We are finishing up the camp in Finland. I want to say a quick thank you to Crossfit Lappeenranta for your incredible hospitality, generosity, and patience. Your gym is impressive and the type of facility I envy. I especially love how well you run your business and the respect you have for your clients and guests.
Secondly, this was my first trip to Europe. I came to Europe with a pretty complete understanding (I thought) of the American stereotypes worldwide. I was pretty sure I didn’t fit into that mold. Turns out I am the model for American stereotypes. Boot wearin’, southern accent, Conservative, white protestant, I eat what tastes good not what does my body good, I know more about the details of the Battle of Gettysburg than I do about any other country’s history or political system, and the icing on the cake was when I realized they all know my language and I can’t say bathroom in theirs. There are a bunch of other qualifications I fit as well. Interesting revelation for me. I haven’t decided if I want to change that or not yet. 🙂
Also, I am a pretty big fan and have huge respect for our military and the heroes who fight for our country. The Finnish noted however one of their heroes. If you are like me and have never heard of Simo Hayha aka “White Death” you should google him. He’s a Finnish sniper with 500 CONFIRMED kills with iron sights and a bolt action rifle. Crazy. Also, he was shot in the face and lived. The Finnish people are pretty proud of him. I can’t blame them.
Lastly, the most surprising part of Finland that I think I was most uneducated about is the landscape. In my mind, I imagined that Finland would just be dark, cold, and snowy year round. Yesterday evening the owner of CF Lappeenranta, Atte Kaasinen, took us for a ride to see the Russian border and took the scenic route. Literally. This country is beautiful. The birch tree changing colors through the open fields, the immense amount of color in the sky during sunset, the smell of the pines, and the brisk chill in the air all reminded me of the North Georgia Mountains. The lakes and the smell of the woods certainly are a far cry from Dallas and felt a lot like home. Beautiful country. Below are some pictures taken during the drive.