Monday, 2 March 2009


I mentioned this word in my last post and I thought that this word, or rather mentality needs to be explored a bit more closely for it to make sense in the previous and how it ties into hockey.

Sisu is an expression that Finns use quite regularly and is internationally recognised in the world of sport due to commentators often (mainly in motorsports) referring to Finnish competitors of having Sisu. Roman Schaz described sisu by: "It is the ability to finish a task and get things done" in his book From Finland With Love. The word Sisu itself is closely associated with courage or bravery, though it doesn't mean the same thing. Sisu is something else, which I suppose embodies my whole existence in one way or another.

Sisu means getting things done and defeating obstacles no matter how hard they may seem. There is also a saying that goes "Suomalainen mies menee lapi harmaan kiven" or translated "A Finnish man will go through the most solid of rocks", this is Sisu. It means relentlessness and not giving up under any circumstance. Sisu means being able to overcome ones' inhibitions and rise above your very being.

So how does this relate to hockey? Hockey is a game that requires Sisu. When you look at the athletes or the professional Finns like Saku Koivu, who demonstrated great amounts of Sisu by defeating cancer and a severe eye injury or Teemu Selanne, who inturn demonstrated Sisu by being the only player to score back to back 40+ goal seasons while he was over the age of 35 and winning the Stanley Cup after 13 years of trying. That is Sisu! Koivu and Selanne are just a few examples of guys who demonstrate Sisu, there are others equally note worthy like Jere Lehtinen, Mikko Koivu, Antti Miettinen, Tuomo and Jarkko Ruutu to mention but a few.

To me Sisu means that I am able to do things that I discuss in this blog. To go and lace up the skates, fight for every opportunity to score a goal, to take a big hit and give a hit back. Most of all to me it means that I will never give up no matter how bleak a situation looks like.

I try and apply this 'methodology' to other aspects of life as well. In other aspects of my life Sisu has helped me through tough times and I use it to help others, to try and carry some of the weight they bare on their shoulders, or atleast make that load feel lighter.

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