Why did you start practicing orienteering?
Why? Because I simply fell in love with this sport while running my first race. I had tried to do a lot of sports during my early childhood. It all started with swimming, playing floorball and mainly golf had been my occupation for a long time while I was collecting many kid’s titles. J Later, I also used to play basketball for many years until our team spirit started to be falling apart and lots of teammates were quitting the team. My time to leave basketball routine came up as well. The time to decide my next main ‘hobby’. Thanks to a project called Orienteering into school and practicing it during PE lesson I got a chance to find it. I had loved using a map to navigate myself at scout’s events and running has never been a big deal for me. Well, the time is flying! It has been nine years since I put my kid’s steps into orienteering. My hobby has changed into my main passion and occupation, and I feel blessed!
Can you tell us about an early memory of orienteering that you have?
I remember having this bad habit of climbing every deer stand I was passing by during the first few months. Fortunately, I was doing it just in the training mode never while racing. Every second counts in the competitions and since I started orienteering every race was like a big challenge for me to not waste any extra seconds, minutes. Anyway, at some point, I got enough of climbing and turned my focus more on finding the best route choices and not just hunting on which route choice I can visit some deer stand.😉
What is special with orienteering?
I remember having this bad habit of climbing every deer stand I was passing by during the first few months. Many tributes make orienteering special. I like that the sport is combining physical shape, mental attitude, and technical skills. Moreover, every race is different and unique happening in a new area of forest, park or city and bringing many unpredictable situations. I love this variability which besides a lot of travelling and exploring the world requires also never-ending adaptation even for completely different terrains. Doing orienteering offers an unlimited amount of nice and demanding challenges and a bunch of different feelings depending on how many mistakes I do. However, I guarantee you that the pleasure of finding and punching all the controls and then in the end after reaching the finish line is simply the best and worth trying. And remember that we are learning from mistakes, and we can be better next time so why not try it again? 😉
What is your advice to children and youths when it comes to practice orienteering?
Enjoy the process, enjoy training, and enjoy doing mistakes as well! Orienteering is about experiences and making mistakes from which we are learning automatically, and we become better. It is cool to see how much we can improve just by doing orienteering, keeping the focus on it and being open to analyzing our mistakes. I believe that the way of practicing orienteering in your club/region is enjoyable, and you are surrounded by a nice orienteering community. It is nice to have a chance to do orienteering, often changing the place of your training, travelling, discovering new areas, and having fun!
What are your dreams when it comes to orienteering?
Enjoy the way – way of living! I am dreaming of staying healthy and having opportunities of competing on the highest level for the upcoming more years. At the same time, I wish to be always in the best technical, physical, and mental shape possible and trying to be chasing and hopefully at some point also reaching the highest places. However, before reaching it I need to first show up my best and do a clean performance without mistakes and hesitation. All the orienteering way is about never-ending self-improvement, and it is the best!