Monika Mikkola: “I have learnt the importance of planning and balance”

Hi, it’s me again! I hope all of you have had a wonderful and relaxed spring and are ready for summer. I’ve been quite busy myself: since my last update in February, I have been home for only 12 days. I spent most of March in Palma de Mallorca, Spain and nearly all of May and June in France.

As you can see I’ve been away from home a lot, and you might think, ”isn’t that all quite a lot for a 21-year-old to handle?” Well, the answer is yes. While I do love travelling and obviously sailing is what I live for, sometimes too much is just too much. Doing three big events and almost 40 days of training in less than three months is a lot for the body and the brain.

By far the most important thing I’ve learnt from the past few months is the importance of planning and balance. Balance between racing and training, balance between sailing and rest and balance between travelling and being at home. Everything, really, in life needs to be in balance. You need to eat and sleep, but not too little or too much. You need to work hard when you’re working, but when you rest you also need to rest hard! One day you drink water and eat salad (good for the body), some other day you drink wine and eat ice cream (good for the soul 😊).

As I said I’ve had a busy spring with three major events in a row. In March I raced in Palma de Mallorca in an Eurosaf event, a week after that I was already in Hyeres, France participating in the second round of our World Cup series, and from there I drove straight to La Rochelle to race against the best European sailors in the European Championships. I’m disappointed to admit how average my performance was in Palma and in the Europeans, but I’m happy for winning the silver medal at the Sailing World Cup in Hyeres, only losing gold to the current Olympic champion!

I’ve learnt a lot of important lessons from all the events, but (again) the most important lesson was taught to me by my very own personal life coach, my mum. She explained to me that maybe my poor performance at the Europeans was caused by me being exhausted and very tired from the earlier trainings and events. She told me that sometimes even when you feel fine, you just need to go home, or to a place that feels like home, not only to let your body rest but also to let your mind rest. My lifestyle is a bit different from a “normal lifestyle”. Normally people get away from home to rest and to reload, but as I spend most of my time travelling, I go home to load the batteries. Only a few people understand that, myself I’m only learning to understand that, but somehow my mum just knew it. Respect to all the mums out there, you’re doing an awesome job!

I’m very happy to learn this about myself now, since my most important races and travels are still ahead of me. I have a two-month training period now, before the World Championships in Aarhus, Denmark in August. These Worlds aren’t just any Worlds, the first country spots for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics are given out there! I’m excited and I really want to qualify Finland for the Olympics!

I’ll let you know how the racing went after the worlds, until then, keep your lives in balance and enjoy the summer!


CCEA and Monika Mikkola signed a sponsorship agreement already in 2015. The goal is to support Monika on her way to the top in sailing and towards to the Tokyo Olympics.