Movember Close Down

Sunday 12/15/13

So, Movember has passed and my moustache is gone. I'm sure many of you think it's a shame, but hey, there's no need to be depressed: the next Movember is less than 11 months away! 

This year´s campaign was a real success not only for me personally, but also for my team Huuhkajat, and for the entire Finnish campaign. My personal campaign managed to raise 220 euros, which is exactly 220 euros more than last year. My team Huuhkajat (the Finnish national team in football) finished at 17 204 euros being the biggest fund raiser in Finland, and the whole Finnish campaign had a significant increase in both registrations as well as raised funds ending up at 17 323 registrations and 400 000 euros!

It´s been a great experience to be a part of the power of the Mo.

A big thank you to everyone who supported & followed my moustache. I'm counting on you again next year!

 

As Movember finally has finished I have suddenly lots of free energy that previously was reserved for growing my moustache. Now I've been directing it to my rehabilitation. I'm making progress (though slowly) even though this week has been more or less off because of illness. When I feel fit enough to continue working on my rehabilitation I am going to try out ice skating as an addition to my training program. No shocks on the knee joint and at the same time a good exercise for the legs – that's at least the plan. I´m eager to see how it works!

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7 comments . Keywords: movember, rehabilitation

Movember: Two Days Remaining

Friday 11/29/13


Movember is the month formerly known as November, which I consider as the best month of the year (someone is born in November :) ). Movember is a charity campaign where men grow their moustache during November to raise awareness of men's health issues and raise funds for the research of prostate cancer and testicle cancer. (More info)

As many of you probably already know, this year I´m an active Mo Bro. The campaign is still running and I would be more than grateful for your support. (Go to My Mo Space)

Also my Movember team Huuhkajat (the whole Finnish football national team) has contributed in big scale for the campaign. I am very proud of the great fundraising by the whole team and of the huge publicity this has generated and no to forget the joy that this campaign has spread.

I´ve also tried my best to help the guys who organize the whole Finnish campaign. It´s been great fun and very educative. What a great experience for me to work so closely with these amazing people and with such a dynamic and interesting campaign!

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Perspectives

Thursday 11/28/13 time 12:46 PM

It seems like time has wings. It´s already late Movember, nearly 3 months since my last surgery, and around 8 months since I injured myself again last spring, and yet I´m not fit for football. I can´t hide it - these months have been (and still are) a real struggle. I keep fighting but even the hardest fighter meets moments when it feels like it would be easier to give up.

When you work on rehabilitation from day to day fully focused on getting better it might get really hard when your body isn´t working and progressing as hoped. The perspective narrows and you might start seeing things from a negative point of view.

But the last few weeks have again given me a glimpse of hope. I´ve had some progress at the gym and I´ve copied a very effective new training method from the cross-country skiers:  walking uphill accompanied by ski sticks. The best thing is that my knee seems to tolerate this type of training well. I even hope to be able to progress and start running uphill in a few weeks. After a good training session with less pain in the knee and body full of endorphins you suddenly see things from a different angle. For me this means that I realize that it really isn’t that long since my last surgery nor since I injured myself for the first time, and that my knee doesn´t hurt in everyday life anymore. I’ve also found great joy from the newly started co-operation with a new physical coach who has great understanding for athletes coming back from longtime injuries. And finally, I´ve actually made some progress in the last weeks!

My spirit can be found in the words of Rocky Balboa: "You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard you hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done!"

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2 comments . Keywords: Rehabilitation, movember, Rocky

A Clean Knee

Saturday 8/31/13 time 7:41 PM

Last Thursday I went through a small operation at Dextra Hospital in Helsinki. In the aftermath of the operation it was evident that the operation was necessary as they managed to remove the objects that have been causing me some harm and have been slowing me down these past months. The operation went well but I need to take it easy for a few weeks before I can again increase my training load gradually. In around 6 weeks I should be able to do most of the things on my plan. I´m looking forward to better days.

