My legs were hurting. I had never been this exhausted. I had to cry very quietly so my dad would not hear me suffering. I was on a mission and I was not going to stop. I had heard about this crazy thing called Ironman triathlon and I had decided to try the longest discipline of it. I was only twelve years old and loving every piece of my challenge.
Finally we ended up to my grandmothers house. My fathers bike monitor said we had been riding for 172 km. I felt betrayed. We just had to do an extra loop. After exactly 180 km of riding there was a huge smile on my face. I had experienced so amazing moments during that day, from a total exhaustion to the biggest joy you can imagine. I knew I was made for triathlon. The sport would bring so much happiness into my life. If I tried my very best every single day now onwards, maybe on some day I would be the toughest female ironman in the world.
Since that day riding on my pink little mountain bike it took 22 years before I did my first iron distance race. I never lost my passion towards triathlon, but the sport just gave me different kind of challenges. I did put my all to Olympic distance racing as I wanted to be the first Finnish triathlete in the Games. I travelled all around the world chasing the ranking points but ended up to slightly miss both Peking and London olympics. Suffering quite a many injuries during the olympic distance years did not make my task any easier. On the other hand all these challenges made my sisu even stronger. At the end I had one of the most consistent long distance triathlon careers as being on the podium in nearly every race I did.
I am very grateful for all the adventures triathlon gave me. Even though I did not reach one of my childhood dreams as I did not cross the finish line at Ironman World Championship as the first female of the day, I am proud of all my achievements and even more proud and happy of being fearless in giving my all on following my hearth. I did live my dream; everyday doing what I loved – put all my passion in swimming, cycling and running.
However, now it is time for some new dreams!