I am 25% Finnish. I'm also part Swedish and part Danish. The other half of me is a very long story that will make a good movie someday. A few years ago, someone I didn't know very well called me a Stoic Scandinavian. I like that. I'm very proud of my Scandinavian roots. Herring? Yum! 
Yes, my relatives wave both Finnish and American flags.
Sisu is a word that the Finns use to describe themselves. It stands for determination, perseverance ... a sustainable will. It's a long-term mental toughness. The ability to face adversity ... the ability to always face adversity. I see this in my grandmother.

Yesterday, I was looking at some video from the Crossfit Games European Regionals. Some of the strongest and most-respected Crossfit athletes are from the Nordic countries. I noticed one wearing a t-shirt that said Sisu. I also noticed one of my Eugene Crossfit buddies wearing a Sisu shirt today.

It makes sense that this word would catch on in the Crossfit community. Crossfit isn't about the "fitting-gym-into-your-schedule" mindset. It's about making a commitment. It's about lifestyle. And that lifestyle isn't easy. You make choices. You don't eat everything you want to eat. You do the workouts when you're tired. You make it through the workouts when you want to stop (trust me, I wanted to stop many times today). It's perseverance. It's determination.

It seems like lately, I've been able to live up to sisu in regards to Crossfit. I'm also working very, very hard to do this in the rest of my life.That is the real test.

See also: True Grit

1 comment:

Emilee said...

Great post!

I think you need a shirt that has both Sisu and a unicorn on it :)

I am working on living up to sisu in regards to my personal life. Sometimes it can feel really messy...that's when I usually take the phrase "one day at a time" and scale it accordingly...usually it becomes "one minute at a time" ;)