P.S. To those of you interested in nynorsk: this summer I had the pleasure to visit Austrheim, the home community of Gunnar Noreboe, a good friend of mine. Here's an article published in the local paper, Nordhordland, about our training session together in Austrheim. 

http://www.nordhordland.no/sport/article6783264.ece


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Continuation

Wednesday 7/10/13 time 12:31 AM

 

It’s been a while since the last posting and a lot has happened since then. I have returned back to Norway after having spent six good months in France, and as I have left France behind I feel it’s time to thank everyone who has contributed to the project there. Jérôme and Marianne, thank you so much for everything both on and off the training sessions! It was great to be neighbors and a pleasure working together with you! Patrice and Antoine at Pilates Nantes, I thoroughly admire your professionalism and highly appreciate the kindness you showed us. The Pilates lessons in Nantes were often the highlight of the week for my entire family. And when speaking of Nantes I must mention le Brasserie Waldor and Laurence & Franck. Le Waldor represents in my eyes one of the great parts of France, namely, the food. It became a routine to eat a three-course-lunch there after Monday’s Pilates sessions. The first time we ate there was mostly by coincidence but after having tested Franck’s down-to-earth but delicious cuisine we just had to come back. With Laurence’s service impeccable even good food tastes a notch better if possible. I have also had the pleasure of co-operating and getting to know many other fantastic people: Vincent, Guillaume, Stephane, “Franco Baresi”, Geoffrey, and all others. The progress I made during my stay in France hadn’t been possible without you guys. When I arrived to Les Sables d’Olonne I was told that the people of Vendée (the department to which the town of Les Sables belongs to) are known for their hospitality. Well, all of you have proven this to be true. Thank you!

The Finnish-speaking readers might have noticed an interview published at “suomifutis.com” at the end of May. http://www.suomifutis.com/2013/05/huuhkaja-vahdilla-vuosipaiva-vakavasta-polvivammasta/

Unfortunately I faced a setback in early April while training with the local team in France. I went to Helsinki for a thorough check; the outcome was mainly positive but I’ve been forced to take it easy for a while and go back to a training level that was far behind the level I had already reached. I have been of course disappointed by the set back in my recovery but I am definitely not discouraged or about to give up! I´ve been working lately a lot for strengthening my legs and the work seems to pay off as there have been already some signs of progress. When I´ll be able to return to football is still unsure but I will take the time that it needs!

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One More Milestone Reached

Thursday 3/28/13 time 12:38 AM

What a nice feeling to be back in football training! I´ve had good progress in the trainings with Jerome these past few weeks and tonight it was time to take a step further. I trained with the local team TVEC 85 Les Sables d´Olonne and it went actually very well. No new injuries and I was able to fulfill the entire keeper section of the training. As planned I held myself back and didn’t participate in the game. It wasn’t easy to stay on the sideline and continue training with the goal keeper coach while the others started playing, but I didn’t want to overdo it at my first training. Two hours after the training finished I feel as if I had done something more significant than just an ordinary keeper session… Great to feel it again after 10 months!

Thank you TVEC 85 for your warm welcome and for having me at your training! Looking forward to training with you again.

P.S. Look at the keeper on my left... Barthez still going strong. :) 

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Restitution week

Sunday 3/10/13 time 11:53 PM

Another week of training in good conditions has passed by as the weather has turned warmer again. This week was a restitution week, which included six sessions. On Monday I had Pilates as usual, and on Tuesday we had a nice tour on our race bikes.  On Wednesday and Thursday we trained strength, first for the legs and then for the upper body. On Friday we trained at the stadium, and for the first time we did interval running to top the exercises with the ball. The training week was finished by a good yoga class, which also helps to ensure a relaxed weekend. My body has felt good during the training sessions we´ve done and the knee feels better again after some unpleasant feelings in the beginning of the week. Feels like the restitution week has done its job and I´m looking forward to gear up again next week.

