(Combat training with napalm last week. Photo credits: First Lieutenant Eero Virtanen)

(Combat training with napalm last week. Photo credits: First Lieutenant Eero Virtanen)

Hi everyone,

To begin with, please read the following riddle out loud:

“There are 30 cows in a field, and 28 chickens. How many did not?”

You will most likely be startled at first and think that there is no point to this riddle. You might think that the riddle makes absolutely no sense at all.
You might even get frustrated and ultimately conclude that this is a waste of your time.

On the other hand, you might be a person who enjoys a challenge that elicits more in-depth thinking. You will most likely be equally startled at first, but you will choose to use your energy more wisely than the first person. Therefore, you might get more out of this riddle than the first person.

Finally, you might be the type of person who is just skimming through my printed words so that you can quickly arrive to the point where I present you with the solution. You’re quick-witted and want to use as little energy as possible. To you, I silently applaud. You’re in luck:

Solution to riddle (read out loud): “There are 30 cows in a field, and 20 ate chickens.” Therefore, 10 didn’t.

The point I’m trying to make is that there’s usually two different ways to look at and think about things in life. There can be barriers/opportunities, there can be failure/success… and the list goes on.

Well, for both myself and a few other fellow golfers, we are on a winding road that leads two ways. It’s called the Finnish Defence Forces. Currently, I am about a month or so in to my conscription service. From what I’ve come to see so far, a person who enjoys a challenge, and a person who is quick-witted and uses their energy wisely will most likely get the most out of their military service. A frustrated person who sees every instance as a waste of time will definitely struggle.

Up to this point, I’ve quite enjoyed my time in the military. I know – I’m slightly surprised myself! This year, I had another long season of golf that began in January and ran up until the point I commenced my conscription service mid-October. Quite frankly, it’s been refreshing to take a little break from golf and get the opportunity to experience new situations, new conditions, and with new people.

It might very well be that entering the military at an age slightly above the national average makes it’s relatively easier to look at things from a different perspective. I’m quite certain I wouldn’t have viewed my last four weeks in the same manner five years ago. To me, the military has so far been a place where you can do a lot of cool things you wouldn’t have the opportunity to do as a civilian. To others, the military is a place where each and every morning is a 3-minute long triathlon. This triathlon begins with a shower, is followed by a performance with a toothbrush, and ends with a visit to the bathroom. Most participants in this particular triathlon will withdraw, have a no show, or be disqualified. And to be honest, on most occasions, I’m one of those participants.

To me, the military service is also a place where I can develop as an athlete both physically and mentally. To others, the military service is a place where you develop an abnormal amount of expenses on earplugs. You’ve recognized that there exist other people in addition to your own mother who have a talent for exceptional snoring. To my roommates in the military, I must formally apologize in advance.

Obviously, things aren’t black and white. Naturally, certain aspects of my golf game are unlikely to improve as much due to my time in the military. However, whose wouldn’t? Since I didn’t manage to get status on either the Challenge or European Tour for next year, I’m looking forward to making the most out of my full status on the Nordic Golf League. It’s just a question of using the facilities and opportunities currently at my disposal well, and maybe improve in areas that I otherwise wouldn’t at this stage.

The way I see it, things tend to be dependent on attitude and self-motivation. Don’t take things too seriously, have a laugh, and enjoy the ride!

Let the challenge and hard work begin.

Success to everyone!