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Where to begin?

  • October 28, 2017

Life is a roller-coaster. Ups and downs, straight forward, some tight curves, some air-time, some high-siding – and then of course the finish and end. I feel like I have taken part of all those stages the last two years.

My best friend died. There is a lot to say about that, but I will not. Grief is an ocean of depth, and I am still not there that I can share it. Perhaps I never can.

My son was born. If anything in my life has come close to a miracle, it was seeing my son for the first time after 36 hours of labour and 9 months of worrying. Of course he is perfect. How could he not be?

We entered a new life, Ron and I, but I am proud of how we still manage to somewhat go our own way. Of course, it is not so easy to just get on a plane to go and run a mission anymore -especially because there is no house-wife in our house-hold – we both want to go!

But right now it is still possible to do what we have loved so much – to travel, to explore, to kayak. At least when we keep the good attitude, stay positive and are flexible. We know harder times will come. But for now, it is as it is.

I wonder – how do failures and set-backs affect you? I used to howl at the moon (I am not crazy) and do endless flat-water cartwheels (Yes, I am now old-school!) in the eddies just to show that I indeed can cartwheel, eventhough not in the hole during the competition…

In June I finally found somebody to drop Moneydrop with again after 1.5 years of taking it easy because of pregnancy. And honestly – Moneydrop is not a big deal – but I still could not find people to paddle with because my schedule is not so flexible as before… So there I was, just before Extreme sport week, waving Ron away to take our son back home for dinner as I would “just” drop Moneydrop with Dane and Bren before being at the dinner table. Right. I crushed my thumb so badly they could not really see all the pieces on the x-ray. And my line was as good as any. To this day I am not sure what happened, but I guess in the end it is just a number´s game. So be it. To see the line click here: Money Drop

Another low point: This year I took a 20 + second hole-ride during the  semi-finals of the self-proclaimed Adidas World Championships of extreme kayaking in Austria. I guess only a proper swim on top would bruise the ego more than that. Especially because I won it in 2015 with a very good performance, and before the semi-finals I felt on top of it in the training rounds. But here it is:  Semi-final 2017

I recently had a motivational/inspirational speech outside of Bergen. To read more about them click here: Presentations 

Something I reflected about is how it is important to separate excuses and reasons. I had plenty of excuses for my failures this year – and sometimes I lashed out to the ones around me. I dare say that Ron at least once wanted to skip town, but rock solid as he is, he stood his ground. Lucky me.

It always takes me a while to look past failure and detect the real reason behind such a thing. To begin with I am all sore ego and bruised up, but as it settles in I actually start using my brain. Is it not wonderful to be able to live and learn? Many have asked me over the years how I still can be kayaking… and this is my one answer. It never gets boring – and it always teaches me something about myself.

My other low point this year, or actually my lowest point, was shoving my grandmother of 89 years without her shoes or jacket on inside my van, shouting to Ron to hurry up as I held my son close to my chest and talking to the police with my one free arm. (actually, I did not have one, I am still not sure how I did all that at once.)

What was to have been a nice family dinner with my grandmother, Ron, my son and my uncle turned into a proper nightmare. Yes, he has had a real problem for decades. Yes, I wish from the bottom of my heart he could have been able to handle the situation, which was new to us all. As it is, he didn´t, and we paid for that. My chin still hurts from the blow he landed on my face over the dinner table, and I still have nightmares about the minutes I rushed on pure adrenaline to get my family out of harms way.

 

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Yesterday I got the letter that told me to show up in court. It is not pleasant, it is not ideal – but I am not the real victim here. It is my uncle. And my grand-mother. But at the same time I can not let something like this go un-passed. For all the women and men out there, the girls and the boys, the mothers and the fathers, and everybody else: Violence is never the answer. I simply can not let it slide.

Failure – hardships – they are simply a part of life. I do not have any grand answer of how to rise from them – but I do believe in looking into yourself to find the reasons – not the excuses. And I say this because I am the first to look to excuses – and blame others. And a key point is that this is easy to admit in hindsight – but not easy to control in the heat of the moment.

As it is I am still here, learning about myself and life, being grateful for the friends I have  – you always help me see the world in the right perspective!

 

Mariann

 

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Thank you Nouria!