Today wasn´t free of activities either. The beautiful spring day was finished by hitting some balls on the golf range at Port Bourgenay Golf Club accompanied and equiped by Stephan from www.golftechnic.com . I have to admit that I´m really not an active golfer but it was great fun anyway! pyorakuva_2.jpg

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Another good week

Sunday 3/3/13 time 11:24 PM

I have now survived yet another training week and am looking forward to a restitution week that’ll start tomorrow...

This week we’ve had the pleasure of having the goal keepers of the local club, ESCO FOOT Château d’Olonne, with us when we’ve been training... MathieuMe

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Closure of the Week

Monday 2/25/13 time 12:12 AM

Yesterday´s training was a worthy ending for a very good week at work. We had a 2,5-hour session at the stadium which included two hours working on the pitch. This time was spent both with and without the ball and included more plyometrics (jumps) and changes of direction than before...

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Sessions at the Gym

Saturday 2/23/13 time 12:47 AM

 

Yesterday was, as planned, a rest day for my legs. We did a 2-hour strength session for the upper body at the gym. After the training I had my weekly massage. It really made my day!

Today we had another 2-hour session at the gym...  

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Confirmation of My Gut Feeling

Wednesday 2/20/13 time 11:34 PM

 

The cybex test (to measure the difference in strength between the legs) in Niort today was a success. It was good to see that three months of work have paid off.  My left leg has gotten much stronger. The quadriceps has increased its maximal strength by 38 % and the hamstring by 25 % compared to the test taken in November. The strength difference between my right and left leg has decreased from 40% to 26 %. The French experts say that the difference should be less than 20% before starting competitive football again. So you might well say that I’m getting closer day by day. :)

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One of Those Days

Tuesday 2/19/13 time 11:14 PM

One of Those Days...

...when I feel that my decision to come and do my rehabilitation in Les Sables was one of the best decisions I’ve made in a long time. It’s been a great day!

The morning started on the bike as I rode from home to the stadium. The weather was great again! We’ve been training regularly at the stadium twice a week for about 3,5 months, and it has rained only during a few of those training sessions.  I don’t know if we’ve just been lucky or if Jerome has a special karma but that’s pretty incredible minding that we live right on the coast of the Atlantic!

The session on the pitch was planned to be quite easy, and it lasted for about 1,5 hours. We did warm-up and coordination for 30 minutes followed by Redcord exercises and specific goal keeper exercises. We didn´t do the usual running on the pitch in order to save my legs for the cybex test tomorrow.

The second session of the day was yoga. The yoga class was good as always and gave me a great 1,5 hour escape from the reality. At the same time I got the stretching my hamstrings really needed after yesterday’s Pilates. I have to mention that the yoga class is instructed both in French and in English and I´m really thankful for the English version… My French has improved but it’s still not good enough to survive a yoga class en français.

When I biked home from yoga the thought occurred to me: it can’t get much better than this. The weather was gorgeous and I had to pinch myself to remind me that we’re actually in February and not in May as the weather might suggest for a Finn. It´s been one of those rare days when I haven´t really had any significant pain in my body and I’ve had the chance to spend a lot of time outside training in the perfect weather. Can’t complain.

I´m looking forward to tomorrow and the test to find out if my legs have gotten any stronger during these past three months...

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A Week of My Life

Monday 2/18/13 time 11:13 PM

This blog has unfortunately been on the side line for the past weeks as I’ve been very busy. Mainly I’ve been kept busy by training and everything that comes with being a professional athlete (taking care of oneself ), but a growing amount of my time has also been used to studies. I started studying Sports Management in the FIFPro Online Academy last fall. However, now I will hopefully finally be able to start the project I’ve been planning for a while already: documenting a whole week of my training.

