In my work as a development manager I face my customers having continuous need for change and need for renewal to maintain their competitiveness. Coming outside of the customer organization, I have noticed how easy it is to coach companies to find new direction, think how to engage employees for the changes or how to find the right initiatives with the employees to take the company forward. As always, giving the advice is much easier than being part of the process and implementing the changes. For a long time, I have considered the right way to challenge myself to the extreme – as I love to set goals and be determined to push towards those goals.


The challenge I was missing came clear to me when I met Carina Räihä in Women’s World Conference in Helsinki. She talked about her experiences and her motivation to step out from top position to be carried away by her own dreams and objectives. Carina’s determined attitude to conquer Mt. Everest as a first Finnish woman made a great impression on me. In the conference she offered me opportunity to join her expedition next spring to reach Mt. Everest base camp in about 5400 m altitude. I immediatelly grabbed onto this opportunity. I knew this could be just the challenge I had missed while children have grown beyond infant stage and work life has settled down a little bit. I was the challenge I could not pass.


What does it potentially require


Good basic fitness, a lot of walking, stair climbing – Malminkartano hill close by my home is shown to be an excellent place – running, good mental sustainability, ability to tolerate discomfort and ability to to throw yourself into the unknown.

Sure I recognize that for an athlete this could be a little thing, but for a basic mother of small children, this would be a great personal challenge, both mentally and physically.


Training and how to remember the importance of recovery


At work and in training recovery is important. First month of training is behind and I recognize how excited I am about exercising. A year ago it would not have occurred to me to go for a jog at seven o’clock in the morning. Cleary a change has already occurred in my own mindset.

After a month of training, the importance of recovery is getting higher. I noticed that I had not spent any day of rest, and my body is just exhausted. The legs cramp at night and I feel tired. Now I must take a timeout and rest for a few days. I cannot wait to receive Firstbeat equipment in the coming days. With that I see what my recovery really looks like. Now it is good time to recharge batteries, in order not to get red alarms with that equipment.




Separation from children: I continuously having thoughts whether I’m selfish as I’m voluntarily ready to be separated from the children for three weeks. Fortunately, children and my husband are supportive and cheering for me. Security: does it make sense to go camping in Nepal, in freezing temperatures? Extremely unsanitary conditions, dirtiness and lack of showers, almost certainly obtained stomach diseases, altitude sickness, viruses, wounds and blisters that do not heal at altitude. Sleeping while listening to avalanches.


Well, why then


I'm interested in change. Stretching own capabilities to the limits, mental growth, opportunity to learn, nature, its beauty and silence, the chance to be alone, the physical stress, new friends and contacts during the trip, ideas that I can develop to take my own work forward. Survival in challenging conditions. Getting back to basics, throwing myself into the game and winning myself.Oh yeah, did I already nature and its stunning beauty.


Another five months to the start. With humble mind I will continue to practice towards the dream.


Petra Erätuli-Kola