Why I think of Marit Bjørgen when I've struggle to learn something new

I'm certainly not a cross-country expert, but I'm very good at watching it. I'm also interested enough to follow Marit`s career since 2002 and until today, I`ve seen that she did great in the beginning, had several years where it didn`t go to well and then came back and won everything. 

What I think is so cool and what makes her one of my personal heroes is that she came back. To have a long period of time when things do not work as you would like them to. Then work through, make small adjustments, try again and just keep going, is something I really admire.

Another reason I admire this, is that there is a tendency in society that we`re not tolerating the difficult stuff in life. It seems like the goal of life is feeling good and be happy all the time (and yes I am overgeneralizing here, but I`m making a point).

Human beings are incredibly good at avoiding unpleasant things, such as that unpleasant feeling we get when things don`t go our way. It`s the same thing in outdoor life too. For example, I can avoid steep, unprepared trails because I can not withstand the constant frustration of knocking my face down in the snow for the tenth time. 

The problem is just that when I can`t tolerate discomfort, I can`t not tolerate learning. If I can`t withstand the discomfort of being in a situation where I`m failing, learn something from it and eventually master it. I`ll never learn and progress. The only way to learn is to make mistakes, feel the bad feeling, make adjustments and then try again.

That's why I'm thinking of Marit Bjørgen when I'm buried under my 25 kilo back back, with a ski stuck under a pine branch and a dog barking and around me. If Marit was able to endure years of things not going her way, I can take a few hours of face-in-snow to learn how to ski in steep slopes.

Outdoor lifeJohanne Refseth