Jonne Koski

Jonne Koski seminar

Sometime in September (or maybe October), Anna sent me a link and asked me if I’d like to go as a birthday present. The event in question was a seminar held by two time CrossFit Games competitor Jonne Koski.

I have to admit – I didn’t feel confident enough in my skills that I would have immediately answered in the affirmative, but after contacting the seminar organiser Antti Akonniemi I felt like I could answer with a yes. So, finally on Halloween I boarded a bus to Helsinki and spent the following day – my actual birthday – listening to Jonne talk about preparing for competition and competing. And we also did three workouts during the day which was supposed to simulate a competition day…


I haven’t set any specific goals for myself when it comes to competing, but most likely I will at least attempt to qualify for some smaller competitions once I reach that magical age of 40 and qualify for the masters divisions. As someone who started working out at 37, competing with 20-somethings is virtually impossible :)

Even though my plans on competing are vague and in the air, the seminar itself was very good and thought provoking. For someone who tends to think and over-analyse (and read), getting some real feedback on how to periodise training and what to focus on was extremely beneficial. At least for whatever approach I want to take to my training I now have at least some knowledge from a valid competitor on what works in his case.


We had a nice small group of 11 participants and Jonne and his assistant, Juha Metsämuuronen, were able to give all of us technique tips during the workouts and give us individual attention. Sure, the seminar was not focused on learning technique, but getting tips on how to be more efficient is always good. And as is always the case, a different coach than the one you typically use can give you new perspective on how you move and give new hints on what to do to improve matters.

Tero Kotilainen

I have to admit that I am extremely glad that the workouts Jonne had planned were not technically difficult but really put all of us through the ringer with pure CrossFit.

If you are at all interested in the sport of CrossFit, then I strongly recommend going to a seminar held by a Games (or even Regionals) level athlete and get their perspective on how to train and prepare for competition. And of course, by participating in a seminar you are also helping support their training.


Anna did make one request regarding my trip: I had to take a selfie with Jonne. He was naturally ok with it, and lucky for me he also reminded me to switch the camera to the selfie camera on my phone once my hand was already up and all we saw on the screen was CrossFit Herttoniemi’s ceiling… Just goes to show you how often I take selfies.

And yes, I was very tired once I made my way to the bus and the six hour trip back home.


Be ready for new experiences…

I’m currently sitting on a commercial bus traveling from home to Helsinki – a six hour trip for those unfamiliar with Finnish geography (and the slowness of a bus compared to driving by myself). Why a bus? Because Onnibus actually manages to be cheaper than driving with a SUV by myself. Unlike the Finnish rail company VR…

Sure I’ve traveled by bus every now and then, but ever since I got my own car, most of my travel has either been by car or by airplane. With buses I’ve had a hate relationship ever since my grandmother and me traveled from Central Illinois to Montana when I was 11. Two nights and three days on Greyhound buses and in grimy bus terminals was not my idea of comfortable travel even then. And if possible I fit even worse in the bus seats now that I’m fully grown.

But the trip was in many ways memorable and has spawned tales and family sayings that still get actively used whenever we are on the road.

This time I’m traveling on my own to enjoy a birthday present from Anna tomorrow. More on that later. I promise this time my overlong hiatus from posting here will not last nearly eight months.

I have many post ideas in the pipeline, but have for some reason felt blocked from writing anything until I’d get my post on the conclusion of my first CrossFit open out. Well, I still haven’t managed to finish it and won’t wait to before posting more here.

And if nothing else, I have time on my hands while sitting in the bus…

Tom Englund

Evergrey @ Henry’s Pub Kuopio 27.3.2015

Finally! Three years without seeing Evergrey live was much too long and luckily they finally published a new album and started touring with Finland once again being the starting point. This time they also made it further east than last time, but still not all the way to our home turf. So we had to cheat on Kerubi and go to the neighboring town’s rock club, Henry’s Pub.

Tom Englund

I had no expectations whatsoever on how large a crowd we could expect in Kuopio, but the town surprised us and the place was full enough. And the audience knew their stuff and sang along when needed. There was no photo pit in the place so most of my photography was done from right under Tom’s nose. The benefit of a low stage was that the photographs aren’t nostril shots :)

Tom Englund

This was also the first time that I got to see Evergrey play with Henrik Danhage and Jonas Ekdahl who took a few years off from the band. And now it seemed like Evergrey was back home. There was something missing from the previous album which was again present on Hymns for the Broken and even more palpable live.

