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Ice Hockey Under the Sun Part 1

Growing up in one of the coldest countries in the world made me relatively indifferent to harsh weather conditions. Even though Finnish people are quite used to cold and sleet, many Finns, including myself have a habit of getting frustrated with the weather conditions during long and gloomy winter. Thankfully, after long and cold Finnish winter comes an amazingly beautiful Finnish summer which unfortunately lasts only couple of month but is worth waiting for.

Nevertheless, I never actually disliked winter that much. As long as I remember myself I always excitedly watched weather reports on Finnish news channels and hoped for the freezing weather so I can go and skate on the ice rink near our home in Tampere. Of course I did and do like summer as well, now that I have been living almost 2 years in eternal summer I start to get used to it more and more.

It was a bit of a positive surprise for me when I realized that I would be spending my first years in NHL in South Florida. I remember back in the days watching Pavel Bure and Olli Jokinen play for Florida Panthers and never could even imagine myself being in the same position one day. I never thought that I will go to the morning practice dressed in shorts and flip flops or take a swim in the ocean after an evening jogging. Indeed such life style has had a positive effect on my moral well being. I have managed to stay fresh and positive despite small injuries which in this sport are just everyday affair.

Such weather conditions undoubtedly have certain negative effects as well. Depending of course on the person and his background but sometimes I wish it was cold windy slush outside so I can go for a run and tough up my mental abilities. Sometimes, too perfect conditions could make you forget what you are fighting for and make you more lazy than usual. However, I am very glad that I have great support team around me who constantly remind me of who I am and where I come from.

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Most Nordic people, including myself appreciate warm weather as it seems exotic and feels like a vacation when the temperature is over 25 Celsius. Ask any Finn about their plans for the day during the nice hot summer day in Finland and they will tell you that there is no time to waste and they must head to the nearest beach, park or a terrace to enjoy the rare sunshine. I guess I am extremely lucky to play ice hockey and at the same time have an opportunity to enjoy warm sunny weather during the winter. But sometimes I do miss my home town Tampere and a proper chilly weather that seems to be like a natural habitat for us Nordic people at the end of the day.

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