At the end every week my physical trainer Jérôme proposes the plan for the week ahead. Some adjustments are made underway if/when needed, but so far we’ve been able to stick to the plans quite well. The aim is to find a balance between different types of training methods and to find the right balance between work load and rest. Currently we are at week 16, and this is how the plan looks like:

 

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Morning

Pilates in Nantes (1,5hr)

Training at the stadium including goal keeper work

Off

Off

Strength for the legs

Training at the stadium including running and goal keeper work

Off

Afternoon

Off

Yoga

CYBEX test at Niort

Strength for the upper body and core training

 

 

Off

 

This week’s plan is somewhat unusual because of the second CYBEX test that will take place on Wednesday. Because of the test we’ve had to eliminate a few training sessions. So far we’ve been training 8-9 times a week. Since I’ve had quite a bit of progress these past weeks we’ve been able to start training harder and more intensively. Thanks to the improvement, I can now work on my aerobic capacity on the soccer pitch. Therefore the weekly biking sessions have been eliminated from the program.

For a longer while already I’ve been curious about Pilates and how it could help me in my sport. As I was forced to start from scratch after the operation I finally had a chance to indulge in this great training method last summer. It all started at Somatic Studios in Helsinki, and since I arrived to France I’ve been taking weekly private lessons at Pilates Nantes, which is about 100 kms from Les Sables. I’ve been privileged to work together with Patrice, an Australian former pro-ballet dancer who owns the studio. As my knowledge of Pilates has increased my conviction of the usefulness (if not necessity) of it has gotten even stronger. It would probably have saved me from a lot had I started to use the Pilates methods earlier in my career. If you ask me Pilates should be mandatory for every young athlete.

To the Finnish speaking readers: here's a link to an interview that was published at Somatic Studio's website.

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Initiatives-coeur

Sunday 2/17/13 time 10:19 PM

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Right after my arrival to Les Sables d’Olonne in November I witnessed the departure of Vendée Globe, the solo sailing competition around the globe. 98 days and 21 hours later I was able to witness the arrival of the tenth competitor, Tanguy De Lamotte. The atmosphere in Les Sables was excellent...

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Photo Album Updated

Wednesday 1/2/13 time 11:37 PM

I have updated my photo album! Below is a sample of my last months´ training while the gallery includes older pictures as well.

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Happy New Year 2013!

Tuesday 1/1/13 time 9:25 PM

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Movember

Friday 11/30/12 time 10:11 AM

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Better late than never... This is my contribution to movember and YOU still have a chance to donate to the prostata cancer research! http://mobro.co/ottofredrikson

 

 

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Vendée Globe

Tuesday 11/20/12 time 12:24 AM

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Hats off, everyone! On Saturday, November 10th  I witnessed something extraordinary: 19 men and 1 woman left off from Les Sables d’Olonne to compete in the seventh Vendée Globe. Vendée Globe is a non-stop solo sailing competition around the world.  This competition takes place every four years like all the most important sports events in the world: World Cup, Olympics, etc. (ice hockey – what’s going on?).


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I am a bit of a sailor myself thanks to the childhood summers spent on the seas. Therefore I admire even more those brave skippers that have just started their long and lonesome journey. They will encounter some rough seas, and not all of the 20 that just left off will make it back to Les Sables. By today, five out of the twenty sailors have already been forced to quit the race.

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I’ve planned my stay in France to last approximately four months so I’ll hopefully be able to see the heroes of the sea to return while I’m still here.  The current record of 84 days is held by Michel Desjoyeaux, a two-time winner of Vendée Globe.

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Vendée Globe is a huge event in Les Sables d’Olonne. A town of approximately 15 000 inhabitants has had over 900 000 visitors since the port was opened and the side events were kicked off three weeks prior to the departure of the boats. Despite the rain and wind there were thousands of people witnessing as the boats left Les Sables. According to my poissonnier (oh yes – I’m bursting dust from my French! And to those of you not familiar with the word: poissonnier means the guy at the fish store that sells me the ingredients for my weekend dinners) there were queues to the harbor already at 5:30 on Saturday morning.

For me it has become a habit to check out the standings and news every night. If you are interested check out www.vendeeglobe.org

P.S. Armel Le Cléac´h on his Banque Populaire is leading and will soon cross the Equator. Amazing how far they have sailed in only 9 days.

