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Life as a Firefighter Competitor During the Pandemic

The summer of 2020 was a different summer – also with regard to firefighting competitions. The Interschutz trade show has been postponed to 2022, many other competitions have also been rescheduled or cancelled. Apart from the physical slowdown, it is the friendships and the fire competition family that athletes are missing most. May Tømmervold, a Norway firefighter and an athlete that is part of Team HAIX® in Europe, also tells this story:

How did you feel about this summer without any challenges and events?

After realizing that there wouldn’t be any firefighting competitions this year, I could relax in a whole different way. As much as I love these challenges, they're not only physically demanding, but also mentally stressful.

What did you do instead?

As many others did, and with gyms closed down, I turned my garage into a home gym. I had some bad luck and tore up an injury in my elbow just as COVID came along. So, focus has been on rehab and just trying to keep a good physical level until the gym opened again. Also being on a lockdown, partly isolated and stuck at home, made me restless after a short while. So, me and my HAIX® started to explore the outdoors more. I have always been fond of nature, but I think it has been even more important during this pandemic to get outside and experience at least some sense of freedom. 

Is there anything new you want to continue doing once everything is back to normal?

Definitely. I want to make my days-off count more, by using them to explore even more new places and just get outside. I also want to see more of my own country, which I have kind of rediscovered this year. I believe it's one of the most beautiful countries in the world and I still have a ton to see!

What do you love about hiking? How do you feel out in nature?

It fuels my body and mind. I love to use my body as it was meant to, walking. And the nature around me just fills me with a sense of freedom and joy. My happiest place in the world, is on a mountain top, gazing over the landscape as the sun rises. Then I'm totally at peace. 

Do these adventures have any impact on your daily firefighter routine?

Yes, sure! I use the nature treks to recharge and clear my head. It works better than a psychiatrist and antidepressants, and it's all for free!

What Norwegian destination can you recommend to our readers – once everybody is allowed to travel again?

Oh my, what to choose? Definitely the county of Vestland and the region of More & Romsdal; it has magical fjords, mountains and glaciers. For instance: Geirangerfjord, the village of Loen which has a via ferrata and the most magical lake, (a via ferrata is a climbing route with rungs or ladders fixed to the rock to which climbers can affix a harness and two leashes) Mt.Skaala (the view!!), Romsdalseggen (mountain/fjord/via ferrata) and Aurlandsdalen (stunning valley). And of course you need to see Lofoten and Senja up in the North. Crystal clear water, sandy beaches, mountains straight up from the sea and the most cozy fishing villages. And in wintertime: Northern Lights!

Anything else you would like to add?

Going hiking doesn’t have to be complicated. You just need some good socks and shoes. Adding a small backpack with some water, snacks, and a warm jacket, and you're set for a nice picnic in the open. Also start to explore your closest surroundings. We can all dream of those places we see on the internet, but I bet there are some hidden gems close by as well.

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