The Most Persistent Loser

Trübsee Langlaufloipe

I don’t hate you for failing.  I  love you for trying.

 I had this “quote” (somewhere credited to Marge Simpson, no knowledge of the original idea) on my wall for years. And it’s no wonder then that the “Mont Blanc’s most persistent loser” -description (of Marc-Théodore Bourrit in Fergus Fleming’s “Killing Dragons – The Conquest of the Alps” book I am currently reading ) hit my nerve as well.

(Btw that^ book again is full or annoying arrogant or simply just rude dudes, and I am still looking for more mountain books of good men and especially of and by the brave women. Feel free to drop them to me by email or in the comments.)

Of course it would be way nicer to be the winner always. To succeed, reach goals and just do amazingly all the time. But while that’s not the case, it’s better to try and try. To do and just go for it. Even with the possibility of failing, it’s better to dream and try than waste life by dreaming but not reaching. Not even failure.

Persistence and sisu. Stubborness and perseverance. Very good qualifications in sports, work and life in general.

Eh and yes, this semi deep talk just randomly accompanies these cross-country skiing pics from February. Which basically don’t have anything to do with the persistence and reaching goals. I mainly ski just for fun and exercise, don’t aim for much, and it’s also been many years from my last race.

I am not even sure if I really dreamed of one day skiing nordic in the Alps above 1000m where it really helps to have the good technique and endurance I have as a result of skiing nordic since 90´s. Also, very hard to think how one could really fail badly in this sport (as long as one doesn’t aim for Olympic gold).

Falling may hurt, yes. Muscles most likely hurt after tens of kilometres, no matter how well trained previously. Or you may not reach the planned 20km because just can’t do it. (Or don’t have enough extra energy. Until now I have carried with me on my adventures these honey shots by Arctic Warriors – funnily named with the Finnish versions of perseverance, persistence and strength – and boosted my morning/lunch/dinner porridges with their berry powders * which now unfortunately are finished. And so I have made more restaurant stops in between skiing and suffer now of slight flu – hopefully not corona – symptoms.)

In Lapland, frost may also bite. And skis and poles may break, for various reasons, which comes expensive.

In general though, nordic skiing is pretty funny, especially on places like Trübsee in Engelberg where one can simultaneously watch the freeskiers come down from the higher glaciers, past and over snow covered crevasses and cliffs. Nordic skiing is not really risky sport, yet the sessions like in these pics are pretty rewarding and the ultimate experience amazing.

And yes, if you fail it will not be as bad as a failure on the glacier or big scene in front of huge audience. And when you succeed, it just strengthens your confidence and endurance.

Nobody climbs on skis now and almost everybody breaks their legs but maybe it is easier in the end to break your legs than to break your heart although they say that everything breaks now and that sometimes, afterwards, many are stronger at the broken places.

― Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

Tiina Kivelä Langlauf

Trübsee Langlaufloipe


Where: Trübsee, Engelberg/Titlis, Switzerland