A Postcard From Norway
Updated: Nov 6, 2020
CrossFit 7Fjell, Bergen, Norway.
I left Lithuania in September, after taking part in the big competition in the Capital. I took advantage of the safe Covid conditions that had been managed in LT and I hopped over to Norway.
The vast majority of my Skandinavian experiences have limited themselves to a city break to Stockholm, a conference in Helsinki and my ongoing love affair with telemark skiing...
So I decided I'd go take a look - and of course, google CrossFit gyms near me.
I found myself zooming into a rather soggy Bergen, on the West Side of Norway. I was immediately saucer-eyed with the vistas - It is just like instagram (only raining...).
Oh, and of course I have to mention the INSANE array of NOCCO flavours and Barebells products I could just pick up from the shop. Not at the box, not online.... at the shop around the corner.
I didn't have a car so used the epic Norge public transport, the only thing not epic was my sense of direction (anyone who is not Air Force and not an Officer will have a solid idea how terrible the stereotype is of navigations skills held by non-pilot RAF types and in my case its true).
I travelled 45min on the bus to the box and was pretty much soaked when I got there, but I was SO invigorated when I walked through the doors, I barely clocked the outrageous non-waterproof mascara look I was sporting.
Chris, the coach of the day, happened to be British. Billy bonus - however, it made no difference as Norwegian folk are linguistic ninjas.
We got stuck in, in rapid style, no faffing around (for those who have enjoyed my more laissez faire approach to class timings, you'll know what I mean). A brutal EMOM ensued and the place was packed! (within covid limits - oh, and I'd already had my covid test when I arrived in Norway, happy days).
Such a buzz, everyone in there was chatty, working hard, cracking on but also not cracking on so much they couldn't give a smile and a hello and a few words of welcome to me.
I went back for OG too and felt welcome again. Sometimes, in some gyms, this is not the case. And, I do sometimes let that put me off...
If you love coffee, it's right next to the local coffee producing factory - Friele. The largest producer of coffee in Norway. Ace.
Kristine and Tim, the owners, mad for it. Just so happy and so welcoming, proud of their people is a huge understatement. Plus they have some STRONG athletes.
What I felt though, above it all, is that the community is strong. They seem humble, welcoming and good eggs.
*Most bizarro is there are a lot of Baltic people in Norway - and here was one of my most favourite things in the world. My old Coach Andrius? we met him in chapter 1. His old compeition buddy had moved to Bergen, unbeknownst to me, and then wham - there he was, in the squat rack next to me. I was like do you know Andrius from Siauliai...and the rest was just another lovely example of the good egg environment of 7fjell.