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© Airi Mikkela

Finland's Airi Mikkela: Waking up in the middle of the night, thinking I've suddenly lost all my ranking points

© Airi Mikkela+

It's Saturday morning, I slept very well last night, I have a day off today and I've had a great week of practice - I just feel amazing right now!

There have been many nice things happening in my life this week, or then everything just feels so awesome now that I finally got to be home and practice hard for a whole week. I've done nine badminton sessions and two gym sessions this week and all of them have been very good.

My body is totally destroyed but it feels actually very nice after a long time. Now it's good to take it a bit more easy and get ready for the last few tournaments. For me the best thing is to first work hard, then take it easy and then I'm ready to fly on the court. The hard work is the worst and the most painful part of course but now I've done that once again and soon I can fly again!

Today I'm gonna share with you some moments, memories and other random things I've experienced during this Olympic qualification year. So here we go...

1.

Flights are perfect occasions for naps. Once, however, my nap went totally wrong and I ended up leaning against a random guy sitting next to me. Waking up I felt embarrassed and I apologized for being so pushy. He wasn't mad at all and the next day I got a friend request and a message from the guy on facebook. I'm still wondering how he knew my name and managed to find me.

2.

One of the best memories for me from this year is from Denmark Open. Walking to the court on that red carpet in my first ever Super Series Premier tournament was great. But the greatest thing was knowing that my mum and my grandma were there to see it. It was good to share an important moment with some of the most important people in my life.

3.

People in South and Middle America are very short. I am 173cm tall and I feel like a giant in those countries.

4.

I had to wait 7 hours in Shanghai and I was sitting at the airport feeling extremely tired. I saw how a lady left her bag on a bench and walked away. Soon an airport worker came and took the forgotten bag. 10 minutes later the lady came back looking for her bag but of course she didn't find it. I tried to help but unfortunately I don't speak Chinese. Soon there was a big group of Chinese people wondering what to do and even the police came with big guns. Luckily many of the people understood English and of course I was immediately eager to help!

"So how did the person who took the bag look like?"

"She looked like Chinese! I mean..."

And there I was, in front of 25 Chinese people who were staring at me like I was an idiot. I said I had to catch my flight and left as soon as possible.

5.

In Brazil they eat those little cheese-bread-balls that are so yummy that I would like to have eight of them right now. Or maybe eighty.

6.

During this year I have woken up so many times in the middle of a night not knowing in which country I am, thinking that I've missed my flight or that I've suddenly lost all my ranking points. I've also been constantly jet lagged and woken up at 5 am. Many mornings I've met a ghost in the mirror. A little ghost who has such a big dream that she can't even sleep.

7.

I'm not a person with suicidal thoughts but this year has been so stressful that I once had a very very dangerous thought. I was at the airport after a very bad tournament in Turkey and I saw an offer "buy three big chocolate bars and pay for two!". For a moment I thought about buying those, eating all three at once and feeling sick afterwards. Then I started laughing at myself and decided to forget about the chocolate.

8.

I'm sometimes a very emotional person. I got tears of happiness in my eyes once when I came home from a long trip feeling extremely tired and my flat mates had made my bed ready for me. And next I felt so so sad because I forgot to buy cucumber from the supermarket.

9.

No matter where I am, I always hear from people that I look very young. I can easily trick people and say that I'm 17. But no one believes that I'm 22. Believe me, I have tried!

10.

I have been to somewhere round 35 countries but I've never been on a real holiday. I don't even know what it means to be on holiday. Or how it is to travel without a racket bag!

+1.

I think I've never baked a birthday cake by myself (I don't even have sugar at home!) but today I'm gonna do it because it's soon my birthday! I'm planning to make a pink, three-layered and delicious cake so now it's time to go shopping and let the little masterchef inside of me run free. Somehow this blog post took me 4 hours although I was only planning to relax and bake today... But now I can relax and bake so byebye and have a lovely weekend! :)

xxx
Airi

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