult things they go through and some have less, but we all have them. An extremely important thing is to not become a victim by feeling sorry for yourself when difficult situations occur. Another one is to not point fingers at someone else for your hardships. Those reactions really takes you nowhere, they only make you miserable. We shouldn’t have the need to show others how difficult things are by trying to get some pity-points. We should not either blame on an external source of why things are going bad. Show others instead how amazing you are by overcoming those obstacles in your life. Show yourself how you won’t let a difficult situation make you feel less about yourself or prevent you from reaching out after your dreams. It really is true that we can’t control how some things turn out but we can always control how we react to those situations.

Become mentally so stable and determined, that nothing will let you down is a character of a true champion. I’ve also learned that usually the people who are thought of having an easy life have just been better at finding ways to get overcome their personal difficulties. Therefor assuming that others have it easier than you usually quite inaccurate and even foolish!

Get up and never give up, it’s never too late!

3. Eat right.

I’m very inspired by people who have changed their eating habits and as a result, have a clear change in energy levels. I’ve learned that the most common things for an increase in energy through nutrition are:

  • More vegetables and real food. In other words, ditch the processed stuff and eat veggies with every meal! The cool thing about vegetables is that you can eat a lot and you get lots of vitamins through them.
  • Eating regularly. I like to put a timer on my phone to remind me every 3 hours to eat something. This way my energy levels will be steady. I make sure that every meal includes carbs, proteins and fats.
  • Drinking enough water. Somehow this is just simply a challenge for me! I try to keep a water bottle near to make sure I’m staying hydrated.
  • Track you food. I’m not there yet, but many people use an app to count their macros and/or calories and get some help from a professional to find out exactly how much and what they should eat to reach their nutritional goals.

PS! A common deficiency in my country (Finland) is lack of D-vitamin. I’ve taken a broad variety of blood tests lately and the only deficiency that was found was low D-vitamin levels. Therefor I eat a supplement every day, but that’s the only supplement I take. If you’re in a country where you don’t get much day light at the moment, then there’s a possibility that you would benefit from a D-vitamin supplement.

4. Proper rest and movement are essential.

This is definitely not the least important part. Wouldn’t it be easier if you would wake up feeling rested and energized for the day? I am definitely on the hunt of becoming more of a morning person right now! I want to feel rested and at ease when I wake up, ready to tackle the day and do the things I have planned with enthusiasm and a clear vision. As you can probably tell, that is not always the case. Therefor I try to get 9 hours of sleep, turn off all electronics at 22.30pm and have a glass of water by my bed. I also use a sleeping app to optimize this part and to follow up on how nourishing the sleep I’m getting actually is. Baby steps!

If movement in general is not a part of your weekly routines, I suggest you read the previous post and consider taking up a hobby. A sport, any sport, will work wonders for your energy levels. Of course, if you work out too much and don’t get enough rest it will work as the opposite (been there…) so make sure the hobby you have leaves you feeling energized, not exhausted!

As the last part I’m gonna do a little note to self of what brings me energy when I feel down or tired. You can do the same by listing up 3 things you know will brighten up any day!

I get energy when….

 

I look at inspiring videos of my favorite athletes, like this one:

…I set up realistic, short-term goals that usually are sports-related and due that same week. This week I want to row for 1 hour without breaks.

I make myself a cup of coffee. Caffeine has a proven effect to increase energy, but too much of it can cause some shaking, a rapid heart beat or stomach irritation.

…I do a light-intensity workout or a 20min yoga/mobility class, for example from youtube.

That’s it! Hopefully this post will give you some ideas on how to get more out of your day and feel energized and happy. Have an energyfull week!

 

x Steffi

 

Photos: Iko PB Photographer – @iko_pb

HOW CAN I GET FIT AND HEALTHY?

This post is written for the people who have average or poor health and wishes to improve their lifestyle towards the better. So, if you’re an already active and healthy reader, I suggest you link this post to your mother/brother/friend/co-worker who wants to make a lifestyle change towards the better. People that already are healthy, but want to improve their health regardless in some smaller way might also be interested.

I’ll start by pointing out two important facts before we get into the actual subject.

