Monday I went for a run along the seacoast. It was an absolutely beautiful morning. Blue skies and sunshine that made the calm ocean waters sparkle like diamonds.

It was a good day. And a good run.

I even had a sign.

One of the things I like about running is that I get to see so much. I watch people, look at houses, notice the cars, motorcycles, the grass, trees.

As I was running along, pushing at tempo pace on Monday, a car passed me. I noticed the license plate. It said SISU. About 30 minutes later, I saw another car with a bumper sticker that said the same thing – SISU.

I grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Way, way far north of Detroit. There’s a large population of Finnish descendants, my husbands family being one of them. Up there, you see the word SISU a lot and don’t think anything of it. A long time friend of the family even had a dog named Sisu.

But here, in New Hampshire, I’ve never seen or heard anyone speak of it.

And I just saw it twice in one day!

So what does Sisu mean? Truthfully, I didn’t really know what it meant. Ron thought the meaning was something similar to Finn Pride.

So I Googled it.

What I found was there really isn’t a proper translation of the word into any other language. It’s more of a quality someone holds.

Here’s how Urban Dictionary defines it (not sure how legit it is):

– a uniquely Finnish quality;
– the word used to typify the Finnish spirit;
– a concept that is at the heart of how all Finns view themselves;
– a certain feature or value considered by Finns to be typically Finnish
– endurance, resilience, tenacity, determination, perseverance
– an inner reserve of diligence, capacity, the ability to face head-on and always overcome
– craziness: the recklessness that inspires a person to take on something in the face of incredible odds
– bravery, empowerment, inner strength

Endurance, resilience, tenacity, determination, perseverance.

Hmmmm….those are all traits I rely on for training/running a marathon.

See the sign now?

On Monday, I wrote about how my focus and confidence are wavering in marathon training. From now on, I’m channeling my inner SISU. It’s time to find my inner strength to focus on the miles ahead of me.

The signs are all there.

Do you believe in signs?

Ever heard of Sisu?

32 comments on “Sisu

  1. Definitely a sign! And I love the connection to your childhood.

    My husband’s company is based in Finland and he goes multiple times/year. We also have plenty of Finns come through here, too, and I’ve gotten to know them/their culture over the years. I’d say SISU is quite apt when it comes to their character!
    misszippy1 recently posted..The trip that almost didn’t happenMy Profile

  2. Awww love this!!! And I don’t think I knew you grew up in Michigan, that is awesome! I am just packing up my stuff to leave, but I know it was hard for my boyfriend to say goodbye as he is gonna miss Michigan a lot. People often think there is nothing here, but it is truly beautiful…..especially in the summer.

    I definitely believe in signs, and that was so cool what SISU means. You are those things, and they will continue to guide you through your path πŸ™‚
    Tina Muir recently posted..Secrets to Success: 8 Minutes to a Stronger CoreMy Profile

  3. My daughter played in the Travel Ball World Series in Gulf Shores, Alabama and there was actually a team named SISU! My husband said they told him it stood for something (I can’t remember what they told him) but there was a meaning which I believe the endurance, perseverance and determination was it.

  4. Love it when things like that happen! I’ve never heard of the word but it seems like it what was you needed to see on your run πŸ™‚

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  6. I, too, am a Yooper!! What part of the UP did you grow up in? I’m from a Finnish family (mom’s 100% and Dad’s 50%) so I grew up with Sisu! The way my mom always described it is endurance, resilience, tenacity, determination, perseverance – definitely great for us runners! Thanks for sharing your story!! I love reading your blog.
    Lani Yearicks (@armytbonegirl) recently posted..From Sneakers to SundressesMy Profile

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