I an athlete

Despite the fact that CrossFit considers all crossfitters athletes and that I’d already competed in two CrossFit Games Open’s, I haven’t actually considered myself to be a competitive athlete. (Note, at the time of this writing I’ve completed my third CrossFit Games Open.) However, during the summer of 2016 I started reflecting on my Why for doing CrossFit.

I honestly don’t remember where the off and on reflecting of my why came from – most likely from something Scott McGee said during some episode of the Wodcast podcast. I started CrossFit originally to finally get myself in shape to better function as a firefighter. I was barely passing our three yearly physicals and knew that something had to be done. But as time passed and my conditioning, strength and what not else got better I began to notice that just doing the daily WODs wasn’t enough for me. I started hitting some other stuff every now and then either to improve my skills or specific weaknesses or just to get something more.

While Anna and I were helping build CrossFit Paja we were doing a weightlifting program which was good – but it also clearly showed me that pure weightlifting wasn’t something I wanted to do. So I had to face the fact that my why had changed from just wanting to be in better shape as a human and firefighter to something more. Or to be clear, I had to make the choice of whether I would continue training just to be a stronger human or for some other goal.

Since at the same time I was approaching the magical age of 40 and being able to compete as a CrossFit Masters athlete I started to seriously consider if ramping up my training and aiming to be a competitive athlete would be a viable goal. The end result of the reflecting that I did during the summer – and of course the discussions I had with Anna – was that I would start putting a bit more time and effort to my training than I had been.

(Another author’s note – like many over 40 year old masters I consider the new 35-39 masters category as baby masters.)

So I decided to participate in the Linna Masters qualifiers and managed to get a spot in the 40-44 age group. So now I really had to start consider myself as a competitive athlete. Which honestly was a bit of a mental shift for me since I never was one for competitive sports when I was a kid or even younger…

So in all honesty, be prepared for this blog to cover much more CrossFit related posts in the future as I walk down this path of being an athlete – and firefighter, computer nerd, photographer and crazy dog person… :)

Grow agile, don’t scale

A quick link to a small post I wrote over on LinkedIn on growing agility into an organisation instead of scaling. Includes a link to a much better read than something that I could have written. Go have a look: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/grow-agile-dont-scale-ramin-miraftabi

Sawotta 2016

A few weeks ago I spent the Saturday again at Sawotta judging and photographing between the heats in which I was a judge. This year the event had moved to a new venue – the Savonlinna Ice Hall. The new venue had more space for the audience, but since it was a cool summer day no part of the venue was especially warm even though there was no ice to be found.

crossfit athlete Liina Vartia running

I have to admit that I enjoy the double role of judging and photographing functional fitness events. Sure I could live with just photographing, but only judging would find me somewhat frustrated during breaks since I would be annoyed with the missed photographic moments while watching heats. And also when tiredness starts to kick in (as it always does in long events like these), photography keeps me more alert even during the downtime.

crossfit athlete clean and jerking

This time I also managed to be quick and go through my photographs and do some quick edit quickly so that I could get them out to the world. It’s been fun to see my photographs show up on Instagram in athletes’ own feeds. That’s all the thanks I need for this sort of photography which is done to support the growing CrossFit community in Finland.

crossfit athlete clean and jerking

I’m also overjoyed that the athletes appreciate and share also the images in which they don’t look handsome and pretty. I guess all of know full well that the faces we make during grueling WODs will never be pretty or handsome…

crossfit athlete Anna Ollikainen jumping and tripping over the bar

From a judges perspective the events this year were well planned and easy to judge – well everything except the double unders which are always hard to judge… There were some challenges that came from the change of venue, but on the fly changes to how some things were handled solved those quite well and the ability of the staff and judges to quickly adapt to changes allowed even quick paced heats to be handled with limited amount of hassle.

crossfit athletes throwing wallballs

From a photographers perspective the new venue was much better than the previous one simply because the white floor provided a neutral color when compared to the wood floor of the basketball court. Of course as is the case with any indoor venue, more light would have made photography easier but it was still a piece of cake when compared to shooting a gig in a small club ;)

crossfit athlete Satu Kansikas overhead squatting

Sprinkled throughout the post are some of my favorite photographs from the event. For the full set of over 200 or so, head over to our photogallery: Sawotta 2016.

crossfit athlete doing a pull-up

crossfit athlete tired after an event

crossfit athlete tired after an event

My first post on LinkedIn: Don’t over-engineer, listen to your customer. If software development / web app development is of any interest go give it a read :)


A long time ago I decided to get rid of my other blogs, Shutterclicks and Satunnaisia leiskahduksia. Both blogs content has now been aggregated into this blog. With SL the merge was easy as had the same URL structure and all that. With Shutterclicks the change wasn’t so simple and unfortunately all post from there will redirect incorrectly due to a different URL structure. Also, it seems that the featured image etc. information of at least some of the latest Shutterclicks posts didn’t come through correctly. I guess I’ll go and try to fix all of that at some point. Maybe…