  1. I am a professional within the subject of sports but my texts are mostly based on my personal thoughts and experiences. Many thoughts are based on information I’ve learned after studying both in school and on my own. You will not see me actively linking to studies in my blog so I hope you are reading my texts with critical thought. I don’t mind if you question what I say or feel that this way is not the one that works for you. Feel also free to comment your thoughts. You, I and the fellow readers might benefit from that.
  2. Don’t compare yourself too much to me. Training is a top priority in my life and I don’t live like I do only to be fit, I live like I do to win competitions and enhance my already good fitness levels. I put most of my time into living like an athlete and this lifestyle is not always optimal. Training is in other words my full-time job and I don’t expect others to live like that.

Let’s get started!

If you want to get fitter and healthier you have to understand that there needs to be a change in some habits that you are doing right now.

Understand that change does not happen over night, you need to work on getting comfortable with your new routines and that will take time, discipline and patience.

 

So if you like to say that you are “not the patient kind”, I suggest you change that mindset right now. 

 

First we need to take a look at where you stand now. Answer these questions in your on mind or on a piece of paper.

What areas need focus for you to get healthier? Answer these questions with a yes or no.

  1. Are you active a couple of times a week? Do you train an activity that challenges you so that you can physically feel it the next day in your body?
  2. Is your diet in line with the goals that you want to achieve?
  3. Are you happy? Do you laugh daily, get excited about things and have hobbies that makes you feel good (but don’t sabotage your health)?

If you answered “no” to one of these questions, keep reading. If you answered yes and you are still unhealthy, shoot me with a message in the comment section and I’ll try to see what might be hindering your process towards a healthier lifestyle.

Activity

The human body is meant to move. In other words it is normal for us to move around, walk, jump, run, carry things and so on. The body is amazing and it will adapt very quickly to how you decide to spend your days. So, if you are mostly inactive, you will probably not feel the need of moving around because you got used to that.

You will get passive and might suffer some unhealthy consequenses like becoming overweight, getting diseases linked to inactivity and so on. So let’s get used to the idea that we want to use this amazing body we have been given to move around. It doesn’t matter what the physical activity is, as long as it challenges you in some way and you get the positive benefits of it, “the feel good” -effects, which are hormones being released in your body. Training is a free, natural and healthy drug.

There are several positive affects of being active, a few that come to my mind immediately are; You meet people and possibly find new social connects, your respiration system gets better which means it will be easier for you to breathe and your sleep quality will go up, you make your relatives happy when you take care of yourself, you might be a positive role model for your kids/parents/friends or people that you aren’t even aware of. In other words, you are doing something good when you are being active! Often you also make healthier food choices when you decide to become more active, which makes the whole process of becoming healthy easier and more enjoyable.

So, it’s a very clear thing that moving around is what you want to do. If you’re 100% inactive, try to understand that even though someone has told you in your childhood that you’re not the active kind or you think that you don’t like to move, try to change your mindset and you will change your life. But let’s get started with small steps of course.

My recommendation is to move in any way you can think of 2-3 times a week. Start with anything you like and after a while try to change up the intensity. Do both low intensity workouts and intensive workouts. Here’s an example; A run or walk to work every monday, yoga or stretching on wednesdays and swimming, bouldering or a group class workout on saturdays. Obviously I can’t give a ready recipe out here because we all have different backgrounds but you get the point. Think out what kind of physical activity is a good fit for you.

Get into the new habits but DO NOT overdo it. This is very important! If you go from zero to five times a week, I can already tell you when you will quit this “project”. That would be within 2-4 weeks. You would probably get some self-disappointment as an extra consequence as well. This is not a project, this is your new lifestyle. Patience.

Food

Food might just be one of the most talked subject on the planet. Let’s take a look at some key points I believe are important if your eating habits need a change.

We have to eat and drink to stay alive. We have the opportunity to choose exactly what we put into our bodies, so why not give this subject a good thought and figure out what amount we should eat to be healthy and what exactly to eat?

Are your food choices and your attitude towards food helping you take steps towards your goals or are they making you take steps further away from it? Let’s think about that first. Are your food choices making you feel good? Is your attitude towards food positive and quite neutral? Are you eating (or not eating) because your inner child is trying to make a point or something similar? If you feel that there are more to this subject and it serves some negative feelings, I suggest you take time to come to peace with it. Food is amazing and your body is amazing, make them two friends with each other! If you need to see a therapist to open the knots, then do that! I’m personally very much in favor of getting professional help with the things you feel you are stuck with and can’t figure out yourself. There’s absolutely nothing embarrassing or shameful about that. So talk to a friend or a professional about this (or write an anonymous comment in the comment section!) and you might be surprised that some thoughts that are solely in your head is holding you back to fulfil your goals.