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Around 2600 kilometers later

Thursday 11/8/12 time 10:40 PM

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After a total of four days in the car, two nights on two different boats, three at a hotel (and three in the meanwhile at home) I’m finally there! Château d’Olonne at Vendée was at its best when I arrived as I could drive the last 300 kilometers of my journey in beautiful sunshine.

The reason for my coming here can be easily summed up: I want to get fit with the help of Jérôme Brunier. The fact that the grass is green here all year round and a fantastic beach is only a five-minute walk away from my house doesn’t hurt either . J (The picture below was taken just a few days ago.) Jérôme (or “Jerry” among friends) is a French physical coach with whom I had the pleasure of working with already in 2006 when I arrived to Lillestrom. During my first year at LSK he worked at the club as our physical coach. Our professional paths separated long ago but we’ve kept contact throughout all these years. At some point pretty early after I got injured I started to play with the idea of coming to France so he could be in charge of my” re-athletization” process.  Jérôme was willing to take the challenge, so here I am.

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Because of my long journey we’ve taken the first training sessions rather easily. The first days’ sessions have included yoga, pilates and biking. It’s great to be finally at Château d’Olonne. Being here means that I’m taking one step forward in my recovery process as the going slowly but surely will start to get tougher.

Our plan with Jérôme is to gradually increase the training load, and already soon to include some football elements into the training. My aim is to follow this process in this blog and hopefully post photos and even some video material of our training sessions.

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Until we meet again

Monday 10/29/12 time 12:01 AM

Believe it or not but this has been the longest stay of my life in Helsinki so far. The city where half of my family comes from has been a little distant to me until this summer. Now nearly five months have passed since I arrived to Helsinki  in the beginning of June. A lot has happened and I've learned tremendously since then. I've experienced tough times after my operation, I've enjoyed of some really good moments with my closest family and friends, and I've felt the progress when it comes to my rehabilitation.2012-10-27_17.29.41.jpg

A rainy summer (at least that's what they call it - I didn't notice anything because I spent most of the summer inside) has passed by and the autumn or better to say winterish conditions have taken over Helsinki and the rest of Finland. With the new season approaching it is also time for me to move on.

I started my rehab with my physiotherapist Gene Keurulainen  (also known as "The Guru" in my family) about 11 weeks ago. If I look at the big picture my progress has been linear. On the daily basis, however, I've had some setbacks which have really scared me off, but I guess that is part of the game. At least that is the answer I always get from Gene. He has checked me dozens of times after I've been complaining about different types of pains and so far he has always been right.  Yesterday I had a final check with him before I would leave Finland and I am happy to announce that everything was good! In addition, I had a great last (at least for the moment) training session at Somatic Studio including a pilates class and my own strength program. I could do all of my exercises more or less as they are supposed to be done. And for the first time in a while I really felt good and strong after the session. What a great feeling! I definitely should bottle that feeling for later use. It was a great way to finish my rehab period at Somatic Studio. The personnel have already  nicknamed me “furniture” because I have spent so much time in there. Thank you Gene, Minna, Ingrid, Ulla, and everyone else at Somatic Studio for your gratuitous help, great support, and expertise. Training at Somatic Studio has been really inspiring and I hope I have been able to give at least a tiny little bit of something back to you guys.

Despite the obstacles I've had during my stay in Helsinki I feel that I have landed on my feet again. I'm not running yet but I am leaving Helsinki with hope in my heart. It'll all be good again. Anu & our daughters, Mum & Dad, all my caring relatives, friends, and everyone else: thank you so much for your unbelievable support these past months! Having your support has meant the world for me.

P.S. At the moment I am heading back home to Norway.  I am looking forward to spending a few days home before heading further. The next step after Norway is Olonne- sur-Mer in France. The plan is to get fit again in France, and I am really looking forward to working together with Jérôme Brunier. Jerry, hope you are ready! :)

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