It all started in the winter olympics in 2014. It was the women relay 4x10 Km skiing. Sweden was participating and had a good chance to take the gold, but so did Norway, the usual archenemies. Me and Johan were watching it on TV in our living room, in Prague. The third athlete for Sweden was younger and less experienced. She lost a bit too much to the other teams. Fighting the fourth and final part was Charlotte Kalla. She is really good, said Johan, but can she really catch up so much? She started like a warrior and fought like if her life depended on it. She was as focused as anyone can be and slowly took over more and more terrain, catching up to the ones in the front just at the goal line. She crossed the goal first. The whole team got the gold, but she made an impressive performance. She impressed me so much, that from then on I thought about her determination every time I got tired in a race.
How dare I, compare myself to Charlotte Kalla. She wins gold. I win bananas. And I would get them even if I was the last one crossing the finish line. The truth is we all need someone who inspires us in life and Charlotte Kalla inspires me. Her determination, her kindness, her beautiful smile, and the warrior inside that comes up during the competitions. I started following her career more and to cheer her up like a football team, the only thing I had cheered up before. And it's fun! Of course I also support other swedish athletes but Kalla is my absolute favourite.
One of her sponsors is also the sponsor for the Gothenburg half marathon and when I went to pick up my bib number on Friday she was there in the expo. There was not so much people and it was easy to meet her. I was so excited that my legs and hands were shaking. My tongue must have been as well, because my Swedish became a rumble of indecipherable words. I tried to tell her how impressed I was by her performance in that relay and how I use that when I run, but I'm not sure she understood. She must have thought I was crazy. However, she did say that it is very good when one turns off the mind and just goes for it. I also took a picture with her, that turned out to be blurred because the lens was dirty.
Even though I wish I could go back, as a normal human being, not shaking and have a proper conversation with her, I'm still super happy I got to meet my biggest running inspiration and that she wished me good luck for the race.
No matter what, that day will always be the day I met Charlotte Kalla.