Get to know how much food you need and what kind of food you need. Do an inbody test at your local gym if there is one. There are also many charts on the internet where you put in your age, weight, activity level etc. and you get an estimate of how many calories you need. Check out many different sites though so you don’t get false information. All these things might feel like work in the beginning but please be open-minded to try out new things.

If you want to loose weight, you need to consume less calories than you are burning. I suggest you do that both from nutrition and from training. Do not go too much on a deficit in a day, since it will backfire. Again, patience.

Last but not least a tip I think all of us can agree on: Cut the crap. This is very simple, but yet few do it. Many of you know that I’m not the super strict -type when it comes to food choices. I think it’s fine to indulge every now and then, but then I suggest the indulge would be planned somehow and not spontanious based on a sudden craving. One “candy day” a week worked well for me when I wanted to lose some weight. I believe it’s very important not to make eating something you stress about. That’s one of the most important things here and that’s why I can’t say if you should be more laid back with your food or if you should count exact calories. Which one are you? Which one will make you satisfied and get you closer to your goals without it being a journey of suffering? In the end of the text there will be some more talk about this.

Are you happy?

I dare you to look at yourself very closely in the mirror for 5 minutes after this post. Most people can’t do this! Look at yourself in the eye very closely. Do you like the person you see? I’m not saying you have to love your physical body right away. All that physical will fall much easier into place when you fix the inside. Do you see that you are doing things that are not “you“? Why do you do this? Have you lost the connection with yourself? It’s very common, I have lost it many times.

You can always get that connection back! Look at yourself, forgive yourself of everything and decide that now starts the time closer to yourself and your deepest core. That will make all of these lifestyle changes much easier. You will become a better person for the ones around you as well.

I put this deep talk here as the last part not because it’s the least important. I put it here to trick you to read the simple and accessible stuff first. Getting you comfortable at first just to make you a bit uncomfortable now. We ignore the things about figuring out who we are and being honest to ourselves. It’s understandable, these are not always easy to handle and makes you very vulnerable. I believe very strongly that this is the base for all change and happiness. Try out that 5 min exercise and pay attention to how it makes you feel, be an “observer” of your reactions and emotions. I think we can all agree on that we want to be happy and feel good, so this might be something that gets you closer to that.

Key point to remember!

Get the support you need and ask for help. Get it from people in the same situation as you OR/AND from people who are better than you in some way, who you look up to.

When you’re working towards getting in shape you need a positive environment in all aspects. A lot of people say “surround yourself with the one’s on the same mission as you“. There’s a point in that, but I believe it’s also very important to spend time with people who have already figured out something you haven’t. Talk to those who are better in some area than you are, ask and learn. You don’t have to do things the same way as them but try to learn about different ways of how to succeed. Slowly build your own personal methodology towards your goals.

I don’t believe people are doomed to be overweight, depressed or unhealthy. Many just don’t know how powerful their mind is and how close to change they actually are. No matter if you’ve failed 1000 times, you can always start again with a smarter approach. 

Next blog post: Discipline or “by feel”?

I believe that most of you know what to do but have not yet found HOW to do it. Try these things out that I talked about in this blog post and feel free to comment what you feel like might be hindering your process. I suggest you think first and comment then.

When you talk, you are only repeating what you know. If you listen you may learn something new.

The next blog post will be about figuring out what kind of person you are when it comes to changing your habits. Are you the one who wants everything to be calculated and decided beforehand or are you more of the intuitive, “go by feel” -kind? When are you one and when are you the other? Give this a thought and come back to read the next blog post within three weeks.

Remember, there’s a difference in what you would like to be and what you really are right now.

See you soon!

 

x Steffi

Pictures: Petri Mast Photography

WHO AM I?

So, before I start doing some posts I think we need an introduction of who the person behind the screen is. I’ll start where the sight towards active training took a remarkable turn in my life. Hello to all old readers, hope you’re okay with me writing in english and hello to all new readers, I hope you find some inspiration towards your personal goals through my texts.

