I suppose this is what it feels like when you get older and your body doesn’t quite function as it used to. For most people it happens gradually, so you don’t pay so much attention. In my case, and for the rest of us, who lose the youth in a matter of a few hours surgery, the change is fast and notable.
I was up in the most remote locations of the Finnish Lapland. A true arctic village, called Kilpisjärvi. You should look it up, because I will talk about it a lot. The village is what I like to call “my spiritual home”; I’ve never really lived there, but it always feels like coming home. Ever since the first time I was up there.
It was March, the best ski season was just beginning, and I was doing what I used to hate. Day trips. Circular ski trips, which started from our rented log cabin, and in a couple of hours finished at the exact same location. Or they were not even circular. For most part I went up to the fells following a route, did some free skiing up at the top and returned the same way. And repeated this same route almost every day.
I have never seen the point of so much effort for apparently no reason. Hours of hard work and you don’t get anywhere. Just back at the starting point. Needless to say, I have never been very good at just exercising. I just take my backpack or pulka and off I go on the trip. Once I even bought a bike and took off to a 1000 km journey three weeks and 70 km later.
But now I was in Lapland. Where the open and round fell tops invite you to bring your overnight gear and get lost in the wild for a few days. And all I did was day trips. And I was happy, mostly.
I had reached the point of accepting (read: had been forced to accept) that my body had changed, and at that point all it could handle was day trips. I longed for the wild, but made do with what I could. In my mind I was still heading to the North Pole every morning when I crossed the first lake. I took my time to feel the fresh air, made silly videos to post on Facebook later and had fun. Like a little girl, I climbed a slope just to ski down, take turns and fall into the deep snow. And climbed back up. Repeatedly. I laughed out loud.