Anette Aas-Sjoelund (pictured below) is an executive assistant and co-ordinator for Mitsubishi Electric Sweden. While in the office, she is always busy helping the president and other staff members of the company do their jobs.
Swedes are known for having their own way to live a balanced, happy life: lagom. The Swedish word lagom is often roughly translated into English as “in moderation” or “neither too much nor too little”. Find out that the World Happiness Report has always ranked Sweden as one of the top 10 happiest countries in the world, and you will see how well this philosophy of life works.
But surprisingly, it seems like Swedes value the exact opposite of lagom at the same time.
Held every year in 8 Nordic cities such as Stockholm, Copenhagen and Oslo, Toughest is an obstacle course racing (OCR) event with a challenging course made up of a set of obstacles and terrain unique to the host city.
How hard is this race? Well, all we can tell you is that the name says it all. But don’t worry. At least Toughest offers three different levels of difficulty: Toughest Family for families with kids, Toughest (the main race) for everybody and Toughest Elite for pro OCR athletes.
Participants can enter the main race as an individual or as a team; when they choose to run as a team—as a group of friends or colleagues, for example—they can cheer each other on towards the finish line.
This year’s main race in Stockholm is scheduled on 13 June; its 8 km course has various types of tricky obstacles and a terrain with mud, water, a forest and hills.
“From our company, a few 4-person teams will take part in the main race in Stockholm and compete against each other for the best finish time. And I’m a member of one of the teams”, says Anette. “It’ll be super exciting, challenging—and tough, of course!—but a lot of fun and inspiring, too.”
At the time of this writing, it is unclear whether or not this year’s Toughest in Stockholm will take place as scheduled due to the global coronavirus pandemic. But this uncertain situation has never stopped Anette and her teammates.
“My teammates and I have been running and lifting weights 3–6 times a week. Plus we are planning to practice at OCR training facilities”, she says. “I’m so looking forward to running toward the finish line with my colleagues while helping each other—and crawling out of my comfort zone to test my limits.”
Swedes know very well the importance of living lagom; that is probably because sometimes they secretly go to extremes, and end up realising once again that this Swedish lifestyle is the best one.
The photo above shows the building where the Stockholm office of Mitsubishi Electric Sweden, which Anette works for, is located.