In 2012 I was 22 years old and decided to change up some bad habits by hiring a personal trainer from my local gym. I had gained some weight, I smoked cigarrettes and spent my weekends having fun and drinking quite a lot of booze. I was mostly unsatisfied with how I looked in tight clothes and wanted to change that. For a couple of years I unfortunately had already experienced with wreckless diets like fasting, “cleanses”, soup-diets, low calorie diets and so on. Surprise, surprise – I always gained the weight back and was unhappy with my looks. It wasn’t a healthy relationship with my body. Little did I know that my new personal trainer, Antti, would change my life. So, he helped me transform my body through some intensive workouts combined with strength training. The method was called something weird as CrossFit, which he knew a lot about and I knew nothing. It didn’t matter though, I just wanted to get fit anyhow! And I did, I got fitter than I would ever guess… Antti introduced to me all the basics about training in general. He was the best at what he did and a very intense and focused coach. He got the best out of me and was supportive of everything I did. I also started my blog, Steffit, around this time. It was (is) written in Finnish, and you can find all the 957 published posts by taking a week off work and start scrolling down.

2011/2012

In 2013 I had trained with Antti for a year. We trained 1-2 times a week and prior to that, I did some jogging and yoga. I trained for a max of 4h for the first year of this new fitness lifestyle. I partied more closer to once every 2-3 weeks and gave slowly up the smoking too. I got skinnier and leaner. I weighed over 75kg when we started and I lost almost 10kg of weight. I was really happy with my looks but after a while I did not like the muscular body I got. That changed quite fast though and now I love my muscles (and don’t mind if I get more!). Antti suggested that I should try out a CrossFit competition called Karjalan Kovin. I did and it was quite fun. I was nervous but I liked the fact that we could plan some cool outfits with my cousin and that I got some nice action pics by my sister. As you can see, priorities were not to be an athlete or win at this time. That winning mindset and fierce dedication was something I admired, though. I think I came 23rd. There was no qualification for this competition. Shortly after this, my PT Antti told me to find myself a CrossFit gym to get more specific training into my schedule and I was very happy to be contacted by Ben Liuzzi from CrossFit Central Helsinki.

Karjalan Kovin 2013

For the whole year of 2014 I trained with Ben having a lot of faith in me. It was extremely motivating and I had not felt special like that in a long time. My results pretty much sky-rocketed during Ben’s watchful eye. What I know now is that I didn’t know much about what the athlete life was really about. I liked it, but I don’t have really any competitive background so I wasn’t used to this. I trained five times a week, around 6h in total. I found a sport I was good at, but being good at something isn’t enough. That’s why everything backfired. Things happened too fast – I competed too many times (Winter War 2014, CrossFit Open 2014, Box Battle 2014, Karjalan Kovin 2014 (where I took 8th)) and then I was exhausted. Too much stress on the body and mind compared to what I was used too. I didn’t enjoy competing even though that was my biggest motivation to train. I also had major difficulties in my personal life. I decided I wanted to quit this sport, even though my physical condition was the best it had ever been. So I left Ben and CFCH and started training at another box, called CrossFit Herttoniemi, for 1,5 years. No pressure, no expectations from myself or anybody else. Just mostly regular sessions with others and friends.

Karjalan Kovin 2014. I came 8th but was mentally exhausted and decided to quit intensive training.

For 2015 I just trained a couple of times a week. No big competitions. I figured out quite quickly that my basic conditioning (low heart rate zone) sucked, so I decided to do mostly that kind of training. Long sessions of training that didn’t feel tough. I ended up doing them 3-4 times a week at one point. Weightlifting became an interesting part of my journey here too. Weightlifting is a part of CrossFit and it’s important to master that skill, just like it’s important to master gymnastic skills, running, swimming etc. I went to Anni Vuohijoki’s course, who is nowadays an olympian and more importantly, someone I can call my friend. She is also in a way a mentor to me and I look up to her a lot. My hunger also started to slowly become bigger. Hunger for victory, finding my inner strenght and becoming really good. It all started to become personal. Since Antti and Ben had dug out my abilites of being a successful athlete, did I believe in my abilities, too. I thought to myself that if I came 8th in a big competition in Finland without even enjoying it, I could become really, really good when I fix the missing pieces. That was a big motivator. What also motivated me to go back to living like an athtlete was thinking how bitter I would be when I’m older if I don’t figure out how far I can go now. It was time for action.

