Thursday, May 22, 2014

My orienteering adventure commences

Well here I am in Uppsala, Sweden - an orienteer's haven - how did I get here, you ask? Well, you see, first I graduated university and got a job at a hospital (I am told that is the proper trajectory for a new nurse). I was full of hope that once I graduated, I would be able to train and travel for orienteering till my hearts content for, after all, I wouldn’t have practicums or late night studying, and my new job was casual (meaning I booked all my shifts so if I didn’t want to work I would say no).

Once I was actually working reality hit: a) when you are new, and you want scheduling to keep calling you with shifts -so you can work and in turn eat – you do need to say yes to every shift you get called for and b) shift work sucks, trying to train while switching between 12hr days and 12hr nights sucks even more.

I realized that if I actually wanted to get better at orienteering I might need to do something differently. So I started thinking. If I wanted to go to World University Champs this year (my last year to be eligible from my undergrad) what better way to prepare than spend the 3.5 months leading up to it training and racing this being an alternative to the sleep deprived half training I was doing. At some point during the year (most likely after working a 12hour hectic night shift with no breaks), I thought ‘why not!?’ and committed. So I emailed my managers stating that I was not going to return to casual in May (after the temp line I had taken was up) -most likely not part of the ‘proper trajectory of a new nurse :P -and I started planning. 

I ended up choosing to come to Uppsala, Sweden which is about an hour north of Stockholm and is where Kerstin has been going to school for the last year and is the club Emily K also runs for when she is in Sweden. So lots of Canadian connections!  I have been here since early May and will stay for a mouth and a half, before I start traveling around to other competitions. I have been staying with an orienteering family here who have been wonderfully hospitable and have introduced me to the local orienteering club! The club here is OK Linné. They have organized trainings at least three times a week and well as an open planning page of their website where people post if they are doing a training to see if anyone wants to join. The other days of the week are filled with races (THERE ARE SO MANY OPTIONS!) or individual trainings.
Stockholm city cup #2
 I am having a hard time saying no to any of the trainings or races which resulted in me racing five days in a row last week…  :) My orienteering ability leaves something to be desired at this point (hopefully will get better!) but it has been amazing to be on a map 5 or 6 times a week and to be around so many other people who orienteer. I have been able to be on a wide variety of maps (see photos) and am excited to see where my orienteering will go!  
Middle distance, sorry about the quality of the picture
The biking lane beside a connecting road.

When I am not doing orienteering related things I have been enjoying all that this lovely bike friendly town has to offer. I am taking Swedish lessons, although my Swedish is currently limited to “Hej, jag heter Tori. Jag kommer från Canada” which I am sure you can guess the meaning of. I think my  favorite word so far is ‘Fika’ which is kind of like coffee break time and always involves coffee/tea and baked goods! :D The best! 

Happy training everyone!


  1. Great story Tori! And I figure you must be getting better training on maps so much. Those look like really fun maps. good luck1

  2. So cool to be living and training in Uppsala, Tori. Thanks for sharing and have a great O summer.

  3. Thanks for a great update Tori! Sounds like a fantastic time! I am sure your orienteering is going to improve so, so much!