So today is now the coldest day since I’ve been in Finland! It was -9(F) degrees (-23C) this morning and it feels like it! I’ve been pretty lucky with this year being considered a mild winter for Finland. The snow didn’t start until mid-December and didn’t start really staying around until I came back from Christmas in the States. When I left for break it was gray, muddy, and wet. I arrived back and its white everywhere and snowing every other day. In fact it just started snowing again today. I really can’t complain though, because I love the snow! Although I hate being cold, so it makes for contradicting feelings towards winter.
As we left lifting this morning, my teammate’s hair actually frosted over! It was a little damp from sweating in the workout and when we walked to the bus stop she looked like she had gone gray in two minutes! She thought her hair was going to break off and fall to the ground! The good news from today though is the sun is out and shining so it makes it a lot more tolerable. Sitting inside, it looks absolutely beautiful outside with the snow glistening and it being a white wonderland. However, the walk to go try out this new Thai place we found, was not so fun and the spicy food was very welcome to warm our bodies! If you ever find yourself in Tampere, I recommend Thai Street Food, its menu is ever changing and always good! So now it’s the middle of the afternoon and I once again find myself in a coffee shop, because when doesn’t hot coffee sound amazing when your fingers freeze after walking two blocks down the street? The café I am in now though has by far the best Chai latte I have ever had. Kaffila makes it super creamy and it’s spiced perfectly! Of course I add espresso to mine, but I give it 5 stars all the way!
I never thought I would move to and live in a colder area than where I grew up. I was all for moving south and having a winter low of 50F and never needing a coat again. Anywhere warmer sounds like an amazing place to live to me, so where better to accept a job at than here in Finland, right? Makes so much sense, want to live in warm weather so move to one of the coldest countries…. But now, I couldn’t be gladder that I did! Did I think I would like the winter here as much as I do? Never, but after being here, I have to say, it’s amazing. There is nothing like waking up every morning curdled up under the warm blankets, opening the blinds, and seeing the light shining and sparkling off the snow…from the street light. Oh? Did you think I was going to say that it was from the sun? Nope! The sun doesn’t rise until about 9:30 in the morning, and sets early in the afternoon at around 15:30. I never thought I would find myself being thankful for seeing the sun. All we need is a little different perspective sometimes to find the smallest thing to be thankful for.
The sun setting so early in the afternoons was a little difficult to get used to, and I still struggle with it sometimes. It gets to be 18:00 and I feel like I should start getting ready for bed! It really does throw off the body schedule, but of course staying busy with our practices does help a lot! We have early afternoon practices most days, so getting home at dinner time helps with keeping the routine pretty normal. The more difficult days are Wednesdays, because we finish morning lifting around 11 or 11:30, then we don’t go back to practice until 18. So that 6 hours in between gets a little long, especially when the last few hours of the break its dark outside. I’ve taken to drinking green tea before I leave to help reawaken my body and mind to get prepared to play. Otherwise I always feel groggy and in a mental cloud, which is never good for an athlete! But the short days and the cold are just another experience and another opportunity to learn to adapt!
I hope your winters are going as well as mine, wherever they may be and whatever the temperature is! Take a minute and find something to be thankful for!
Middle from the Middle