In December 2015 I was already doing the qualifications for Winter War 2016. I was sure I was gonna get there. I have, after all, always been quite confident. Even when there’s things I can’t accomplish, I believe in myself. It’s almost a bit vain, but I believe it has been and will be my biggest strenght. Well, I didn’t qualify for the competition. I was actually something like 54th in the qualification and 32 made it. OOOPS. Not even close. I thought to myself – fuck, these girls in Finland have actually become really good! I really need to get to work if I ever wanna be close to that level. So I had two choices – to get to some serious work by prioritizing training or to let this one pass and focus on something else. I’m sure you can guess which one I chose…

I chose to put in some work in 2016. I changed a lot of things and during this time, I started to become an athlete. I got a specific program from The Training Plan, a very good and motivated training partner, Valtteri, keys to the box so I could train whenever I wanted to and so on. I trained around 15h a week, twice a day on most days and put a lot of time in recovery work. I focused on my sleep, I read a lot of books, listened to a lot of podcast and did many things that would make me a better athlete. What was missing though, was a coach. A dedicated coach who is there to help when needed and who knows me well. A coach, who would see when rest is needed and schedule in some easier phases etc. TTP was a good program, but not specified for anyone. As a side hobby, I competed in the Finnish Weightlifting Championships and came 4th in my weight class. I did the qualifications for Karjalan Kovin 2016 and got in. I came 11th, which was a really good result. We also competed in a team competition with a box I coached at, CrossFit Basement. I attended other seminars and one that stood out was the Weightlifting 101 -seminar with coach Erik Lau Kelner. I have never in my life met another person who is as dedicated to anything as he is to weightlifting. It’s almost like an obsession to him and that’s what makes him one of the best in the world. He also has an interesting style, which a lot of people can’t stand. It is a cruel, punishment kind of training method where you’re almost so scared of failing that it makes you stand on your tiptoes when he coaches. It suited very well with me at that time and I did a lot of progress. I wanted straight, honest talk and I got it. Within a year I attended six intensive four-day seminars around Europe.

In 2017 I got my revenge and competed in Winter War 2017 after not qualifying the year before. I was a different athlete. Just better all around. What hadn’t changed though, and what has not yet changed as well as it will, is enjoying the competition. I have a lot to work on the mental side. I came 12th and did some stupid mistakes in the competition. I competed for the second time in the Finnish Weightlifting Championships and came 4th again. It was alright, but my heart was not fully in pure weightlifting so I decided to drop the competing there and focus only on CrossFit. I competed in Karjalan Kovin 2017 and did my best performance in anything so far, I came 4th. I had solid performances in all 8 events. During this year, I changed to The Progrm and continued training with a lot of volume. I knew the coaches who planned The Progrm and this way I could get more specific help. It still felt like too much volume and not specific rest periods, deload weeks, etc. so I knew I had to change things. Guess who’s back in the game…?

Now I’m 27 years old and the man who got it all started in 2012, Antti, is my coach again. We are about to build something pretty amazing. We’re redifining some of the missing pieces that will make me a better athlete. I will take a wider look at everything by bringing my head up from the mud of intensive and solitary 2-year training and do some changes I can see are very necessary. In addition to Antti, I have some other experts helping me out as well.

I have big dreams, I have a dedication that I believe is extremely rare and I finally have the support I need. I believe that the best is yet to come and that I have only been able to show very little of what I can actually accomplish as an athlete.

So, that’s my story that I wanted to share! I’m now thinking about doing some blog posts about how you guys can make progress in your fitness journey, or any journey in your life that needs focus. I’ve done a lot of mistakes during these years but they need to be learned from and then shared to others. I want to help other people feel good about themselves.

 

x Steffi

Instagram: @steffit

Facebook page: Steffit

Pictures: Mikko Pekkarinen, Sandra Hagelstam, Karjalan Kovin media, Winter War media.

THE NEXT POST SUBJECT WILL BE “HOW DO I GET FIT AND HEALTHY” AND IS DIRECTED TOWARDS THE PEOPLE WITH POOR TO AVERAGE HEALTH. SEE YOU SOON!

WORKOUT MUSIC

Here’s a playlist for working out. I’m adding new songs to the list on a regular basis. Right now you can find more than 12 hours of awesome tracks on this one. Enjoy.

If you can’t find it through the link, here’s the steps:

1. Go to Spotify.

2. Type my name, Stefanie Hagelstam, in the search sector.

3. Find the playlist “METCON TRACKS” in the playlist section.

4. Follow.

 

x Steffi