My main motivation for trying Crossfit was that I was very interested in learning more about “functional training”. I decided to drop in to check the gym, and the workout they were doing seemed fun. I was also very relieved to notice that not everyone else at the gym was an elite athlete, which was one of my initial fears.
This month, our decision was pretty clear. This athlete has always been really focused on technique and eager to learn. But what we’ve seen in him during the past months is the persistent work that he has been doing for to strenghten up his weak links. No it’s not always the most fun part of working out, but the part that keeps you progressing long term and that keeps you safe from injuries.
Vesa, you are setting up a great example to all of us for how being really clear on your goals and having a plan for how to get there really leads into long term success! Great work! Keep that mindset of always learning and always wanting to improve how you move and we see no limits for how far you will still get!
What was your initial goal when you joined Stadi Fit?
I have been doing some kind of sports most of my life. I used to train swimming when I was a teenager and after I finished competing in swimming, I was for the next 20 years mainly working out at the gym and at times jogging a couple times a week. Now looking back, I have realized how monotone my gym routine was during that time. I was basically doing the same 3x12 sets at the gym for years with only slight variation in movements, staying mainly on my comfort zone and avoiding the movements that I was not good at. Quite boring and also ineffective.
I had been considering trying Crossfit for a while, when In August 2015 noticed that there was a Crossfit gym, Stadi Crossfit, right next to where I live. My main motivation for trying Crossfit was that I was very interested in learning more about “functional training”. I decided to drop in to check the gym, and the workout they were doing seemed fun. I was also very relieved to notice that not everyone else at the gym was an elite athlete, which was one of my initial fears.
Another of my fears was my ”bad knees”. Before I first started at Stadi Crossfit, I had had some knee issues for the last 4 years or so, and during that time I was not able to run at all and going up the stairs felt on my knee on each step.
After discussing the knee issues with Coach Lucas, we did some mobility and strength tests, and were able to spot the most likely causes for the issues. We then decided to start knee rehab PT sessions once a week. During that time I split squatted + foam rolled + stretched etc. my feet each and every day for half a year. At times these daily physio exercises were quite boring to do, but I always tried to find time for them and stuck with the plan, and yes, finally the hard work did pay off.
After that period, I was able to run again, which seemed like a miracle to me because I had already couple of times given my hope on it. Today I have no knee issues whatsoever (knock on wood), and additionally, I’m now running better and faster than ever before.
What goals have you already reached and how have you gotten where you are now?
Besides having fixed the knee issues, I have been able to improve my overall physique a lot and my body recovers better and tolerates today much more training than when I first started. During these three years I have been able to make quite steady progress, and I am very happy to be able to say, that now at the age of 39 I am in the best overall shape I’ve ever been. - How many people can say that at this age? I’m super happy that I can.
In some areas the progress has sometimes been frustratingly slow, but the direction has always been right. If I may brag a little, I’d say that one of my best personal qualities in is that I am quite good at making long term plans, and sticking patiently to them. This journey with slow but steady progress continues, and hopefully I can say I’m in the best shape ever also in many more years to come.
What are your next goals?
There are many of them. I actually have an excel file on my computer with concrete measurable goals that I’m working towards. Main target is improving in my biggest weakness, which are the overhead position and back chain strength. I’m also now planning to participate in CrossFit open for the first time in 2019.
The overall BIG goal is however not measurable by numbers. The big goal is to live healthy and to have fun while doing so.
Since my main goal is health, I’m very much digging the “perfecting human movement” approach that Stadifit has. I have some posture imbalances, which easily leads to that I’m not always using the correct muscles when exercising. The detail and technique oriented approach in Stadifit is thus very well suitable for me, and I’m also myself becoming mature enough to realize that it is not wise to compromise technique when lifting heavy weights. Staying injury free is not a bad idea at all. I wish coaches to never stop reminding me to ”lock the elbows”, ”keep the external rotation” and ”not to loose the hollow”. because otherwise I will.
Any other comments you'd like to make?
I’d like to use this opportunity to thank my dear fellow athletes. We have a bunch of such amazing people and I’m very thankful for being part of this community. It is so much more fun to train with people that I have learned to know, and enjoy spending time with, than training surrounded by complete strangers. Let’s keep on inspiring each others towards better performances. I hope I can give back to you even a fraction of the support and energy you’ve given to me.