Henrik Danhage

Johann Niemann

It was great to hear song throughout the bands career. And of course knowing some of the staples of the set meant that photography was quite a bit easier since I knew to expect certain things. This time I especially loved the lighting for I’m Sorry and how Tom managed to look almost evangelical on stage.

Father Tom of Clan Evergrey

Father Tom of Clan Evergrey

Father Tom of Clan Evergrey

Father Tom of Clan Evergrey

And despite the small and cramped stage and the fact that Jonas and Rikard tried to hide behind the smoke screen through most of the gig, I managed to get several good photographs of both of them.

Rikard Zander

Jonas Ekdahl

It felt like the the vibe of the band on stage was joyous and they enjoyed playing for us and let us enjoy almost two hours of music in the Land of Grey. I just hope that it won’t be another three years before we see them live again.

Tom Englund and Johann Niemann

Tom Englund and Henrik Danhage

Joakim Brodén

Sabaton @ Kerubi 21.3.2015

An unexpected thing happened, and Sabaton sold out Kerubi about four months before their gig. I’m fairly certain that no band to date has sold out the venue that long before their gig, but luckily Anna and I managed to get tickets (thanks Hannes :) ). I was also able to get a photo pass for the gig. And it turned out that it was a good thing that I asked about the photo pass beforehand since contrary to most gigs at Kerubi, this time a photo pass was required to use a SLR, let alone get access to the photo pit.

Hannes Van Dahl

As someone who spends most of his time listening to either death metal or country (don’t even ask, I’m not sure how that happened), Sabaton is a bit out of my normal repertoire. But ever since Hannes left Evergrey and joined them, I’ve been keeping a closer eye and ear on the band.

Chris Rörland

Don’t get me wrong, as power metal goes Sabaton is a prime example and a very good representative of the genre. And they do make good workout music. But most power metal is simply too happy for my taste and the gloominess of melodic death speaks to me more. And I also have a problem with Sabaton’s lyrics. Mind you, the problem isn’t that I am in any way offended about their use of war in their lyrics but the fact that I start binge reading Wikipedia for the historical articles behind their lyrics destroying any productivity I may have had. And yes, it happened to me several times while editing these photographs.

Thobbe Englund

This was the second time we’ve seen Sabaton. The first time was when Hannes was still playing with Evergrey and both bands were touring the US. Pictures of Sabaton’s gig can be found in our old gallery. In fact, two of the photographs I took during that gig were printed and given to Joakim during this gig since they were something special that I’ve never seen in a metal gig so far.

Pär Sundström

This time around the years and hundreds of gigs that Sabaton has thrown showed. And the experience showed itself only in a good and positive way. I loved the way Joakim and the rest of the band interacted with the audience and goofed around with each other on stage. I have no idea how routine most of their tomfoolery is, but it was much appreciated.

Joakim Brodén

And I’m certain that Joensuu and Kerubi let Sabaton know that they are welcome in town again!

"Oh wow, my drumstick can fly."

“Oh wow, my drumstick can fly.”

Alissa White-Gluz

Arch Enemy @ Kerubi 17.9.2014

Oh dear, it really has been about six months since Arch Enemy graced the stage of Kerubi. I didn’t try to get a photo-pass, but luckily there were no limitations to photography from the audience and I managed to get quite a good sample of photographs of the band amidst all the head-banging, jumping and singing along that I did.

Michael Amott & Alissa White-Gluz

Arch Enemy is a band that I’ve long liked for their melodies and guitar work, but have for some reason kept my distance to for a long time. Finally the previous album, Khaos Legions made me a convert and War Eternal has me hooked even more. And of course it helps that the band’s home town is basically our little Swedish import’s home town as well.

Alissa White-Gluz

I don’t know who was behind the lighting of the show, but it offered wonderfully many opportunities to take good silhouette photographs of Alissa against the lights. So many that I really can’t choose a favorite. But I do know that I’m a sucker for a good silhouette.

Alissa White-Gluz

Alissa White-Gluz

I must admit, getting the photo-pass to shoot Sabaton last weekend was the final catalyst to get these images edited and our for the world to see.