Many of you will know her as the smiling face of Bodyneed, the conjurer of seamless bookings and interactions and the key person who makes all our lives just that much easier. But you may have never had the chance to ask her about her non kiwi background and far, far, far north adventures (and thats a north way past Kerikeri!)... we take the chance to chat about just how cold it gets in Sweden, what its like running with Bears and the pros and cons of life under the Northern Lights....
Why did you come to New Zealand?I was 24 and I strongly felt it was time to go overseas for an OE. I had finished my degree as well as basic military training (no, not compulsory in Sweden). There was the option of continue training for the army and later on go to Afghanistan, but as I was browsing this jobsite it seemed like there were plenty of job opportunities for me in New Zealand. I registered with this agency and the next morning I get a phone call from Auckland. This was 8 years ago and I’m still here!
How do you stay fit and active for life?After coming to New Zealand I took up mountain biking, ocean swimming and even a few triathlons. I run a lot more now and have taken up my favourite sport - surfing…I love it!
In Sweden I used to play Floorball (google it ;)) and was very competitive, but in the last few years I have come into a “cruising mode”. I’m not racing or competing anymore, exercise for me now is all about enjoying the moment - and the amazing scenery! All of this is balanced out with Pilates – the one indoor practice I do daily to keep the injuries at bay. I learnt the hard way that injuries will surely jump up and bite me if I don’t! Lucky I’m in the perfect place.
What’s different about training in Sweden vs training in NZ?I am SO pleased to be living here with a 12-month training season where it’s easy to go for a run anytime of the year. Back home I would still train through winter, but with long-johns under my running tights and a larger size running shoe that could fit warm socks. You might not get to your trails because of the snow, but if you stick to roads it still works. And if the roads are icy they’re a real pain. But if there’s a full moon on a winter’s night the reflection on the snow is astonishing. No need for head torch!
Running in Sweden in summer is amazing. There are lots of berries growing everywhere; blueberries, raspberries, wild strawberries – simply stop and refuel when you need to. And lots of lakes and rivers to have a quick dip in when you are hot and sweaty after you run. Just got to watch out for those moose and bears if you are running in the bush…!
Many of us in NZ (especially Auckland) have no idea about real cold – what’s it really like in the middle of a northern winter?Well running in -10 degrees isn't all that bad as long as you are properly dressed. ;) (no cotton!) I probably wouldn't exercise in -20, not because of how cold it feels, but how it affects your airways. Minus 30 degrees is the coldest I have experienced and I found a short walk is manageable, however your eye lashes tend to freeze together so you can't see very well!
Winter brings different opportunities and sports to be active - cross country skiing is a popular alternative to running in the northern part of Sweden. On a beautiful winter's day, you may pack a picnic and head up to a hut or wind shelter on top of a hill, make up a little fire and enjoy the magnificent scenery while you refuel. Or ice skating on big lakes - outdoorsy people make a day out of it with a picnic and just go for hours. It's awesome!