Since the beginning of this year I started to run for Stockholm club IFK Lidingö SOK, situated on Stockholm island Lidingö. It has always been a dream, and now it's real - at first I couldn't believe it!
My journey with them started in April with Swedish league stages in Karlstad and then continued with a training camp in Stockholm and Skåne until 10mila, where we managed to finish 13th with the 2nd team, just 15 seconds after 11th place - our first team.
It was a great start and I was super happy to be training with so many so strong girls! I mean, I was only 7th on our test races for 10mila and it was a shock for me, but a good one, which meant I have a lot to learn from my teammates and have an excellent environment to grow as a sportsman. That's why I was coming to Stockholm all the time I had an opportunity, and it brought a huge result. I understood how awesome it is to train with club, because most of the year I train alone and can compare.
When we run o-intervals together or speed up training or long one on a Lidingöloppet track, we do it so much faster, more concentrated, force ourselves to work harder, because we have this fighting component. We run intervals on a high speed, because we want to finish first - and that's how we make a model of competition, that's how we get prepared for all the situations in the forest: when you catch someone or, on the contrary, when you get caught by someone. In such an environment you develop so fast, that's why I advise all young sportsmen to try to find a club for them.
Venlojen Viesti went not as good as planned, where we wanted to finish in top-25 with 3 teams (and we were actually ready enough to reach it), but only first team finished 17th, other two were 49th and 45th. I have been running 2nd leg 2nd year in a row, showed a clear and fast race and was very glad with my 17th place on a leg. But relay is about 3 (or 4 or 5) stable results, not about 1 enormously high and others lower. We all learned a lot and will come back stronger.
Venla, 10mila and other relays make you think about your teammates, make you more involved in club activity. You give a lot of energy to the club and get back so much more, get thousands of supporting words from all the teammates and feel energised. This is the right kind of mental state to come to JWOC with, that's why last 10 days before the most important races of the year I spent also on Lidingö, doing mostly running sessions, without orienteering. At that moment I was so tired of all the competitions, that needed to recharge, rest from map and compass and speed up, cause in Denmark terrain is going to be very fast. And again Lidingö helped me a lot with all the talks, experience shared and coach's right words, thanks for it!
I have so much more ahead with the club, but I am already so in love with them, that can't keep it in silence!